The incubator at Towson University,
TowsonGlobal Business Incubation
, recently kicked off its third annual business competition, open to anyone in the Baltimore-Washington area who has an innovative business idea. Winners get cash prizes and free incubator membership.
“The goal is to promote and engage people in the region in entrepreneurship and innovation, and in taking the route of starting a small business,” says Darlene Ugwa, the incubator’s program coordinator. “It doesn’t have to be a product. It could be a service.”
The competition has two rounds. In the first round, participants submit a three-to-five page executive summary of their idea. A panel of judges winnows the participants to five finalists. In the second round, the finalists submit a detailed business plan, including research, marketing and financials. A panel of judges determines first and second place winners.
The deadline for round one, the executive summary, is Feb. 11. Finalists in round two have until the end of April to submit their business plans. Winners will be announced May 1.
Although prizes for this year’s competition are still being determined, last year’s first prize winner received $4,000 and free incubator membership for a period of time; the second prize winner received $1,000 and an associate membership.
The competition has grown since it started. There were 12 submissions the first year; 24 submissions the second year. Entrants ranged from a video gaming company to a medical diagnostic application and a website to rent power tools.
Besides presenting their business plans to the panel of judges, all the finalists give a presentation at a Towson University reception open to the public. Over 100 people attended last year’s event.
Source: Darlene Ugwa, TowsonGlobal Business Incubation
Writer: Barbara Pash