The RISE Challenge is sponsored by SEDCO in cooperation with Austin College, Grayson SBDC, PQD Design & Manufacturing, and Lori Ann Cannon, CPA. Together, they create opportunity for entrepreneurs to grow and thrive.
Since 1996, the Sherman Economic Development Corporation (SEDCO) has focused on a mission to grow and diversify the economy of Sherman, Texas, and the surrounding area through the addition of new jobs and investment in primary employers. The RISE Challenge, through its financial and educational support of local entrepreneurs, will carry out a primary objective of SEDCO’s strategic plan to develop an innovative ecosystem for
Sherman and North Texas.
Founded in 1849, Austin College is a private, 4-year liberal art institution, the oldest college in Texas under its original charter. Austin College's Morris Entrepreneurship Program, Department of Business Administration and Economics, and the Center for Community & Regional Development coordinate the RISE Challenge from the initial application process through the competitive judging stage as candidates compete against one another for award funds.
The Grayson Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is a management counseling service for small businesses, funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the State of Texas and Grayson College. The SBDC will provide training for companies selected for Round 2 of the RISE Challenge, including review and assistance with developing a detailed business plan and proforma for submission. All RISE Challenge winners will receive additional counseling throughout the performance period.
PQD Design & Manufacturing
PQD Design & Manufacturing is a global manufacturing solution provider with engineering offices and manufacturing
facilities in Sherman, Taiwan, China, and Vietnam. PQD product
designers, engineers, and manufacturing experts can take a product from concept, through engineering and prototyping, to mass production of the final product. PQD will select a winner(s) of the RISE Challenge for assistance with product research
Lori Ann Cannon, CPA
Lori Ann Cannon, CPA is a Sherman-based full-service CPA firm that was formed with the overall goal to provide small businesses just starting or needing to invest more in accounting type services, small cities, nonprofit organizations, and housing authorities, with professional assistance in all areas of accounting, auditing, consulting and tax services that a professional CPA can offer.
"In the field of economic development, nothing is more important than cultivating a steady stream of entrepreneurs to enter the marketplace every year.
They take risks, and we are grateful they do. The goal of RISE is to identify Type A eligible entrepreneurs in Sherman and enable them to accelerate their business plan by providing much needed capital for their growth. SEDCO is very excited to be a partner in this endeavor."
DR. DAVID GRIFFITH
MORRIS CHAIR OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP
"Engagement with the business community is an important component of Austin College’s mission to educate students in the liberal arts and sciences in order to prepare them for rewarding careers. RISE will create meaningful new connections between the college and the emerging entrepreneurial ecosystem. Austin College is pleased to collaborate with SEDCO in this effort to support local entrepreneurs. "
DR. KAREN STIDHAM
"Building entrepreneurs is a priority for our community. Our goal is to assist entrepreneurs in establishing new businesses, creating jobs and boosting economic growth.
The RISE Challenge is another opportunity to help these visionaries succeed right here in Texoma."
PQD DESIGN & MFG.
"PQD has grown significantly since its move to Sherman. We continue to operate with an entrepreneurial spirit and have helped numerous start-ups get their products launched. PQD is excited to have this opportunity to partner with the RISE Challenge, so we can assist aspiring entrepreneurs in bringing their products from ideation to realization.”
LORI ANN CANNON
"When dealing with a small business, our goal is often to train ourselves out of a job. We assist in the beginning or interim periods of a business’s growth to provide accounting assistance through training, software transitions, and other areas where a small business might need help getting over a financial hump.”