It's not the same as $10,000, but Diego Zhang's, the burger-centric joint with two locations in Centennial, will certainly make do with $2,500, the third place prize awarded in the finals of a local business plan competition sponsored by the Bard Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado at Denver.
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"Being a restaurant in a competition that's really geared toward businesses, we're pleased to have ended up where we ended up," says Diego Zhang's co-owner Dianna Williams. Healthcare provider caraSolva took first and pharmaceutical company UrgentRx second place, respectively, in the competition, which included six finalists.
The sheer size of the higher-placing companies makes them more immediately scalable, something Williams says she believes the judges were really looking for. Having relied entirely on the Internet and word of mouth for advertising thus far, Williams plans to use the $2,500 in winnings for marketing the burger cafes.
The competition, designed to support companies that have not yet received angel or venture capital funding, received more than 80 applicants.
Meanwhile, Diego Zhang's is moving forward with plans to open a third location in the near future, Williams says, conceding nothing more specific than that it will be in Denver.