Matt Anderson has been named champion of Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne’s New Venture Competition, which took place Wednesday evening on Ivy Tech Fort Wayne’s Coliseum Campus. He won $20,000 in capital for his business, Anderson Manufacturing Inc.
Anderson Manufacturing Inc. specializes in the design and manufacturing of innovative work holding solutions for CNC machine shops. Their Serra Jaw allows machine shops to begin the machining process right away without the need to design complicated fixtures or purchase special jaws to hold their parts.
Anderson saw small to medium sized machine shops struggling to stay competitive against larger manufacturing solutions and started Anderson Manufacturing Inc. to combat the problem in May 2018. Since then, the company has sold 303 sets of Serra Jaws for a total of $23,000.
With the $20,000 he wins from the New Venture Competition, Anderson will expand operations by increasing his marketing budget and purchasing equipment that can help increase production, including a laser engraver, quick change vacuum pallet system, and automated surface grinder.
He and two other finalists presented their business plans to a room full of community business people, and Anderson says he is grateful for the New Venture competition for the opportunity to grow his business.
“It means everything to have won this competition,” says Anderson. “Everything about entrepreneurship is incredibly difficult, and it can feel like all the odds are against you. But to have people who are willing to fund your company and invest in the future of entrepreneurship is incredibly special.”
Anderson presented his business plan to more than 30 community professionals, who served as judges. The other finalists were Evan Hendsbee, of Kingdom Film Company, LLC, a video production company that specializes in editing services for churches and businesses; and Jeffrey M. Sonner, of Just-A-Little-Smoke BBQ, a startup BBQ trailer with a custom-designed and built smoker and full service food trailer.
Each finalist presented for 15 minutes. After the presentations, judges were given an additional 10 minutes for a question-and-answer session. The judges had been provided the contestants’ business plans prior to the event.
The New Venture Competition’s presenting sponsor was Dave and Mary Bear of JB Tool, Die & Engineering Inc. The awards dinner sponsor was ProFed Federal Credit Union, and the competition was in collaboration with Fort Wayne SCORE.