LifeCity won second place at the state-wide annual Capital One Bank Bayou Classic Business Plan Competition, a small business growth plan competition for entrepreneurs held in partnership with the 41st Annual Bayou Classic. Three regions competed: New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Shreveport, and out of the 160 applicants, the New Orleans community represented 3 of the 4 winners of the competition.
“I am honored to be acknowledged during this annual historic game. It was amazing just to step out onto the field of the Superdome with other inspiring entrepreneurs,” said Elizabeth Shephard, President of LifeCity.
The purpose of the Capital One Bank Bayou Classic Business Plan Competition, which awarded a total of $60,000 in cash prizes, is to help small businesses in Louisiana grow and create jobs. The competition featured first and second place winners in two categories: Category No. 1 for businesses with annual revenues of less than $250,000, and Category No. 2 for businesses with annual revenues of between $250,000 and $1 million.
Finalists in the statewide competition for both categories made an oral presentation at the Capital One Bank Bayou Classic Business Growth Plan Competition on Nov. 28, before the winners were announced on the field during the nationally televised Bayou Classic football game Nov. 29. Each category winner received a cash prize of $25,000. The businesses finishing in second place will each receive a cash prize of $5,000.
Sugar Belle, LLC, a bakery in Baton Rouge, won Category No. 1 and is using the $25,000 prize to install an oven that will grow the number of baked goods they can sell. Kassie Coleman who started the bakery didn’t always wear an apron to work. She is a former pharmaceutical sales representative who turned to baking as a form of therapy during a life-changing bout with retroperitoneal cancer which affects the entire abdominal cavity.
“While I was recovering, I would bake seven or eight cakes a day for people,” she says. “The idea for the bakery and all the recipes were all in my head.” Coleman has been in remission for about a year now and enjoying a rebirth in the form of a cancer-free life and a thriving new business.
Maple Street Patisserie won first in Category No. 2, who is also investing in equipment to grow their goods sold. LifeCity, LLC won second place in Category No. 1, and Cook Me Something, Mister, LLC won second place in Category No. 2.
LifeCity would like to thank Capital One and the Bayou Class Business Challenge partners the Louisiana Small Business Development Center for helping the 160 entrepreneurs and more to develop growth plans and create jobs for this amazing State. This contest is just one example of the many ways small businesses are greatly supported in Louisiana.