The Springboard competition offers innovative entrepreneurs across the state the opportunity to compete for awards and learn the process of starting and growing a new business. The fall competition is the last chance for companies to be eligible for the championship competition early in 2013. The championship round is comprised of participants exclusively from the spring and fall competitions.
"Grow America is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to learn how to pitch and fund their ideas,” said USTAR North associate director Jeff Jackson. “ The USTAR tech outreach (TOIP) teams at Weber State University, Utah Valley University, and Dixie State College are perfectly positioned to assist in coaching applicants and leveraging university resources."
Each business entering the contest will be placed in one of three groups designed to ensure each company is competing against others from the same business category, from idea to start-up to ongoing operations.
This separation is designed to allow each applicant to be judged on the value of the idea, relative to competitors in the same stage of growth.
The contest will follow four rounds. The first is the registration and summary round. The deadline for this round is August 30, 2012. Applicants provide an executive summary which is used to sort the competitors.
Once closed, the entries will be judged and up to 450 competitors will be invited to move on the second round.
Round two will help companies focus the communication of a core business concept. The two-part round will have companies submitting a written business plan and a two-minute video highlighting the business concept. A live pitch session happens in the third round with the field narrowed to 150 competitors, where each will be asked to deliver a three-minute live presentation and answer questions from the panel.
The competition concludes with the final six competitors from the start-up and existing company categories presenting at the final pitch show. Winners from the idea category will also be awarded this event.
Jackson feels the event is an important opportunity for local entrepreneurs to have a chance to not only compete for funding and other services, but to gain the experience of putting together a solid business plan and pitch, which are vital for emerging-growth companies. He will also be part of the judging panel for the competition.
For more information visit http://www.growam.com/springboard/