Thursday, January 5, 2012

Ben Franklin, Partners Open $50,000 Big Idea Business Plan Contest

The Ben Franklin Venture Investment Forum in partnership with the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Central and Northern PA announced Thursday the BIG IDEA Business Plan Contest is back!  The deadline for entries is February 29.
            A grand prize of $50,000 will be awarded to one tech-based startup company to further develop and grow a business in the 32-county footprint served by the program in Pennsylvania.
            It’s easy to qualify for the contest. An applicant must:
-- Be located in the 32 counties served by the program;
-- Have a new, marketable business idea that includes a commercialization plan;
-- Have no significant sales if a product has already been developed;
-- Have less than 50 employees if a company has been formed; and
-- Not have received previous Ben Franklin funding.
            Preferred industry sectors include, but are not limited to, nanotechnology, green technologies, alternative energy, advanced manufacturing, advanced materials, medical devices, information technology and software.
            Jill Edwards, Executive Director of Ben Franklin’s Venture Investment Forum, commented, “We are very pleased to once again be able to co-sponsor the BIG IDEA Business Plan Contest. Supporting entrepreneurs and helping them to develop their ideas into a viable business is at the very core of what the Ben Franklin Program has been about for nearly thirty years.”
            “In our eyes, the folks who participate in our contests are all winners in some capacity. They have the courage to let a panel of strangers evaluate and criticize their idea - and this is often the first step in turning that idea into a business,” said Stephen Brawley/CEO of Ben Franklin Technology Partners/CNP.
            Entrepreneurs can visit the BIG IDEA Business Plan Contest webpage for a complete description of the rules, entry forms, and FAQs.

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