BGSU hosts entrepreneurship competition

BOWLING GREEN, O.—Bowling Green State University’s College of Business Administration and the Dallas-Hamilton Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation are looking for the next great idea. The inaugural Northwest Ohio Entrepreneurship Competition is designed to stimulate the entrepreneurial efforts of BGSU students past and present, and the surrounding community. Entrepreneurs will compete for over $25,000 in prizes and services to start their business.

There are three categories in which individuals or small teams can compete:

  • The Dallas-Hamilton B!G Idea
    Designed for BGSU undergraduates who have game-changing ideas for a new business. No business plan or actual business is necessary for undergraduates to compete for a prize pool of $10,000 scholarships, just a high impact, for-profit business idea. In order  to be eligible, the B!G Idea must be original and submitted by a current undergraduate at BGSU. In addition, competitors are asked to fill out the “BIG 5!” questionnaire form in 750 words or less.

  • Ron Whitehouse Business Plan Competition
    Graduating seniors and recent graduates will present a business plan that includes: A new product or service, a market analysis of related markets and competition, a resource needs analysis, a budget, and financial forecasting.

    Unlike high-tech competitions, companies can be in any line of business as long as they are less than a year old and are planning to aggressively commercialize their product or service within the next year. The best overall commercially viable concept will receive $15,000 in seed money and $5,000 in in-kind services. The best written business plan will receive $2,500 in start-up money and $2,500 in in-kind services. The best new product idea and best financial analysis and projection will receive $1,000 in award money, $1,000 in in-kind services.

  • Northwest Ohio – New Venture
    In partnership with Rocket Ventures (a program of the Regional Growth Partnership), the intent of this competition category is to create more local partners and models for BGSU students interested in entrepreneurial activities. Individuals or groups who intend to start a new venture within the region may present a business plan that includes: A new product or service, a market analysis of related markets and competition, a resources needs analysis, a budget, and financial forecasting.

    Competing products and services must meet the criteria currently established for the Rocket Ventures programs. If no business plans meet those criteria, Rocket Ventures will be unable to provide the award. The best commercially viable concept will win up to $25,000 in seed money and $5,000 in in-kind services.

The entry deadline is March 1 for all three categories of the competition. All entries will be reviewed and judged by members of the Dallas-Hamilton Center staff at BGSU. The top five entries in each category will be matched with a faculty mentor and selected to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges at the 2011 Sebo Series event on April 8. The competition judges include early stage investors, venture capitalists, bankers and other experts.

The competition is the first in what promises to be a successful series of entrepreneurship competitions for BGSU.  

"This competition demonstrates our commitment to promoting this region as a place that is attractive to grow ideas and the entrepreneurial spirit,” stated Rodney Heiligmann, director of the Dallas-Hamilton Center. “For the contestant, the true value of the competition doesn’t lie in the cash prizes or scholarships; rather, the support they can receive from the external business community, and feedback they collect from judges and faculty members on BGSU’s campus to help them grow their ventures.”

For detailed information about the competition, including how to enter, visit http://www.business.bgsu.edu/DallasHamilton/EntrepreneurshipCompetition.html, or contact Tammy Nagel, coordinator of the Dallas-Hamilton Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, at 419-372-3419, or nagelt@bgsu.edu.  

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(Posted January 24, 2011 )