Tory C. Marandos Entrepreneurial Challenge

 Tara, Cos, and Lynda Marandos

 Tara, Cos, and Lynda Marandos

Founded in 2011, the Challenge honors the entrepreneurial spirit of Tory C. Marandos, who died on December 12, 2006. Tory began his own business at the age of 21, managing approximately 30-35 employees. Always looking to the future, he had plans to invest in the real estate market, start a restaurant, and continue developing the business where he was the General Manager when his dreams and life were cut short. This entrepreneurial challenge supports other entrepreneurs in their efforts to start and grow businesses in New Hampshire.

The 2016 Challenge Winners Are...

Tara Michaud, Lynda Marandos, Suzanne Foley, and Cos Marandos

Tara Michaud, Lynda Marandos, Suzanne Foley, and Cos Marandos

First Place

Port City Pretzels, Suzanne Foley

Using a family recipe to create seasoned "hard" pretzels, this snack food company brings together flavored pretzels and the charm of New Hampshire's seacoast.





Tyler Hurst, Matthew Guruge, and Larry Thibodeau

Tyler Hurst, Matthew Guruge, and Larry Thibodeau



Second Place

Awato, Matthew Guruge and Tyler Hurst

A web platform to introduce people to new opportunities and eliminate career confusion while enabling businesses and recruiters to identify applicants using more advanced and diverse metrics.



Honorable Mentions

Christine and Eric Bell

Christine and Eric Bell


Hope Bars, Christine and Eric Bell

A business that creates a quinoa based "super food" producing a snack bar that is good for the consumers and community by donating to children's based charities for every purchase.






Matt Wilhelm

Matt Wilhelm

Old Sol Music Hall, Matt Wilhelm

A not-for-profit based in Manchester that will provide a first-class venue to showcase national and regional touring performers, as well as local artists, while leveraging the arts to make a positive social impact.






Jennifer Abraham, Carmen Reisener, and Melissa Blanock

Jennifer Abraham, Carmen Reisener, and Melissa Blanock


The Center for Exceptional Children & Families, Jennifer Abraham, Melissa Blanock, and Carmen Reisener

An outpatient center that will serve children with developmental disabilities, intellectual disabilities, and mental health disorders through evidence-based psychotherapy, training and assessment.


First Prize

Second Prize

  • $2,000 cash from the family of Jacques Thibodeau in his loving memory

Honorable Mentions

  • $500 cash each


Thursday, April 7th - Concept Papers are due to by 11:00 p.m. Concept papers are currently being accepted.

Thursday, April 21st - 10 Semi-Finalists are announced

Saturday, April 30th - Mandatory Business Plan Training for the Semi-Finalists

Thursday, May 12th - Business Plans are due to by 11:00 p.m.

Wednesday, May 25th - 5 Finalists are announced

Saturday, June 11th - Mandatory Pitches & Awards Ceremony

Rules, Requirements & Process

Who Can Apply

  • Applicants can be currently in business, a start-up business, or have a business idea.
  • If currently in business, the applicant must have owned the business for less than three years.
  • Existing businesses must be in New Hampshire.
  • The Challenge is open to business owners and entrepreneurs of all genders.
  • Interested entrepreneurs will submit a two-page business concept paper.
  • If you have been one of the five finalists in the past, you are ineligible to apply.

The Concept Paper

  • Must be in PDF format with 1 inch margins, 12 point, Times New Roman font, single spaced.
  • Two pages maximum, not including a title page.
  • Title page must include name, position, and title for each member of the business.
  • One person must be designated as the contact person and must provide contact information including address, phone number, and email address.
  • The concept paper should answer:
    • What is the problem that the business solves or what opportunity is being taken advantage of?
    • How will you accomplish your business goals for the sale of your product or service?
    • How will the business make money?

The Process

  • Concept papers will be reviewed and judged. The top ten papers will be selected for the next phase.
  • Ten semi-finalists will move forward in the Challenge.
  • The 10 semi-finalists will attend the mandatory Business Plan Training.
  • The 10 semi-finalists will submit their 5-page business plans following the format discussed at the Business Plan Training.
  • Five finalists selected by the judges will present to the judges.

Other Requirements

  • Applicants must adhere to the above schedule.
  • Attendance at the Business Plan Training and Pitch presentation are mandatory.
  • Following the presentations, there will be an awards ceremony with the Marandos Family where the winners will be announced.


  • The CWBA reserves the right to disqualify anyone that does not meet the requirements.
  • No CWBA staff members serve as judges. The CWBA administers the Challenge and has no influence on the decisions of the judges.
  • The Marandos judges will blind judge the concept papers and business plans.
  • All decisions of the judges are final.

Curious about the Tory C. Marandos Entrepreneurial Challenge? Check out this video to learn about the process. More information about the rules, requirements, and prizes can be found at

Congratulations to Adam Barnett of Blink-Able for winning the 2015 Tory C. Marandos Entrepreneurial Challenge! See pictures from this year's awards ceremony below.

2015 Winners:

1st Place - Blink-Able - Adam Barnett

2nd Place - Wine Down at Home with Cava de Vino - Sharie Webber and Steve Williams

Honorable Mention - Manchester Food Coop - Heather Avella and Steven Freeman

Honorable Mention - Small Steps Learning Center - Sue and Kimberly Sennett

Honorable Mention - Subsurface Insights - Roelof Versteeg

Past Winners:

2014 1st Place - Four Paws Inn - Danyelle McCormick & Christy Martel

2014 2nd Place - High Street Farmhouse - Jennifer Lutzen & Guy Streitburger

2013 1st Place - Creative Chef Kitchens - Neelima Gogumalla

2013 2nd Place - Breathe Esthetics - Cherie Shaw

2012 1st Place - Studio 550 - Monica Leap

2012 2nd Place - Wise Technology - Roger Bailey

2011 1st Place - Blue2Green