top of page
Limestone closeup surface vintage light
Business Plan Competition Winners Announced

May 31, 2012 - 1:48pm    admin


Eric Barger of Barger Tech Ltd. is the winner of a $5,000 first-place prize in the Bluffton Center for Entrepreneurs (BCE) 2012 Business Plan Competition, according to Denise Durenberger, BCE executive director. The Forest-based business was one of 9 businesses that entered the competition, which included five seminars taught by Kathy Keller of the SBDC at Rhodes State College.

Barger Tech Ltd. will manufacture advanced engines and deploy them in power generators fueled by natural gas or renewable energy such as solar and geothermal. The generated power will be sold to utilities or large private users. In addition to the $5,000 award, Barger received a $1,500 media package from WLIO Lima and a one-year client BCE membership.

Andy Chappell-Dick of Small House Bluffton was the second-place winner. His emerging contracting business will bring "green" building to new home construction and remodeling, focusing on increased energy efficiency, high quality design, and increased urban density, coupled with smaller living spaces.

Beth Boehr of Beyond Budgeting was the third-place winner. Her Bluffton-based business has grown to include the Love Legacy program which helps families compile the medical, financial, and personal information needed to make decisions when faced with a medical crisis or death. Boehr received a one-year BCE client membership.

Entrepreneurs who completed the full program were Brain Bertke of Greater Greens (Bluffton), Emily Dysinger of Simplified Spaces (Findlay), Allison Kramer of Hope Prosthetics (Findlay) and Gregg Luginbuhl of Gallery 323 (Bluffton).

The competition’s prizes were sponsored by Reichenbach and Steiner CPAs, Sielschott, Walsh, Keifer & Regula CPAs, and WLIO Lima. Judges were Katie Keifer of Sielschott, Walsh, Keifer & Regula, Dan Klear of Superior Energy Solutions, George Lehman of Bluffton University, and Todd Mason of First National Bank of Pandora.

"Buy Now" discount for Auction Tickets

 on May 23, 2012 - 1:49pm    admin

Save the date for the 2012 Bluffton Center for Entrepreneurs Art Auction: Saturday, October 27. The auction will raise funds for the Bluffton Center for Entrepreneurs (BCE), a non-profit business incubator.

The BCE is offering a “Buy Now” discount. Purchase tickets by June 15 to save $25 on a table for eight. After this date, tables are $300 and individual tickets are $50. The event, including an elegant dinner, will begin at 5:30 p.m. and will be held at the Centre at Bluffton. To purchase tickets, call 419 358-6400 or email

2012 Business Plan Competition to Award $6,000

A business plan competition awarding $6,000 in cash prizes will be conducted by the Bluffton Center for Entrepreneurs (BCE), according to Denise Durenberger, executive director of the business incubator.

First place will earn $5000 in startup costs. Second place will receive $1000. Client memberships from the BCE will be awarded to the top three contestants. The financial awards are being underwritten by Reichenbach & Steiner CPAs and Sielschott, Walsh, Keifer & Regula CPAs.

Durenberger explains that the contest is open to start-up businesses and emerging businesses that are less than three years old. “The competition teaches entrepreneurs to write a business plan that will help them improve their existing business or to successfully start a new one,” Durenberger notes.

The program begins with a free introductory session, “Launch Your Business Right,” which will be held at 6:00 p.m. on April 10 at Bluffton University’s Marbeck Center and at 8:45 a.m. on April 13 at Bluffton Town Hall; the second option follows the Bluffton Area Chamber of Commerce breakfast. 

The introduction and five additional seminars will be taught by Kathy Keller of the Small Business Development Center at Rhodes State College. Keller will teach participants how to complete a business plan suitable for presentation to lenders or investors. Class topics include business planning, testing business ideas, marketing and accounting.

Classes and a presentation practice session will be held at Bluffton University on Tuesday evenings from April 17 through May 22. Final presentations and judging will be conducted on June 2.

To R.S.V.P. for the introductory session, request materials, or make other inquiries, phone 419-358-6400 or e-mail To enroll in the competition, individuals must complete the BCE entry form and submit a $150 application fee; the student fee is $75. The deadline to enter the contest is April 17. Download the competition brochure and entry form here or call for print copies.

The competition sponsors are locally-owned CPA firms who are focused on growing and supporting local businesses. The offices of Reichenbach & Steiner CPAs are located in Bluffton; Sielschott, Walsh, Keifer & Regula CPAs have offices in Bluffton and Lima.  

The Bluffton Center for Entrepreneurs (BCE) is a not-for-profit business incubator offering support services and professional guidance to entrepreneurs and small businesses in Allen, Hancock, Hardin and Putnam counties. BCE clients receive customized mentoring, networking opportunities and access to developmental resources including Bluffton University faculty, student interns and affordable office space. The center is located in the Colonial Surface Solutions building at 505 E. Jefferson St. Bluffton, Ohio.

Houshower Elected to Board

October 18, 2011 - 10:45am    admin

Hans Houshower, vice president for advancement at Bluffton University, has been elected to serve on the BCE board of directors.


Brendon Matthews, the BCE board president, welcomes Houshower as "a strong complement to the board with his experience in development, strategic planning and organizational development, as well as being an entrepreneur himself. We are very excited to add his expertise to the board."

Art Auction Application/Prospectus

September 16, 2011 - 10:50am    admin

On November 12, 2011, the Bluffton Center for Entrepreneurs (BCE) is hosting a fine art auction benefiting the regional business incubator. A panel of jurors will select 20-30 items for the auction, which will be attended by up to 275 guests.

Written submissions of original works in all media are currently being accepted; jurors will make selections in mid-October. The application (pdf) is shown at the end of this page.

September 14, 2011 - 3:29pm    admin

On Friday, September 23, 2011, the BCE executive board will conduct a public annual meeting at 7:30 a.m. on the third floor of the Bluffton Town Hall. Preceeded by a catered breakfast, the meeting's agenda will include a summary of 2010 including a financial report and client summary. The board will also elect new officers for board.

News 2011-2012
square logo transparent BCE.png
bottom of page