VIBE’s Business Plan Competition Raises Stakes


Do you have a solution to a real need in Tacoma? Do you have a product that can take off with some advice, resources, and investment? This new competition in Tacoma may help your dream startup thrive by offering in-kind services from local businesses as well as a $25,000 cash prize for your venture for a total value of $50,000.

Submission Deadline: March 31st.

Veterans Incubator for Better Entrepreneurship (VIBE) launched the Business Plan Competition  to motivate talented Tacoma and Pierce County residents to shift their plans into gear. As a program of the University of Washington, Tacoma, VIBE created the event to engage students in the South Sound and broader community to work in teams with veterans on developing and polishing sophisticated business plans.

“I want people to realize, especially veterans, that they have talent and can create something bigger for themselves,” said VIBE Director Thomas Kuljam.

The competition runs March-May 2017 and encompasses multiple rounds culminating in 10-minute presentation in front of business experts. Throughout the process, teams have opportunities to pitch and improve their business plans to garner investment in the form of “VIBE Bucks”. The finalists will then receive small business coaching and practice opportunities to prepare for the final pitch on May 5th.

The teams have to be comprised of students attending accredited colleges and universities in Washington state as well as veterans (one person can satisfy both criteria). Students must have at least a 51% ownership in the business or the potential for equity or employment. This effort facilitates interaction between civilians and veterans and helps Tacoma entrepreneurs rely on each other’s strengths to build successful businesses.

Visit VIBE Website for complete Business Plan Competition rules and to submit your plan by March 31st, 2017.

For additional information see Tacoma Weekly article with interview of VIBE Director Thomas Kuljam: