Finalists Announced in 2nd Annual Youth Business Plan Competition

Posted on: November 06, 2015

Contact: Ryan Lilly, Director of Business Creation
Office: 352-629-8051 x 125 | E-mail:

Finalists Announced in 2nd Annual Youth Business Plan Competition

Ocala, Florida (November 6, 2015) – Student teams proposing a logistics company, recording studio, technology assistance service, event planning business, and a unique t-shirt add-on have been selected as the five finalists in the CEP’s 2nd Annual Marion County Youth Business Plan Competition sponsored by Taylor College and OC LAO Inc. The contest, a Business Creation initiative of the Ocala/Marion County Chamber & Economic Partnership and the Power Plant Business Incubator, aims to get students thinking and talking about opportunities to start companies of their own.

Open to 9-12th grade public, private, and home-schooled students in Marion County, the competition this year received numerous applications from high schools around Marion County. Following the October 30th application deadline, a panel of judges met on November 5th, carefully scored each entry, and selected 5 of the teams as finalists.

Those five teams will now be asked to present in a style similar to that of the television show Shark Tank on Friday, November 20th at 6:00 PM at CTAE’s Brewster Hall; 1014 SW 7th Rd, Ocala, FL 34471. The public and media are invited to attend. No RSVP is necessary, although seating will be limited on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The team selected for first prize will receive $2,000 cash, one year Affiliate Membership at the Power Plant Business Incubator, one year Partnership with the CEP, their team’s story on the cover of a local magazine, and a trophy. Second and third prizes are $1,000 and $500 cash respectively, in addition to trophies.

Judges Include:

Diana Hammond – President, Taylor College (Co-Sponsor)
Linus Ocasio – Chairman & CEO, OC LAO Inc. (Co-Sponsor)
Angie Lewis – Angie Lewis State Farm
Rondo Fernandez – Owner of Mojo Grill & Catering Co.
Navroz Saju – President/CEO of the Hotel Development Group

For more information on the Marion County Youth Business Plan Competition, contact Ryan Lilly, Director of Business Creation at 352-629-8051 x 125 or

The Ocala/Marion County Chamber and Economic Partnership (CEP) was created to be a one-stop hub for the community’s business attraction, creation and retention efforts. The CEP’s mission is to be THE catalyst for a prosperous community. The CEP will drive community transformation and strengthen business through an aggressive and forward looking approach. The CEP will bring together all economic development forces to ensure that Marion County will be a vibrant community with a stable, diversified economy. For more information, visit:

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