The Gauntlet names business plan winners

Jeff Sturgeon 540-981-3251

the Gauntlets business plan competition, which attracts entrepreneurs from statewide, named this year’s 45 winners, among them a Martinsville wellness center.

The top prize went to owners of The Wellness Bar in uptown Martinsville, described as a “IV hydration and vitamin lounge,” for their plan to open a second location at a place to be announced, said Kathy Deacon, vice president of business and resource development at The Advancement Foundation. The foundation runs the contest.

The Martinsville Bulletin reported a year ago that Mandi and Travis Hundley established the business with three “drip” chairs for administration of intravenous fluids, an oxygen bar, salt cave and related services. They took home a Gauntlet prize of $23,690, an announcement said.

About 125 people and teams entered the competition and 45 completed the 10-class program and drafted business plans to graduate. They split over $300,000 in cash and in-kind awards provided by sponsors. The lead sponsor was State Farm, the announcement said.

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Not every winning contestant has opened for business, though some have and those that have not planned to. Each will receive continued mentoring and support if interested, Deacon said.

Judges ranked the winners into four categories. According to the announcement, in the leading, or platinum, category, the winners and their company names starting with number one, were the Hundleys; Dirk Moore, Blue Hills Natural Food Market; Mikayla Hansen, Mountain Momma Maternity Support; Melissa DeKerlegand, Holy Heaven Cookie Co.; Jan Brown & Melissa Hubbard, Whistle Pig Country Store; April Jones, Life Care Coordinators; Sarah Bidwell, Wills on Wheels of Virginia; Natalie Karnes, Karnes Confections doing business as Tailgate Baker; Lindsay Demshar, Sugared Edge Confections; Adam Kenny and Michele Kenny, Hamilton Roots; Jenny Willen, Love & Butter; Jennifer Prevet, The Burg Box.

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