Fort Lewis College News and Events

Former First National Bank of Durango president and FLC Board of Trustees member, Steve Short, speaks at the 2016 Hawk Tank kickoff.

Hawk Tank Business Plan Competition opens with reception at Durango Welcome Center

The 2017 Fort Lewis College Hawk Tank Business Plan Competition will officially kickoff at a reception on Thursday, January 12 from 5-7 p.m. at the Durango Welcome Center. Those interested in attending and mingling with the FLC professors and community partners running the competition, as well as meet other Hawk Tank hopefuls, can RSVP to FLC Associate Professor of Management Michael Valdez at

Now in its second year, the Hawk Tank Business Plan Competition gives aspiring entrepreneurs the opportunity to create a business plan under the mentorship of successful business experts from our area. Hawk Tank participants then present their plans to venture capitalists, financial institutions, and business leaders for a chance to win funding to get their ideas off the ground.

Last year’s winner, The Mate Exchange (, is a yerba tea company founded by Giancarlo Vigil, a 2015 alumnus of the economics program at the FLC School of Business Administration. After a trip to Argentina he, along with Fort Lewis College students and contacts in South America, started the business to provide a tea with sustained energy without the crash that follows coffee and energy drinks. In addition to the guidance received in developing their business plan, the students behind The Mate Exchange received $5,000 in prize money.

The Hawk Tank competition is open to anyone with a business idea or has been in business less than one year. Participants cannot have already received funding for their business prior to the competition. Teams entering the competition must be led by a current FLC student or recent alumni (graduated between 2011-2016). Marijuana industry-related businesses are not eligible.

A Hawk Tank information session will be held on Monday, January 16 in Noble Hall, Rm. 125 at 5 p.m. for anyone interested in entering the competition. Contact Professor Valdez to RSVP. Participants have until Friday, February 3 to officially enter, with the final business plans due in March. More information is available at

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Tags: BusinessBusiness AdministrationHawk Tank