Business Plan Competition- Sitting on the other side of the Table

Over the last two years I’ve won the Joust Business plan competition for two different ventures. In 2007 my business partner Scott Wall and I presented our niche real estate publication for lease purchase properties and took first place winning $5,000. Then in 2008 I won again presenting GroupTable with another business partner Carl Henderson that time winning $12,000. I was pleasantly surprised when this year they asked me to return as a judge in the finals which took place this past Thursday.

This year’s winner was Helping Hands Healthcare, a service-based firm committed to providing superior consulting and installation of daily living aids to families with in-home healthcare needs.

Other finalists included: Mercury Mobile Software, a firm developing a home screen replacement application for smart phones; Orlando Search Engine Marketing, a search engine optimization (SEO) service provider; and Ski Florida, an indoor snow ski, snowboard and kids’ snow play facility.

It was truly a great experience for me being that I got to sit on the other side of the table with judges much older and more experienced than me.

Just to run through some of the other judges:

Rick Walsh

Mr. Walsh is President of the KnobHill Group, an investment and strategic counseling company. Prior to establishing the KnobHill Group, he served as Senior Vice President Corporate Affairs of Darden Restaurants Inc. (DRI) and was a founding member of the leadership team that took Darden public in 1995.

Mr. Walsh has been recognized as Orlando Business Journal’s “Businessman of the Year”; one of “Florida’s 100 Most influential” by Florida Trend Magazine; “25 Most Powerful People in Central Florida” by the Orlando Sentinel; and “50 Most Powerful People in Orlando” by Orlando Magazine.

Thomas Bland

G. Thomas Bland, Jr., serves as Chairman of the Board,CEO and president of AquaFiber Technologies Corporation.In 2004, Mr. Bland was inducted into the UCF College of Business Administration Hall of Fame. He currently is a member of the UCF College of Business Administration’s Dean’s Executive Council, and serves as a board member for the Florida Hospital Diabetes Foundation. He also established a home healthcare business, TenderCare Professional Assisted Living Services, Inc., for which he concurrently serves as Chairman of the Board.

Charlotte Williams

Charlotte Williams founded SummerHill Homes, a sucessful construction company, and then became a leading local real estate professional.  Charlotte is now a top real estate agent and owner of ERA Williams Real Estate Group.

David Pape

Serial entrepreneur and investor with four successful start-ups and over 30 years of experience.  Mr. Pape has developed a keen eye for lucrative market niches and an innovative ability to develop opportunities.

The competition was sponsored by Steven Felkowitz,  CEO of Atico International.  His company, Atico International is a full service sourcing and product development company that provides retailers, wholesalers and distributors with the insight and worldwide relationships to build a successful import program. I heard they generate over $600M a year in revenue…I guess he could afford to sponsor the prize money and event over the last few years.

Getting to know these extremely successful business professionals and investors on a more personal level was a great experience.  I was the youngest judge by far and was judging students I went to school with less than a year ago, as well as students currently enrolled in the MBA program.  Being a judge gave me a taste of where I want to be eventually (sooner than later), which is an angel investor sitting on the other side of the table listening to entrepreneurs pitch, investing in companies I like and working with them to help them grow.

This was truly a great experience.

Like what you've read?

If you enjoyed this post, please consider sharing it on your favorite social site, leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. Receive each new post directly to your inbox by subscribing below.
Looking to grow your business or learn more about internet marketing?
Then you'll really enjoy my recent book "Land More Customers Through Online Marketing".

Land More Customers through Online MarketingSo many people all around the world have great ideas, products and services. And yet some businesses do well, and some fail. What separates the businesses that starve from the businesses that feast?
For the answer, David Brim turns to another way people have been setting their feast table for hundreds of years: fishing. Landing a fish, just like landing a customer, requires strategy and know-how if you’re going to come home successful. In this book, David Brim explains his top recommendations on how to reel in more customers through content marketing, SEO, social media and more.
Buy Now

About David Brim

David Brim is a marketing consultant, entrepreneur and real estate investment specialist living in Orlando, Florida. He has been involved in many early stage ventures in industries spanning tech, ecommerce, real estate, and finance. He has been featured in one of the most popular entrepreneurship textbooks "Successfully Launching New Ventures" and has been interviewed on Fox, ABC and CBS about topics such as entrepreneurship and internet marketing. Professionally, his primary focus areas include online lead generation, e-commerce, and investment real estate.


  1. I’m presenting a business plan in 45 sec to win a competition, any adivce on what works well in selling ideas?

  2. Some business plan competition publishes the business plan of their participants, while some publishers the plans of the winners. If they do this, then it means that all your tasty little strategies in your business plan are revealed for all the world to see.

  3. It is really a nice post related to Business plan competition…….keep it up….

  4. Mark Walsh says:

    David – Great article. We’re working on a competition in Tampa and I ‘ve heard great things about David Pape. Any idea what his startups were? Any in the high tech or real estate?

  5. @Mark,
    I’m not really sure…I spoke to him previously about his endeavors from what I remember it was pretty diverse.

    Sorry I couldn’t be of more help

    good luck with your competition!

  6. Thanks for this post, i am going to subscribe to your rss feed. Looking forward to future posts.

  7. I agree with you, but do you think its really accurate?

  8. Good luck to you in becoming an angel investor. How is that going for you these days. I know you judged something recently at UCF.

  9. Bereken zelf uw hypotheek. Hypotheek berekenen? Maak snel een indicatieve berekening van het maximale leenbedrag van uw hypotheek.

  10. I agree with you, but do you think its really accurate?
    foods high in protein

  11. BKR problemen? Nu Geld lenen zonder BKR toetsing? Op zoek naar betrouwbare aanbieders? Wij vergelijken banken die u toch kunnen helpen aan een betrouwbare

  12. Good luck to you in becoming an angel investor. 😉

  13. Pretty component of content. I simply stumbled upon your site and in accession capital to assert that I get in fact enjoyed account your weblog posts. Anyway I will be subscribing for your feeds and even I achievement you get admission to persistently fast.

Leave a Reply


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers