A business that will offer in-home wine tasting events won first place in a business plan competition during Central Washington University’s SOURCE (Symposium on University Research and Creative Expression) in May.
The business plan competition was sponsored by the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (I4IE) in the College of Business. Thirteen CWU students submitted abstracts for the competition and five were chosen to move on to develop a full business plan to be presented at SOURCE.
Cash prizes totaling $10,000 were awarded to the top three business plans. The money is to be used toward starting the businesses. The winners were announced last week during the SOURCE awards ceremony.
Kassidy Shepherd won first place and $5,000 toward starting her business, Versi Events. Versi Events will offer in-home wine-tasting parties. The parties are held in the clients’ homes. Shepherd will purchase wines based on what the client recommends to bring to the event and will offer instruction.
The summary of Versi Event’s business plan is after the jump.
Versi Events is a new company that will provide customized and quality in-home wine tasting events. Research has shown that wine can be intimidating and Versi Events strives to break down the barriers to increase knowledge and consumption. This increase in wine consumption will help boost the local and regional wine economy. The emphasis is on educating consumers on the multiple aspects of wine, while providing an irreplaceable experience in a comfortable setting. The business proposal of Versi Events is modeled after in- home jewelry, cookware and clothing events that have proven extremely successful. The target market will be the greater Seattle area, but statewide events are available. Versi Events offers the client the personalization and customization of each event, including setting budget parameters and other factors to provide an experience that exceeds expectations and is tailored to the specific demographic. Extensive research has shown that there are no big competitors in the greater Seattle area that offer customized education and events in a home setting. Currently, there are wine tasting rooms, wineries, and wine education classes, but there is a void that combines all facets into one convenient and customized event. This type of event would apply to any type of lifestyle, whether it is for an upper-class couple, experienced wine drinker, amateurs interested in learning about wine, a work party, bachelorette party, dinner night for friends, birthday, anniversary, and many others.