WTEC, AEDC Connect Once Again for Amarillo EnterPrize Challenge 

Adam Jiwa, Advertising Manager

AMARILLO, Texas — Deadline is Sept. 30 for Amarillo and Canyon businesses to vie for a share of a half million dollars of capital.

The application period is open for the 2022-23 Amarillo EnterPrize Challenge, which will be announced Feb. 23. A list of requirements for eligible companies, award recipients, and rules can be found on AmarilloEnterPrizeChallenge.com.

Applicants must RSVP for one mandatory orientation class held during the month of Sept.

The Amarillo EnterPrize Challenge is a program of the WT Enterprise Center that is funded by the Amarillo Economic Development Corp. During the annual competition, participants receive qualified coaching and a support system to assist them in achieving their goals and to reach the next level of their business.

“This program offers more than just an opportunity to seek capital,” said Brian Enevoldsen, WT Enterprise Center program manager. “While every business undoubtedly could benefit from having more cash on hand to scale operations and grow, spending time developing a well thought-through and researched business plan provides the owner with their path forward.”

Last year, four business within the Amarillo/Canyon area each were awarded a share of $399,000 of capital for competing in the Amarillo EnterPrize Challenge: ThinkMetal, Fat Mama Feeds, 11 Marketing + Design, and Vvntus. Since 1995, local businesses have received help with their business plans, marketing and management, investor fact sheets, and even mock presentations.

“At the Amarillo Economic Development Corp., our mission is to promote business expansion in the greater Amarillo-area that builds a stronger, more diversified economy,” said Kevin Carter, AEDC president and CEO. “The Amarillo EnterPrize Challenge is a way for us to fulfill that mission, one business at a time.”

New this year, applicants are encouraged work with America’s SBDC at WTAMU for assistance with business plans, financial projections and free demographic and industry research. This assistance is provided at no charge, but a limited number of hours are available for entrants.

“The WTEC staff is devoted to assisting the region’s entrepreneurs and the annual AEC is an important resource,” said Dr. Amjad Abdullat, dean of West Texas A&M University’s Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business. “I’m excited for a new partnership with WTEC’s sister department, the Small Business Development Center at WTAMU, that is providing AEC applicants an elevated level of assistance with their business plan entries and increased odds of success.”

WTEC is a department of WT’s Engler College of Business. WTEC works side-by-side with America’s SBDC at WTAMU by supporting economic development throughout the Texas Panhandle.

WTEC provides Panhandle entrepreneurs business coaching, access to facilities, access to capital, and various other trainings and programs to assist them in building great companies. WTEC also aims to provide opportunities for college of business students to intern in local businesses showing them first-hand the hard work and dedication entrepreneurs must have to be successful.

More than 100 participants have won the Amarillo EnterPrize Challenge and more than $10 million in capital has been awarded to Amarillo/Canyon businesses.

“I would argue that an executable business plan is worth more than $100,000 to the long-term success of any business,” Enevoldsen said. “We can’t wait to see which of our local businesses will participate this year.”

WT is committed to serving the region and well beyond with successful entrepreneurs and business leaders who are empowered to lead others. Partnering and retaining community businesses to improve the quality of life in the Panhandle and beyond is a key component of the University’s long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World. That plan is fueled by the historic, $125 million One West comprehensive fundraising campaign. To date, the five-year campaign — which publicly launched Sept. 23 — has raised about $110 million.

About WT Enterprise Center 

Since 2001, the WT Enterprise Center has been providing local entrepreneurs with access to certified business coaches, industry expert specialists, top-notch facilities, and high-level programs. Business owners gain the support system, knowledge, ideas, and even resources needed to take their business to the next level. As an entrepreneur support organization in the Texas Panhandle, helping business owners build strong, profitable companies that contribute to a thriving economic community is a primary focus. To learn more about the WT Enterprise Center, visit wtenterprisecenter.com or contact [email protected] or 806-374-9777. 

About Amarillo Economic Development Corp. 

The Amarillo community depends on the success and influence of its local businesses, along with the attraction of new, primary businesses. The Amarillo Economic Development Corp. helps support and retain these current local businesses, while also attracting new businesses, by providing guidance and financial assistance. To learn more about the AEDC, visit amarilloedc.com, or contact [email protected] or 806-379-6411. 

About the WTAMU Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business  

The Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business is accredited at both the undergraduate and graduate level by the AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, which is the highest accrediting body for business colleges in the world. The Computer Information Systems (CIS) program in the Engler College of Business is accredited by ABET in the area of computing accreditation. Fewer than 40 business schools hold both AACSB and ABET accreditation. ABET accreditation is the highest standard for computing proof that a collegiate program has met standards essential to produce graduates ready to enter the critical fields of applied science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology. The COB has reach national accolades with programs ranked in the top 50 Best Online MBA by eight different national programs including U.S. News & World Report and Fortune. Recently the COB was recognized as #19 Best Online MBA Program by The Princeton Review and #24 Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News & World Report. To find out more about the Engler College of Business, visit wtamu.edu/cob or call 806-651-2530.

About American’s SBDC at WTAMU 

America’s SBDC in Amarillo is hosted by West Texas A&M University and has been supporting the small business in the Panhandle for 35 years. Established in 1987, they have been providing no-cost business consulting and low-cost training to new and existing businesses. Small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs can seek assistance for face-to-face business consulting and at-cost training on a variety of topics through a partnership program with the U.S. Small Business Administration and funded in part through the State of Texas. For more information, visit WTSBDC.com, or contact [email protected] or 806-651-5151.


About West Texas A&M University 

WT is located in Canyon, Texas, on a 342-acre residential campus. Established in 1910, the University has been part of The Texas A&M University System since 1990. WT, a Hispanic Serving Institution since 2016, boasts an enrollment of about 10,000 and offers 59 undergraduate degree programs and more than 40 graduate degrees, including two doctoral degrees. The University is also home to the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, the largest history museum in the state and the home of one of the Southwest’s finest art collections. The Buffaloes are a member of the NCAA Division II Lone Star Conference and offers 14 men’s and women’s athletics programs.