Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

April 22, 2009

Whitworth Hosts Business Plan Competition for Area Schools

Whitworth team wins second place for laundry service proposal

Pictured (l-r): Whitworth President Bill Robinson and Student-Generated category winners (2nd place) Ben Rotert, Kaylyn Plumb, and Justin Holloway.

Nine teams of students from Whitworth University, Gonzaga University, and Eastern Washington University captured a total of $42,500 in cash awards for proposals they submitted for the 2009 Inland Northwest Business Plan Competition. The competition is a collaboration between Whitworth's School of Global Commerce & Management, Gonzaga's Hogan Entrepreneurial Leadership Program, and EWU's Center for Entrepreneurial Activities. The competition is open to graduate and undergraduate students from those schools.

This year, 46 teams submitted plans in three project categories: social-enterprise, community-based, and student-generated. Fifteen teams were chosen to present their plans during the finals, on Monday, April 20, in Whitworth's Weyerhaeuser Hall; the presentation was followed by an awards ceremony and reception. The top nine teams included one team from Whitworth, six from Gonzaga, and two from EWU.

Whitworth's Kaylyn Plumb, '09, Ben Rotert, '09, and Justin Holloway, '10, took home $5,000 for placing second in the student-generated category. The trio's business plan, Missing Mom Laundry Services, would provide drop-off and pick-up laundry services to on-campus college students, and also would provide a similar service to the Whitworth athletics department.

Following are all of the winning teams for each category:

  • Community-based category: Eigen Wireless, Gonzaga (1st place); Red Rock, Gonzaga (2nd); The Community, Gonzaga (3rd)

  • Social-enterprise category: GOAL Project, EWU (1st); Veterans Advocacy, Gonzaga (2nd); Community Painters, Gonzaga (3rd)

  • Student-generated category: Gym Link, Gonzaga (1st); Missing Mom Laundry Services, Whitworth (2nd); Satin Sole, EWU (3rd)

The plans submitted to the competition were judged by an independent panel of reviewers based on 10 criteria, including social return on investment, feasibility, scalability, funding, and quality of the operating and financial plans.

Faculty members from the Whitworth School of Global Commerce & Management assisted the Whitworth teams by providing academic and practical insight in areas including marketing, finance, e-commerce, legal issues and patents.

Major funding for the competition was provided by the Herbert B. Jones Foundation, Telect, Itron, and Avista Corp.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of 2,600 students, offers 53 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Jo Ann Nielsen, director, business plan competition, School of Global Commerce & Management, Whitworth University, (509) 777-3242 or joannnielsen@whitworth.edu.

Emily Proffitt, public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or eproffitt@whitworth.edu.

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