New England Biz Plan Competitions That Offer Cash and Connections to Entrepreneurs
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$1 million in prizes for its planned 2010 debut. The commonwealth has ponied up the first $100,000 for the competition. Boston-area technology entrepreneur and philanthropist Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande, Microsoft, and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation have also signed on as founding sponsors. (Please note that the dates below are not finalized.) Wade wrote about the big MassChallenge competition back when it was first announced.
Deadline: July 15, 2010
Finale: October 15, 2010
Top prize: $50,000
In New England, the MIT $100K is the granddaddy of all business plan competitions. The competition features an elevator pitch contest, an executive summary contest, and the classic business plan contest. As previously noted, a good number of teams from this competition have gone on to raise venture capital and bring products to market. Waseem Daher, chief operating officer reboot-less updating software startup Ksplice, winner of the $100K this year, provided us with an insider’s perspective of the competition.
The Elevator Pitch Contest challenges contestants from the fields of life sciences, energy, and IT/Web to boil down their business plans into pitches that last no more than a minute.
Finale: Oct. 29, 2009
Top prize: $5,000
The Executive Summary Contest judges competitors based on a two-page summaries of their business ideas.
Deadline: Dec. 3, 2009
Finale: Feb. 11, 2010
First Prize: Details not available
The MIT $100K Business Plan Contest
Begins: Feb. 11, 2010
Finale: May 2010
Top prize: $100,000
The MIT Clean Energy Prize is embarking on its third competition for 2010, but it has already shown that it can attract top teams in the clean energy field from all over the country. Contestants don’t have to be from MIT, but the top MIT-affiliated team from the competition automatically takes part in the MIT $100K Business Plan Contest as the energy track finalist. Xconomy has followed the Clean Energy Prize since MIT, local utility NSTAR, and the U.S. Department of Energy collaborated to launch it in 2007.
Deadline: Feb. 25, 2010
Finale: May 11, 2009
Top prize: $200,000
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