Locavore was announced as the winner of the 2018 Fort Worth Business Plan Competition after pitching their business to a panel of judges and crowd of more than 200 at TCU’s Brown-Lupton University Union Ballroom.
Cortney Gumbleton and Carlo Capua, co-owners of Locavore, received the grand prize of $10,000 donated by Capital One Bank, in addition to six months of access to co-working spaces at IDEA Works and Ensemble Coworking, a promotional video shoot from CoLAB Creative Group LLC, six months of free advertising in JimAustinOnline, a quarter-page ad in the Fort Worth Business Press, an information session breakfast and a year of honorary investory benefits from the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, and business strategy consulting from Solomon Bruce Consulting. The total value of the grand prize package was $32,204.
Locavore is an all-inclusive resource for foodie entrepreneurs looking to affordably scale up their business, including a commercial kitchen and an event venue. During their seven-minute pitch to the judges, Gumbleton and Capua discussed the breakdown of their current kitchen clientele into three categories — dreamers, side hustlers and those who need space to grow their business — and noted that their current clientele has logged a collective 1,500 kitchen hours in the past six months across their four kitchen sites.
“We want Fort Worth to be the premiere place in the country to start a food business, and we plan to perfect our model here,” Gumbleton said.
Second place went to Saryina and Glen Oliver of Aspen Tyke Traveler. This husband-wife duo received $5,000 in cash and in-kind services that brought their prize package total to $14,704.
Aspen Tyke Traveler is a developer of innovative, supportive bag and packing systems that help prepare new parents for on-the-go adventures with young children. During their pitch, the Olivers spoke about their product’s balance between functionality and fashion accessory, and discussed their mission to save parents 1 million hours a year by making diaper changes on-the-go as simple and efficient as possible.
Third place went to Mateson Gutierrez of Cache, who won $3,000 cash and in-kind services that brought the prize package total to $10,054.
Cache is a mobile app that allows consumers direct access to purchase wholesale tax foreclosure properties from anywhere in the world, with no real estate experience required. During his presentation, Gutierrez addressed how Cache simplifies the complex bidding process for foreclosed properties by offering “land on demand” to clients at the push of a button.
The ceremony was presided over by Mershelle R. Davis, small business advocate for service disabled and veteran-owned small business at Lockheed Martin. Special remarks were made by Robert Sturns, director of economic development for the City of Fort Worth, and Ed Riefenstahl, co-founder and managing director of The Alternative Board of Tarrant County and chairman of the Accelerate DFW Foundation.
The competition was presented by Capital One and sponsored by the City of Fort Worth and The Alternative Board of Tarrant County.