Affinity Lab Wins $100,000 Business Plan Competition
Adams Morgan based Affinity Lab, a business cowork venture, took first place in a business plan competition qualifying for $100,000 in investment in a tight four-way competition staged at the Washington, DC Economic Partnership (WDCEP).
“We saw four great presentations from the finalists,” says Steve Moore, President and CEO of the WDCEP. “These business concepts were very exciting but Affinity Lab stood out as the new new thing. They capture what is happening now in the incubation of small businesses. Without fail, when they are done telling you what they do, people say ‘I want to be a part of that’”.
Over 40 DC businesses participated in a two month qualifying process and four local businesses were selected as finalists in the oral presentation competition, the final stage in the business plan competition. Each finalist was given 30 minutes to pitch their business idea before a panel of 20 judges which included venture capitalists, business owners, elected officials, government officials, educators and graduate business students.
“Small businesses are going to revitalize our neighborhoods,” said DC Councilmember Kwame Brown. “We need to provide more opportunities for local businesses to get feedback from professionals to make their ideas better and their businesses stronger.”
The funding of the $100,000 prize was provided by Enhanced Capital Partners, Advantage Capital Partners and the DC Coalition for Capital, which supports access to capital programs and initiatives designed to help DC small businesses grow.
“This inaugural competition was a tremendous success,” said Ben Dupuy, the President of the DC Coalition for Capital. “We have been looking for a ways showcase local entrepreneurship, business innovation, and the DC CAPCO Program, and we certainly accomplished that with the competition.”
The Affinity Lab presentation featured growth plans for the cool urban business cooperative which were bold, profitable, and achievable. “They know where they are going,” said Steve Moore. “They understand their customer and they demonstrated that they can be innovative and profitable. They are ready to expand and they made their case. It was a great pitch!”
The other three finalists included a fashion line for chefs and restaurant employees, an art gallery/wine bar and a worksite training program for preparedness for medical emergencies.
Affinity Lab will be recognized and honored at WDCEP’s 2009 Small Business Awards, held at the Willard Hotel on July 22nd at 9:00am. To register for the 2009 Small Business Awards please click here.