May 8, 201705:08 PMBlog

‘Greeners’ win UWT Biz Plan contest

May 8, 2017 - 05:08 PM
‘Greeners’ win UWT Biz Plan contest

Photo courtesy UWT VIBE

Founders of Tart Hard Cider Zoe Van Schyndel (left) and Nicholas Timm receive the replica check as winners of the first VIBE entrepreneurs competition, which linked military vets and local higher education centers.

An Olympia entrepreneurial venture won first prize in a Business Plan Competition organized by VIBE, the Veterans Incubator for Better Entrepreneurship at University of Washington Tacoma. 

And the prospect of that $25,000 cash award has already allowed Tart Hard Cider to hire its first employee, jump-starting its launch by a year, according to partners Nicholas Timm and Zoe Van Schyndel. Timm is an Air Force veteran and his co-entrepreneur, Van Schyndel, served in the Army prior to joining the finance faculty at The Evergreen State College.

Tart Hard Cider is a commercial cidery that produces a hard cider product targeted to the artisanal market. It is distinguished by significantly less sugar and no “back-sweetening.” Distribution plans are focused on kegs, rather than bottles, with a focus on environmental sustainability.

The win also brings up to $25,000 in consulting services for the start-up from local law firms, accountants and commercial real estate advisers. 

Runner-up in the VIBE competition was We Make Dough, a small manufacturer of edible cookie dough, earning $5,000 and Oli Fitness, a system of services for the personal fitness/weight training market, gained $2,000.

Tacoma’s Dimmer Family Foundation funded the prizes for this first annual competition. Thomas Kuljam is director of the VIBE center at UWT, a project created by the late Chancellor Deborah Friedman.


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