The Entrepreneurs of Erath Business Plan Competition that began in January will conclude Friday when the winners will be announced at an award luncheon.

The event will be held at Tarleton State University in the Thompson Student Center Ballrooms from 11 a.m to 1 p.m.

As Randy Burch from the Tarleton Small Business Development Center explains, “Contestants pitched their business concepts before the panel of judges this past weekend. The judges had a tough time deciding upon the top three winners.”

Burch said the final seven contestants are:

• Crafted Rustic Elegant Restrooms

• Dublin Soap Company

• Flight Reach Productions

• SlimPickins Outfitters

• Southern Belle Toffee Company

• Twyford Farms

• Von Drogo Kennels

“This is the second time this business plan competition has taken place,” Burch said. “The first business plan program occurred two years ago and provided a very positive impact in the local economy. Due to this impact, a decision was made to conduct the competition every two years. The next program will start in January 2019.”

The EoErath Business Plan Competition is a result of the collaboration of Tarleton State University’s College of Business Administration, Stephenville Economic Development Foundation, Stephenville Economic Development Authority, city of Stephenville, Dublin Economic Development Corporation and the Tarleton Small Business Development Center.

In addition, both the Stephenville and Dublin Chamber of Commerce have assisted in supporting the program.

As Burch explained, the competition consists of three rounds:

• The executive summary

• The formal business plan 

• Pitch before contest judges.

“To make it to the finals, each contestant had to meet milestones at each of these stages,” Burch said.

A total of $55,000 in cash and prizes will be presented to the winners at Friday's banquet.

The award luncheon will feature Mike Kornegay as the keynote speaker. Kornegay has owned and operated several businesses and currently resides in the Grand Cayman Islands.

Janel Harvel, from the office of the governor, will also be on hand to present an award. In addition, attendees will have the opportunity to watch a short video about each of the seven finalists.

Tickets are $25 each or $200 for a table of eight. To make reservations call Sharon Iley at 254-968-9350.