Business plan competition (Courtesy: City of Fort Worth)

The field has narrowed in the 2023 Fort Worth Business Plan Competition, with 21 competitors moving on to participate in several weeks of business development workshops, mentorship opportunities and pitch practice with local partners.

About the competition: The Fort Worth Business Plan Competition is an annual celebration of Fort Worth’s entrepreneurial spirit, and serves as both a showcase and a training opportunity for the city’s emerging small businesses to help set them up for long-term success. The competition is in its 12th year.

Once these competitors complete their training, they will use it to create a comprehensive written business plan. The plans will be scored, and the Top 8 will have an opportunity to pitch their businesses to a panel of judges at the Finale to determine the prize winners.

While 20 competitors normally move forward at this point in the competition, a scoring tie resulted in 21 moving forward this year.

The 2023 competition is once again sponsored by Frost Bank. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three finalists, with $10,000 going to first place, $6,000 to second place and $4,000 to third place.

Throughout the competition, the Top 21 will receive coaching and mentorship from Frost Bank, Accelerate Fort Worth, HSC Next, SCORE Fort Worth, Tarrant SBDC, TechFW, and the Fort Worth Entrepreneur Education & Training Center.

What they’re saying: “The Fort Worth Business Plan Competition is honestly one of my favorite events that we do as a department, and that enthusiasm is 100% shared by our sponsors at Frost Bank,” said Robert Sturns, economic development Ddirector for the City of Fort Worth.

“It’s really amazing to see so many of our local ecosystem partners come together to help guide and coach these small businesses – many of whom know the basics of their business and have the drive to succeed but are still getting their feet under them when it comes to scaling up and figuring out next steps.”

Why it matters: This year’s cohort also reflects the diversity of Fort Worth’s growing small-business community, as 17 of the Top 21 businesses are either minority-owned businesses, women-owned businesses or a combination of both. All Top 21 businesses are either based in Fort Worth or have previously been mentored by one of the competition’s regional partners.

Top 20 businesses

  1. Blackheart Financial Services – Offers tax preparation, credit repair and financial literacy classes, with a focus on serving low-income populations.
  2. Brandi Lashay Rhoden LLC – Offers individual mental health therapy to children, teens and adults experiencing mood disorders and trauma.
  3. Butler & Butler Enterprise LLC – Provides corporate housing solutions along with additional amenities like private drivers, grocery shopping, assistance with errands and more.
  4. Ca’Maire – Offers a variety of hair care and beauty services, including cuts, color, extensions, protein treatments and more.
  5. Calisience – A restaurant specializing in beef birria in a variety of different forms.
  6. Cosmopolitan Dance Theatre & Performing Arts Conservatory – Offers performing arts classes for children to challenge them mentally and creatively, including traditional dance, tumbling, theater, music and even after-school programs and summer camps.
  7. Dusty Biscuit Beignets – A former food truck, now brick-and-mortar restaurant that serves unique sweet and savory beignets, as well as catering and pop-up events.
  8. Este2m – Educates, mentors and serves the community by providing quality education in science, technology, engineering, entrepreneurship and math, and normalizing these subjects for all abilities.
  9. Frida Beauty Collective – Provides nontoxic skincare and beauty services that make women feel confident and embrace their natural beauty, including lash, brow, skin, hair and nail services.
  10. Hallelujah! Brittles & Sweetz – Sells a variety of peanut brittle, cakes and pies.
  11. Hey Girl, Heal – Offers an eight-week online private school for healing and hope, bringing happiness back to the hearts and households of women through community, coaching and curriculum.
  12. Knarly Vans – Designs and manufactures components to help owners maximize the use of their vans.
  13. Lifestyle Transitions, PLLC – Provides safety inspections and caregiver training to help reduce fall risks for individuals in the home environment.
  14. Lil Pop Gourmet Popcorn – A family-owned business that specializes in homemade gourmet popcorn and party favors.
  15. Manifest Your Purpose – A luxury stationery and office accessories company for purpose-driven women.
  16. OnDa Spot Solutions – Offers prompt, professional and detail-driven commercial cleaning services.
  17. Pure Vegan Pantry – Offers quick and easy plant-based and gluten/soy-free pantry staples and mixes, which provide customers with the essentials to ensure an easy plant-based lifestyle.
  18. RIPE Publishing – A one-stop shop for authors looking to self-publish their books, including editing, printing and global book distribution.
  19. Sonofinity – Designs a variety of built-to-order, high-end commercial subwoofers.
  20. TSFW Coaching & Consulting – Provides soft leadership development skills, strategies and coaching to a variety of audiences.
  21. United Phoenix Designs LLC – Designs, measures, fabricates and installs custom-made drapery, cushions, pillows and bedding.

Up next: The finale of the 2023 Fort Worth Business Plan Competition will be held Thursday, May 11, at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth as part of National Small Business Week. More information and registration information will be available soon.

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