Business Plan Competition Winners Have ASU Ties
April 28, 2016
A joint effort by the ASU Small Business Development Center (SBDC), ASU College of Business and the city’s Business Factory, the competition was open to entrepreneurs looking to launch local start-ups, as well as to existing business owners creating new ventures as separate entities. Nineteen business plan proposals were entered in various fields, including manufacturing, technology and service businesses.
The winners were announced at the April 27 board meeting of the City of San Angelo Development Corporation, with first place and the $15,000 cash prize going to Ryan and Tabitha Odom, the owners of OdomRD. Second place and the $10,000 cash prize went to Shawn Bearden, founder of Concho Valley Tactical Supply.
Ryan Odom of Brownsboro is a senior marketing major at ASU. Tabitha Odom of San Angelo is a registered and licensed dietitian who earned a Master of Public Health at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. The couple founded OdomRD in San Angelo in 2015.
“We kind of heard about the competition at the last minute,” Tabitha Odom said. “When our plan was selected to move forward, we realized we just had to go for it.”
The Odoms won first prize with their plan for a new entity related to OdomRD, a dietitian consulting business that contracts registered, licensed dietitians for clinical services throughout Texas.
“Our idea is a business to help long-term care facilities meet the needs of the wave of baby boomers heading toward them,” Tabitha Odom said. “We want to de-institutionalize the food offered at these facilities and help them cater to the baby boomers.”
Bearden, a San Angelo native, graduated from ASU with a degree in accounting in 2013. He launched Concho Valley Tactical Supply just a few months ago.
“It’s been a journey so far, but it’s been fun,” he said. “It’s a lot of work, just doing the business plan, and that’s just the beginning.”
Bearden’s company makes custom gun holsters and knife blade sheaths. He is selling them online at covatsupply.com, as well as through The Outdoorsman sporting goods store.
“When I bought my last gun, I was looking for a holster and couldn’t find one I liked,” he said. “So I researched how to make one, then thought this could be a business. That’s how it started.”
“It’s been a journey so far, but it’s been fun. It’s a lot of work, just doing the business plan, and that’s just the beginning.”
From the competition’s 19 entries, eight semifinalists were selected to work on their draft business plans. SBDC advisors and select ASU business students assisted the semifinalists to refine the business plans for the final round. The winners praised the contributions of the ASU students and the SBDC advisors.
The Odoms asked the students to help with research, making calls to long-term care facilities to gather information.
“I actually have classes with the student advisors,” Ryan Odom said. “They would always ask if we needed anything.”
Bearden’s student advisors offered suggestions on how to increase production capacity, among other things.
“They brought new perspectives, each one of them, and that was valuable,” he said.
Dave Erickson, director of the SBDC, and Nora Nevarez of the Business Factory presented the awards at the end of the competition.
“We hope all the contestants benefited from the Business Plan Competition process and from the help of the SBDC business advisors and the College of Business student advisors,” Erickson said. “Even if a contestant did not win, we are always here to help them further their business idea, at no charge and with confidentiality.”