Compete To Win $35,000 In Cash & Services: October 28th Deadline Approaches For Second Annual Eastern Shore Business Plan Contest

The process of writing a business plan is much more than taking ideas and placing them in a document. A business plan is as much of a commitment to action as it is a strategy. Regional entrepreneurs with startup businesses and existing businesses can also use this process as a way to connect with much needed resources thanks to the second annual Eastern Shore business plan contest.

During this year’s competition not only will the first place winner automatically advance to the semi-final round of the 2014 InvestMaryland Challenge business competition in pursuit of $100,000 cash prize, but also all three winners may enter free of charge (i.e. application fee waived) into the 2014 MassChallenge competition. MassChallenge is a the four-month accelerator program which provides world-class mentorship and training, free office space, access to funding, media and more along with $1million in cash awards ($10 million plus in-kind support).

Applicants can register online at shorebizplan.com. Click on “Eastern Shore Business Plan Competition,” then “Sign Up” for an account in the right margin. Individuals or teams interested in the competition must confirm eligibility, complete registration, and submit all material by Monday, October 28.

The Eastern Shore business plan contest is sponsored by founding partners: Eastern Shore Entrepreneurship Center and Maryland Capital Enterprise; contributing partners: InvestMaryland Challenge; MassChallenge; and Rural Maryland Council. For more information contact, Mike Thielke, executive director, Eastern Shore Entrepreneurship Center (ESEC), at mike@ventureahead.org.

The Eastern Shore business plan competition is open to startups and existing business owners who want to start a new business or expand an existing one. Individual or group applicants are accepted. All finalists or winners must agree that they will use the prize winnings to establish or continue business operations in Maryland Eastern Shore counties.

A maximum of five individuals or teams will be selected to advance to a final round of competition and will present in front of a panel of judges during a session of the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce Business Expo. The judges will select first, second, and third place winners who will be announced during the Business Expo networking reception. The top three winners will receive a total of $35,000 in cash and services: $20,000 for first place; $10,000 for second place; and $5,000 for third place.

Founded in 2006, the Eastern Shore Entrepreneurship Center works to develop and enhance an entrepreneurial ecosystem on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. ESEC provides training; services and programs to help business owners and entrepreneurs succeed by creating greater access to capital, and offering programs that develop entrepreneurial skills and knowledge. Included are NewVenture, a comprehensive 10-week entrepreneur-training program, annual business plan and student plan competitions, and an annual entrepreneur conference.

In 2012, ESEC launched “hotDesks,” providing co-working spaces for independent professionals. The first location opened in Salisbury with a second location to be announced on the Eastern Shore. For more information on the business plan competition or ESEC, call (410) 770-9330, ventureahead.org or connect with ESEC at facebook.com/ESECventureahead.