OSWEGO – Six Acres Farm Brewery, Moth & Flame Base Camp and North 40 Clover have been selected as the three finalists in the 2021 Next Great Idea Oswego County Business Plan Competition – it was announced by Austin Wheelock, Chairman of the NGI Steering Committee.
On November 12, each finalist will make a 20-minute presentation on their business plan in person to the local jury. On November 16, a luncheon and awards ceremony announcing the winner will be held at the Lake Ontario Event and Conference Center in Oswego.
“Nov. 16 will mark the culmination of the 2021 Oswego County Next Great Idea Business Plan competition,” said Wheelock. “This year’s finalists have worked extremely hard to position themselves to win a share of the prizes in money and business services totaling $ 90,000 to use to grow their businesses here in Oswego County.
Finalist Six Acres Farm Brewing, founded by Jenna Behling and head brewer Denyel Busch in Mexico, is the first niche craft brewing company of its kind to develop fruit-infused beers with locally grown fruit and proprietary methods to create naturally flavored fruit drinks. Already producing 13 unique recipes, the company would use NGI funds to increase production, acquire canning equipment for distribution and develop an on-site tasting room. The founders see a great opportunity to capitalize on the growth of the nascent wine and craft beverage industry in Oswego County with this venture and their ambitious future plans.
Finalist Moth & Flame Basecamp, a unique ‘glamping’ business concept developed by co-founders Amanda McLoughlin and Paula Barreto, would allow visitors to stay, play and support local businesses in the outdoor landscapes of County of ‘Oswego while having a unique and secure stay and experience in a vintage RV, airstream and eclectically structured glampground. It would use social media and tech booking platforms to market the rapidly growing target segment of ‘glampers’. If funded, this venture would develop distinctive fully furnished base camps in a scenic location that would complement the growing outdoor recreation and event tourism industry in Oswego County.
North 40 Clover: Onsite Hydraulic Hose Fabrication & Repair, a start-up created by James Macklen of Lacona, would use the NGI award to grow his mobile hydraulic repair and fabrication business that serves many industries including manufacturing, operations mining, road snow removal, agriculture and forestry operations around Oswego County and the north of the country. This mobile service is especially needed in rural areas where prolonged downtime can be catastrophic for businesses. Macklen is considering several strategic expansion opportunities in this industry that the NGI award would allow him to accomplish.
This year’s Next Great Idea competition received 24 submissions with innovative ideas ranging from advanced manufacturing and craft brewing to specialist services and tourism. These ideas all came from local and regional entrepreneurs who wanted to develop or expand their business in Oswego County. To be eligible for funding and withdrawal services, participants are required to use the funding to start or grow their business in Oswego County.
Some of the expected outcomes of this year’s and upcoming NGI competitions include, but are not limited to: the development of a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in Oswego County; improve the quality of life of the community by bringing innovative and needed businesses and services to Oswego County; fight the “brain drain” by encouraging the best and the brightest to stay here; create new job opportunities and new markets; and broadening the tax base.
The cash and business service prizes were collected in partnership with local businesses, charitable foundations, and public and private institutions that see the importance of investing in the economic future of Oswego County. Financial and in-kind sponsors include: Richard S. Shineman Foundation, Operation Oswego County, Advance Media NY, C&S Companies, SUNY Oswego, Small Business Development Center at SUNY Oswego, Pathfinder Bank, National Grid, Centerstate CEO, Greater Oswego Fulton Chamber of Commerce, Broadwell Hospitality Group, Chirello Advertising, and Oswego County Business Magazine. The next big idea website, www.oswegocounty.org/NGI, includes an event preview, contest schedule, guidelines, details on the $ 90,000 total value of prizes, sponsors, partners and contact details. Additionally, cash prizes can potentially be used to borrow up to 10 times their value in partnership with local banks, the Oswego County Industrial Development Agency, Oswego Towns Community Development Offices and of Fulton, the US Small Business Administration, New York Business Development Corporation and other economic development agencies.