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04/30/2006 - Hogan Program Announces Business Plan Winners

A standing room only crowd attended the Friday, April 28 event announcing the winners of the sixth annual Intercollegiate business plan competition. Gonzaga University’s Hogan Entrepreneurial Leadership Program annual Business Plan Competition was held for the second year in collaboration with Eastern Washington University’s Center for Entrepreneurial Activities and Whitworth College’s School of Global Commerce and Management. This year, for the first time, students from Washington State University joined the competition.

The competition was open to all graduate and undergraduate students from the four participating institutions. A record number of 79 teams (over 200 students) entered the competition; 44 teams (nearly 100 students) submitted plans across three categories. The business plans went through one or two rounds of review resulting in the selection of nine finalist teams. The winners and other finalists of the competition are:

Student-Generated Category (Business ventures based on original student ideas.
1st Place ($10,000) “Itron Knowledge to Shape Your Future Award” -- Light House Entertainment (GU: Jordanna Chord and Becky Oelrich); for an educational Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG), called Multinia.
2nd Place ($5,000) - BrightWave (WSU: Paul Dailey and Kent Bader); for a diagnostic tool and service that undamagingly inspects inside walls for moisture or structural problems.
3rd Place ($2,500) - morgados (EWU: Richard Simpson); for a high-quality wine bar in the proposed University District of Spokane.
Community-Based Category (Business venture ideas originated by entrepreneurs in the community.)
1st Place ($7,500) - Summit Applied Technologies (Whitworth: Jeremiah Brack, Josh Breda, Jonathan Carlson, Brad Vardy and Joel Yinger); for research and development and marketing aspects for new proprietary products in the plastics industry.
2nd Place ($3,500) – Aluma Tug (GU: Rich Eneim and Jon Hendrickson); for the development, marketing, and launch of a 28-foot aluminum style tugboat.
3rd Place ($1,500) – Fast Construction Housing (Whitworth: Pierre Boyer, Anne Briggs, Jason Colvin, Seth Lowe, and Amber Matthai); for an innovative, durable, and affordable shelter that can be constructed single-handedly in less than half a day.
Social Enterprise Category (Non-profit ventures.)
1st Place ($7,500) “Avista Social Impact Award” -- K & H, Inc. (EWU: Ronda Kenney and Judith Hutchinson); for a highly specialized community living environment for persons with a dual diagnosis of developmental disabilities and mental health issues.
2nd Place ($3,500) La Plaza (Whitworth: Sara Tanzi-Dunham and Rose Ayers); for a coffeehouse and retail store that reflects fair trade practices and financially supports local and global social and economic justice ministries.
3rd Place ($1,500) uConnection (GU: Michael Reph, Heather Rhodes, Rachel Harpole, Stuart Seger, Chris Staton, and Garrett Swanburg); for a non-profit, educational resource that connects students with companies and organizations for internship opportunities via a Web site.
Business plans were judged by an independent panel of reviewers:
Hank Artis – TechConnectNorth/INEEL; Gary Fievez – Corporate Resources, Inc; Victor Forni – United Way of Spokane County; Marc McConnell – Jireh Systems, Inc; Dan Roark – MatriCal; Jan Romerdahl – US Bank; Dave Wingate - Washington State Commerce, Trade, and Economic Development; John Redford – STCU; John Overby – SIRTI; Linda Hemingway – SIRTI; April Spacek – Avista Utilities; Brad Herr – AC Data Solutions; Marla Telin - consultant; Billie Moreland - consultant; Liz Wilhite - consultant; Dennis Leidall – Connect NW; John Bacon - Bacon Consulting;; Peter Mowery – SIRTI; Mark Williams – Bonner County EDC.

The $42,500 total prize amount was contributed by the following organizations and individuals:
Major Sponsors: Herbert B. Jones Foundation; Itron, Avista Utilities

Sponsors: John and Suzanne Stone; PCO Inc.; Preston Gates Ellis; Spokane Teachers Credit Union; Sterling Savings Bank

Contributors: Chuck Burgess; Evergreen Venture Capital Association; US Bank; West Coast Hospitality Corporation; Wheatland Bank; AC Data Solutions; Sonderen Packaging; Paul Wham; Humanix.

In-Kind Contributors (Donate pro bono services to the winning teams): Desautel-Hege Communications; Inland Northwest Society of Consulting Professionals; Paine Hamblen Coffin Brooke & Miller, LLP; Spokane Intercollegiate Research and Technology Institute; Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce.

For more information, contact Gonzaga Professor Paul Buller, director of the Hogan Entrepreneurial Leadership Program, at (509) 323-3438 or via e-mail at For more information about the Hogan Entrepreneurial Leadership Program, visit For more information about the EWU Center for Entrepreneurial Activities, visit; and about Whitworth College’s School of Global Commerce and Management, visit

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