A new children's play area, similar to a Chuck E. Cheese's restaurant, is on its way to downtown Tiffin.
Vanessa Cook, who is planning Stir Crazy Family Play Park, was announced as the winner of "The New Business Competition" at Heidelberg University Thursday evening and is to have her facility's first year's lease payments - up to $10,000 - covered.
"What a great opportunity," she said after she won.
PHOTO BY JILL GOSCHE
Jodie Reinbolt (right), administrator for Tiffin Charitable Foundation Inc., speaks at Heidelberg University Thursday evening. Vanessa Cook (left), who is planning to open Stir Crazy Family Play Park, was announced as the winner in “The New Business Competition.”
Cook expressed appreciation for her mentors.
"You guys were incredible," she said.
Heidelberg, Tiffin Charitable Foundation Inc., Tiffin Tomorrow and Tiffin University sponsored the competition, and a requirement was the entrepreneur had to open the business in downtown Tiffin.
Jodie Reinbolt, administrator for Tiffin Charitable Foundation, said the competition had 12 applicants.
"They all went through the program until last week," she said. "Last week, we had preliminary presentations where we reduced it to five finalists."
The other finalists were Brian Halm, Life Casted; Erin Kisabeth, a yoga studio; Emily Elizabeth Jones, Sheer Excellence Hair Salon; and Theresa Lynn Heyman, Something From Irma's.
The 12 applicants had gone through programs at Heidelberg and TU that started in January. Reinbolt said instructors at their business schools made the program a class with students, and the students helped the applicants with all aspects of opening a new business.
"A group of students was assigned to each applicant to help them through this process. ... We really feel it was a win-win for everybody," she said.
Reinbolt said officials anticipate all five businesses eventually will open.
"We had great participation by the students that were involved in this," she said. "They were great with the applicants."