The entrepreneurs competed for more than $3,000 in grants and software packages for their businesses, all provided through the support of Capital One Bank. Three of the finalists are graduates of the Prison Entrepreneurship Program (“PEP”). Vasquez is a past graduate of The PLAN Fund’s Small Business IDA program, which was offered in partnership with the YWCA of Metropolitan Dallas. Founded in 2009, Dallas-based United Medical Evaluators is composed of medical professionals who provide third party medical assessments to the insurance industry, Texas Department of Insurance, employers and injured employees.
“We knew that David was something special during those initial sessions with the YWCA. He had a gleam in his eye when he talked about his business, and the instructor who led the sessions commented on how remarkably dedicated David appeared to be,” Jeremy Gregg, Executive Director of The PLAN Fund, said.
Judges included Kim Bunting, CEO of Business Access; Sunny Morris, CEO of Core 24; Jim Gilbert, Sr. Business Banker for Capital One Bank; and Trey Spyropoulos, Assistant Vice President at Capital One Bank. Spyropoulos is also a board member of The PLAN Fund.
“The final round of judging was a heated contest,” Gregg continued. “The finalists were all exceptional presenters with very strong business plans, and the sponsorship enabled us to provide them with one-on-one business bankers to coach them the month prior to their presentations before the judges. The four judges had a difficult time selecting the winners from among this exceptionally talented group.” During the past two years, Capital One has provided more than $25,000 to support The PLAN Fund’s programs, including funding the organization’s Small Business IDA program with the YWCA.