Children’s clothing and cryptocurrency found common ground when the 2021 Community Business Plan competition returned to Steamboat Springs after last year’s hiatus.
C4 crypto advisers, a Steamboat-based digital currency advisory and asset management service, won $ 6,000 for winning this year’s business plan competition hosted by Colorado Mountain College Steamboat Springs and Yampa Valley Entrepreneurship Center. Town Hall Outdoor Co., which focuses on sustainable children’s outerwear, took home $ 4,000 as a finalist.
“Both of these startups were led by experienced businessmen,” said Randall Rudasics, director of the Yampa Valley Entrepreneurship Center. “It probably helped them create a good, articulate business plan that would represent good for other business people who were judging the competition, so their experiences in the professional world help them write good plans.”
Chris Slota and Chis Mihnovets, both former bankers at the head of C4 Crypto, said it had boosted confidence.
“We felt like winners before we even found out we won on Friday, so getting that was just the icing on the cake,” Slota said.
Winning the competition will provide funds to help C4 Crypto take their business to the next level, he added. The company is looking to create a referral program or be able to use more sophisticated crypto-accounting software.
“We were mainly solving problems on the crypto side,” Slota said. “It helps us develop our brains a little bit on how to start running the business and scale it to a bigger audience. “
Outdoor Town Hall Co., which won second place in the competition, recently unveiled its winter programming online.
“It’s official, our outerwear is for sale on our site, and we’re on the move, which is pretty exciting,” said Robin Hall, co-founder and CEO of Town Hall.
Hall said she felt inspired to take on other local companies in the competition.
“Being able to learn from each other and push each other was fantastic,” Hall said. “I’m a big fan of the competition because it makes everyone better. “
Hall said the contest judges asked if his company might consider taking equity and getting a financial boost from an outside source.
“We were pretty firm that we didn’t want to do this and that we were there for the community,” Hall said. “We want to keep this wholly owned for as long as possible, so that we can give back to this community in Northwest Colorado.”
This year, six business plans were submitted to the competition, but 17 companies emerged from educational seminars from April to August.
“It was the smallest group,” Rudasics said. “I don’t know if COVID was a factor or just the strong employment economy we have where there are a lot of opportunities and a good pay.”
Those who entered the contest submitted their plans by September 30 and presented them to a panel of three judges last month. Scores were based 40% on the written business plan, 45% on presentation and 15% on financial viability.
Rudasics said the competition was made possible by a number of supporters, including Startup Colorado, the city of Steamboat Springs and Routt County. Steamboat Springs Chamber, THPK Certified Public Accountants, as well as Alpine, Yampa Valley and Mountain Valley Banks, also helped support the effort.
To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @ Framp1966.