YAKIMA, Wash. — A Selah-based dental practice specializing in dentistry for children and special needs patients won the $10,000 prize in the third annual Enterprise Challenge, a business plan competition.
Selah’s Smiles, which is expected to open in May, was selected as the winner after a seven-judge panel examined the business plan and oral presentations of seven finalists. Those finalist were chosen out of 15 total entries.
Owner Dr. Tyrone Rodriguez was not at the awards luncheon Friday when his business was selected. Layne Hansen, who will serve as Selah’s Smiles’ chief operating officer, accepted the award on his behalf.
Earning the second-place $5,000 prize was The Drawing Board Public House. The business, which is slated to open this spring in downtown Yakima, will offer hand-crafted meats and cheese with regional beers and wines. Owner Christine Roberts squealed with delight when her business was selected.
“I am over the moon,” she said. “I’m just so excited. This will help push our business forward.”
Rounding out the top three was Yakima Coupons, which will connect local businesses with customers via coupons that can be accessed on mobile devices. Owner Nick Marquez was presented with a $2,500 cash prize.
“I didn’t expect this at all,” Marquez said. “I feel honored to just go through the process.”
The remaining four finalists received prizes that can be used for legal or marketing support from local businesses. The other contest finalists were Bastinelli’s Best, Kim and Mike Bastinelli, owners; On The Rocks Yakima, Mishani Jack, owner; Painted Rocks Brewery, Ken Toney, Kevin Phillips and Deb Woods, owners; Jolie Salon & Spa, Thia Spearing and Joseph Briscoe, owners.
• Mai Hoang can be reached at 509-759-7851 or at email@example.com.