Mandan Business Pitch winner named

Local News

The second annual Business Pitch Challenge took place Tuesday and the winner is Latidot (pronounced Lah-Tee-Dot) Scoop and Gift Shop, a new business planned by Dot Frank of Mandan.

We sat down with her to hear more.

For winning the Business Pitch, Frank received $750 in cash, the chance to be eligible for a $10,000 forgivable loan from the Mandan Growth Fund plus a host of other prizes to assist in her entrepreneurial venture.

She is planning to open a hand-scooped ice cream and gift shop in the downtown area. The shop will specialize in unique items such as stationery, greeting cards, toys, and novelties plus limited furniture and décor.

Dot Frank is enthusiastic about her plans to open a downtown ice cream and gift shop.

“Now is where the rubber needs to meet the road,” said Frank.

Entrepreneurship has always been something she’s been passionate about, so when the opportunity came to pitch the idea, the timing was perfect.

First runner-up in the Business Pitch is Third Day Farm, a proposal by Theresa and Nathan Dessonville to establish a cut-flower farm to supply long-stem flowers to area florists, event coordinators, and do-it-yourself wedding decorators and farmers markets.

Other finalists were Coal Country Coffee, a start-up company operated by Travis and Lacy Helfrich, and Invited Events and Rentals, a proposal by Kaylee Kriege.

Coal Country Coffee roasts and packages five different blends of premium fresh coffee that is wholesaled to regional coffee shops and stores for on-site brewing and re-sale plus sold online.

The Invited Events and Rentals concept is to rent special occasion décor and furnishings from a showroom or warehouse with services to include delivery, set-up, and tear-down.

Nathan and Theresa Dessonville respond to questions from contest judges about their vision for a cut-flower farm.
Kaylee Kriege explains her ideas for Invited Events and Rentals

All finalists received prizes. The full list of awards and donors is posted at

Judges: Marlo Anderson, Kodee Furst, Tim Helbling, Dave Lehman and Rhonda Mahlum

Judges evaluated applications and executive summaries of business plans submitted by finalists as well as their live pitch presentations and responses to questions. They considered plan content including thoroughness of information, research and analysis; innovativeness in terms of how the product or service is creative or different than others on the market or in the community; target customer identification; market fit; impact to Mandan; strength of leadership team; use of prizes; and feasibility.

Dot says she plans to open Lotidot at the end of 2019.

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