Business Plan Competitions for US Businesses

Business Plan Competition winners get checks

There are hundreds, and possibly thousands of business plan competitions all over the world. They give cash and in-kind prizes, or loans, or equity investments. A few actually provide customers!

Business plan competitions began on US university campuses for graduate school students. They now come in many shapes and sizes. The following list covers competitions open to young US businesses. A student competition list, and a “rest of world” list, will follow later.

Note that business plan competitions come and go. Some listed here have web sites that look a bit dated, and we have noted such. They may or may not still be operating.

International Business Plan Competitions

Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards

  • Entry Deadline: August 31, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $100,000 for each of six “laureates” from six global regions
  • Year Started: 2006
  • Target: Women led startups (1-3 years old)
  • Eligibility: For-profit, n the start-up phase (between two and three years of operations), led by a woman.

Hello Tomorrow Challenge

  • Entry Deadline: April
  • Prizes / Awards: 100K Euros grand prize, ten 15Keuro track prizes
  • Year Started:  2014
  • Target: “Deep Tech” companies
  • Eligibility: Early stage (up to Series A) tech breakthrough

Postcode lottery green challengeThe Postcode Lottery Green Challenge

  • Entry Deadline: June 1, 2017 (opens again March 1, 2018)
  • Prizes / Awards: €500,000
  • Year Started: 2007
  • Description: The Postcode Lottery Green Challenge – which offers a €500,000 first prize – is now in its 10th year and individuals or businesses who provide products or services that can reduce CO2 emissions are eligible to enter.
  • Eligibility: Over 18, willing to travel to Amsterdam for the finals.
  • Entry Fee: No fee
  • Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Startup Open logoStartup Open

  • Entry Deadline: September 30, 2017 15:00 EDT
  • Prizes / Awards: All expenses paid trip to Istanbul for Global Entrepreneurship Congress in April 2018
  • Year Started: 2010
  • Target: Startups globally
  • Eligibility: Your startup must be pre-money, no venture funding, at time of application

National Business Plan Competitions

Harvard Business School New Venture Competition logoHarvard Business School Alumni New Venture Contest

  • Entry Deadline: January 29, 2018
  • Prizes / Awards: Grand Prize Winner: $75,000, Runner-up Winner: $25,000, Crowd Favorite Winner: $5,000 (chosen via a live poll at the finale)
  • Year Started: 2010
  • Description: The New Venture Competition Alumni Track serves as a launch pad for innovative new ventures from HBS alumni, providing access and exposure to potential investors, mentors, and advisors.
  • Eligibility: The venture must have an HBS alumni as a founder.
  • Location: Boston, Massachusetts

The IVMF VetSmallBiz Growth Challenge

  • Entry Deadline: November 27, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $50,000 first prize, $25,000 second prize, $10,000 third prize
  • Year Started: 2016
  • Description: The Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University organizes this business plan competition developed for veteran entrepreneurs who are ready to take their businesses to the next level. It offers free professional growth and pitch coaching provided by entrepreneurship professionals.
  • Eligibility: You must be a U.S. service member or veteran business owner
    with an honorable discharge from the U.S. Military. You must be a resident of the United States. Your business must be operating for at least one year.
  • Target: Veteran owned businesses. Organized by The Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University.

V-WISE innovation cup logoV-WISE Innovation Cup

  • Entry Deadline: June 30, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $15,000
  • Year Started: 2017
  • Description: The Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) through the generous support of Smart & Sexy, invites women veterans and female military spouses from around the nation to share their big ideas in 90 seconds or less.
  • Eligibility: Female veteran or Military spouse
  • Entry Fee: No fee

Licensing Executive Society logoLicensing Executives Society Foundation International Business Plan Competition

  • Entry Deadline: January 2, 2018 (not clear if it’s still going in 2018)
  • Prizes / Awards:  Win cash and in-kind prizes, including $10,000 for the Grand Prize and $5,000 for the LES International Global Award
  • Year Started: 2004
  • Description: The competition is designed to partner start-up companies with senior leaders in the licensing and intellectual property (IP) community to provide mentorship and education about business basics and best practices in IP and licensing transactions.
  • Eligibility: Start-up companies, which have received less than $200,000 of equity investment funding
  • Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Milken Penn Grad School competition logoMilken-PennGSE Education Business Plan Competition

  • Entry Deadline: February 13, 2018
  • Prizes / Awards: Idea Path Grand Prize (1): $5,000, Other Idea Path Prizes (2): $2,500, All Idea Path Finalists: $1,000
  • Year Started: 2010
  • Description: Considered the most prestigious and well-funded education business plan competition, since 2010 the EBPC has earned a name for itself by attracting innovative ideas from around the world and spotting winning education innovations early on.
  • Eligibility: The Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition (EBPC) is open to applicants worldwide.
  • Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Miller Lite Tap The Future Competition

  • Entry Deadline: April 14, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $100,000 grand prize, access to Shark Tank’s Daymond John. Five semi-finals pitch winners get $20,000 each
  • Year Started: 2013
  • Target: Young telegenic entrepreneurs who pitch well (our interpretation, not theirs!)

Newspace Business Plan Competition

  • Entry Deadline: September 22, 2017 (also regional competitions at different times of the year)
  • Prizes / Awards: tbd but previous year winners received up to $100,000
  • Year Started:  2011
  • Target: Startups / early growth
  • Eligibility: New, independent ventures in the seed, start-up, or early growth stages. The company should have technologies or products that advance the NewSpace movement.

Pistoia Alliance President's Startup ChallengePresident’s Startup Challenge 

  • Entry Deadline: August 31, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: two $20,000 prizes, $5,000 for runners-up
  • Year Started: 2015
  • Target: Life sciences/healthcare startups (revenue and balance sheet below $5 million)
  • Eligibility: New ideas that are not available on the market before the end of the Challenge, or have only been on the market within the last 12 months

SPIE logoSPIE Startup Challenge

  • Entry Deadline: November 13, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $85,000 in cash, prizes, promotion, and more.
  • Year Started: 2016
  • Description: The SPIE Startup Challenge is held annually at Photonics West. This competitive event invites new entrepreneurs to pitch their light-based technology business plan to a team of corporate development experts and venture capitalists.
  • Eligibility: Participants must have an optics or photonics technology or application that they wish to publicly present as the basis for a viable new business. Established companies must be pre-revenue at the time of the written application.
  • Entry Fee: No fee
  • Location: Bellingham, Washington

TechCrunch logoTechcrunch Startup Battlefield

Four competitions per year. Two in US, one in Europe, one in Africa.

Startup Battlefield at Disrupt SF

  • Entry Deadline: July 14, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $50,000
  • Year Started: 2007
  • Description: Startup Battlefield brings the world’s top early stage startups together on one stage to compete for the coveted Disrupt Cup, a $50,000 prize, and the attention of media and investors. 
  • Eligibility: The Battlefield has no funding minimum or maximums to participate. We’ve worked with teams in the “garage stage” all the way up to millions dollars in funding. That being said, most participating startups would consider themselves to be seed stage.
  • Location: San Francisco, California

Startup Battlefield at Disrupt NY

  • Entry Deadline: March
  • Prizes / Awards: $50,000
  • Year Started: 2010
  • Eligibility: Similar to other Startup Battlefields
  • Location: New York City, New York

Under 30 Impact Challenge

  • Entry Deadline: September 6, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $250,000 equity, $250,000 in-kind media from Forbes
  • Year Started:  2017
  • Target: Growth stage impact companies
  • Eligibility: Applicants must be under 30 and the businesses must be in a growth phase, with two full 12-month periods of generating revenue above $100,000 in each period and/or $1 million in cumulative revenue since inception. Businesses must operate in one or more of the following seven sectors: education, energy, food and agriculture, financial services, growth infrastructure, healthcare or TMT (technology, media and telecommunications).

State Specific Business Plan Competitions

Alabama Business Plan Competitions

Alabama Launchpad business plan competitionAlabama Launchpad

  • Entry Deadline: September 14, 2017 at 9:00 am CST
  • Prizes / Awards: Concept stage up to $50,000; seed stage up to $150,000; plus in-kind prizes
  • Year Started: 2006
  • Target: Startup companies
  • Eligibility: Companies must stay in Alabama for 5 years, and report monthly. Generally excluded are the following: buy-outs, real estate syndications, tax shelters, franchises, licensing agreements, and spin-outs from existing corporations.
  • Application Fee:  $150

Alaska Business Plan Competitions

Alaska Business Plan CompetitionAlaska Business Plan Competition

  • Entry Deadline: April 6 (intent to compete)
  • Prizes / Awards: $2,000 best business plan, $2,000 best student plan
  • Year Started: 1999
  • Target: Startup businesses
  • Eligibility: For-profit and non-profit businesses that have or intend to have a significant operating presence in Alaska.

California Business Plan Competitions

Calling All Dreamers contest logoCalling All Dreamers

  • Entry Deadline: April 10, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: up to $10,000 “matching funds”
  • Year Started: 2013
  • Target: Sacramento retail businesses

San Joaquin Entrepreneur Challenge

  • Entry Deadline: tbd for 2017 (not clear it will be happening)
  • Prizes / Awards: $10,000 cash, $10,000 in-kind
  • Year Started: 2009
  • Target: Young and small businesses
  • Eligibility: Residents and businesses located in Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, Mariposa, Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Tuolumne counties in Northern California.
  • Application Fee: $15

Florida Business Plan Competitions

Get Started GainesvilleGet Started Gainesville

  • Entry Deadline: September 8, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $10,000 plus in kind
  • Year Started:  2015
  • Target: Vague
  • Eligibility: Vague

Georgia Business Plan Competitions

The Amazing Entrepreneur logoAmazing Entrepreneur Competition

  • Entry Deadline: August 7, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $5,000 plus in-kind winner, up to 4 $1,000 prizes
  • Year Started: 2011
  • Target: Businesses in Gwinnett County, Georgia
  • Eligibility: Young businesses (under 3 years old)

Hawaii Business Plan Competitions

Hawaii Island Business Plan Competition

  • Entry Deadline: September 10, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $25,000
  • Year Started: 2016
  • Target: Not clear
  • Eligibility:  Not clear
  • Application Fee: $100

Indiana Business Plan Competitions

The Big Sell

  • Entry Deadline: March (note: web site has 2016 deadline, not sure if it’s still going)
  • Prizes / Awards: $100,000 shared by all winners
  • Year Started:  2011
  • Target: Innovative Ideas

Iowa Business Plan Competitions

John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Venture CompetitionPappajohn Entrepreneurial Venture Competition

  • Entry Deadline: end of May
  • Prizes / Awards: $25,000 first place, $15,000 second place, $10,000 third place
  • Year Started: 2006
  • Target: Young businesses
  • Eligibility: An original idea for a business in operation for four years or less or a business that is not yet cash flow positive. The principal business operations of the business must be located in Iowa.

Maine Business Plan Competitions

Big Gig logoBig Gig

  • Entry Deadline: Four competitions, running deadline starting in August
  • Prizes / Awards: $1,500 final prize, $250 for 4 pitch-off winners
  • Year Started: 2012
  • Target: Young businesses
  • Eligibility: Young Penobscot Valley businesses

Greenlight Maine logoGreenlight Maine

  • Entry Deadline: May 26, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $100,000 top prize; 26 companies compete on television show
  • Year Started: 2015
  • Target: Scalable young or small businesses

Gorham Savings Bank LaunchpadGorham Savings Bank Launchpad

  • Entry Deadline: April 15, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $50,000 top prize; $10,000 “emerging idea” prize
  • Year Started: 2014
  • Target: Growing businesses in Maine

Maine Food System Innovation Challenge

  • Entry Deadline: October 8, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: cash and services
  • Year Started: 2015
  • Target: Idea stage startups focused on the Food System
  • Eligibility: Startups in Maine and those business outside of Maine that meet the requirements stated on the Challenge Website.

South Portland Business Plan Competition

  • Entry Deadline: September
  • Prizes / Awards: $1,500 winner, $500 runner-up; 3 semifinalists $750
  • Year Started:  2017
  • Target: Startups and small businesses from South Portland, Cape Elizabeth, Westbrook and Scarborough

Maryland Business Plan Competitions

Maryland Womens Business Center logoStartRight! Business Plan Competition

  • Entry Deadline: No entry deadline listed, 2017 winners announced early September
  • Prizes / Awards: $5,000 top prize, $13,000 total
  • Year Started: 2004
  • Target: Women
  • Eligibility: At least 51% women owned, less than 3 years old, and located in Maryland.

Massachusetts Business Plan Competitions


  • Entry Deadline: October 1, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $50K+ Cash Award
  • Year Started: 2011
  • Description: The MIT-CHIEF Business Plan Contest is dedicated to contributing to a global entrepreneurial ecosystem based in the Greater Boston area through series of events. We are committed to promoting intellectual exchanges and collaborations between China and the United States in technology, innovation and entrepreneurship.
  • Eligibility: N/A
  • Entry Fee: No fee
  • Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Enterprise Center Salem State University logoNorth of Boston Business Plan Competition

  • Entry Deadline: December 6, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $20,000 total for 3 companies
  • Year Started: 2005
  • Description: The Enterprise Center at Salem State University wants to find 3 promising businesses and award them $20,000, collectively, in prize monies.  
  • Eligibility: Eligible (near to Salem) businesses can include either startups or existing businesses that demonstrate specific expansion plans.  
  • Location: Salem, Massachusetts

Michigan Business Plan Competitions

Greenlight MichiganGreenlight Michigan Business Model Competition

  • Entry Deadline: March 1, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $40,000 top prize; $100,000 total prizes
  • Year Started: 2015
  • Target: Michigan based businesses less than 2 years old

Hatch DetroitHatch Detroit

  • Entry Deadline: July 14, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $50,000
  • Year Started: 2011
  • Target: Brick and mortar retail in Detroit, Highland Park or Hamtramck Michigan.

I-69 Thumb Region Catapult Business Plan Competition

  • Entry Deadline: July for regional competitions
  • Prizes / Awards: 7 county winners $2,000 each, top regional winner $5,000
  • Year Started: 2017
  • Target: Idea stage through growing small businesses
  • Eligibility: Individuals wishing to start a business within the next three months or existing small businesses.  A small business has 20 or fewer employees, existing revenue of less than $400,000 and a product or service that it wishes to expand in a larger market or a different customer base within a local market.

Minnesota Business Plan Competitions

Minnesota CupMinnesota Cup

  • Entry Deadline: April 28, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $450,000 total “available seed money”
  • Year Started:  2005
  • Target: 6 different industry categories, plus 2 student categories
  • Eligibility: Entrepreneurs based in MN with less than $1 million in annual revenue

Startup Moorhead

  • Entry Deadline: December 1, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $5,000 top prize
  • Year Started: 2017
  • Target: Young businesses in Moorhead, Minnesota
  • Eligibility: Must positively impact the community of Moorhead

Missouri Business Plan Competitions


  • Entry Deadline: July
  • Prizes / Awards: Up to $50,000
  • Year Started:  2016
  • Target: Scalable startups
  • Eligibility: Locate in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

Arch Grants Global Startup Competition

  • Entry Deadline: tbd; 2017 competition is closed
  • Prizes / Awards: $50,000 plus in-kind
  • Year Started: 2012
  • Target: Innovative startups
  • Eligibility: Locate headquarters or significant operations within St. Louis City for at least one year.


  • Entry Deadline: July 7, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $50,000 or $100,000 grant
  • Year Started:  2015
  • Target: Startups beyond idea stage
  • Eligibility: Locate headquarters or significant operations within Kansas City, Missouri for at least one year. Innovative technologies, products, or services, wrapped within scalable for-profit business models with the potential to make a national or international impact. Preference will be given to companies that are beyond idea stage and demonstrate that the grant money and support services have a meaningful impact on company growth.

New Jersey Business Plan Competitions

Princeton Entrepreneurs NetworkPrinceton Entrepreneurs’ Network (PEN) Reunions Startup Competition

  • Entry Deadline: May 19, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $10,000
  • Year Started: 1997
  • Target: Startups appropriate for venture capital
  • Eligibility: Alumni of Princeton University

New York Business Plan Competitions

76West Clean Energy Competition

  • Entry Deadline: March 13, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $1 million top prize, a $500,000 second prize, four $250,000 prizes
  • Year Started: 2016
  • Target: Clean Energy companies
  • Eligibility: Less than seven years from date of formal organization; first product or service in testing or pilot production; pre-revenue or early revenue; leadership team and investors working toward commercialization and profitability. Awardees must locate in the Southern Tier region for at least 24 months.

Brooklyn public library logoBrooklyn Public Library PowerUp!

  • Entry Deadline: August 21, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: Eight winners will receive cash awards as seed capital to start a business in Brooklyn. Cash prizes of $15,000 for first place, $5,000 for two runners-up, and $1,000 for five merit winners will be awarded.
  • Year Started: 2003
  • Description: Since 2003, we have nurtured 7,200 individuals with 930 business plans and awarded $340,000 to Brooklyn entrepreneurs. Our success stories include more than 75 companies with passion for food and drink, health and wellness, arts and crafts, media and fashion, education, social justice, economic empowerment, and cultural diversity –everything that makes Brooklyn great.
  • Eligibility: Brooklyn library card holders!
  • Entry Fee: No fee
  • Location: New York, New York

New York Public Library StartUP! Business Plan Competition

  • Entry Deadline: January
  • Prizes / Awards: $15,000 first  prize, $10,000 second, $5,000 third
  • Year Started:  2010
  • Target: Very early startups
  • Eligibility: You must live in, and your business must be in, Manhattan, The Bronx, or Staten Island. The business is in startup phase, has “earned” less than $10,000 [probably meaning revenue less than $10,000]

Queens Economic Development Corp. logoQueens Startup! Business Plan Competition

  • Entry Deadline: March 1, 2018
  • Prizes / Awards:$10,000 to three different track winners: community, innovation, food-based.
  • Year Started: 2006
  • Description: In this competition, you will attend classes and then submit a business plan to be judged by a panel of judges in order to win money for your business.
  • Eligibility: Any business in Queens, NYC
  • Entry Fee: No fee

Location: New York City, New York

Rochester Venture ChallengeRochester Venture Challenge

  • Entry Deadline: early in the year
  • Prizes / Awards: $25,000 top prize
  • Year Started:  2009
  • Target: Tech startups
  • Eligibility:  For-profit and located in the nine-county Finger Lakes Region (New York): Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming, and Yates counties. Early-stage, as defined at the time of application by having less than $250,000 of outside cash investment and less than $500,000 in cumulative revenue (excluding research grants).
  • Application Fee: $150

North Carolina Business Plan Competitions

Center City – West Greenville Business Plan Competition

  • Entry Deadline: July 1, December 1
  • Prizes / Awards: between $15,000 and $30,000
  • Year Started: 2010
  • Target: Small or new businesses
  • Eligibility: Small business owners and other entrepreneurs both from within and without the redevelopment areas who will create or expand small business enterprises and create jobs within the bounds of the Center City – West Greenville Redevelopment Areas.

Greenville North Carolina logoGreenville Small Business Plan Competition


  • Entry Deadline: July 1, 2017 and December 1, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $15,000
  • Year Started: N/A


  • Description: The Business Plan Competition provides an economic incentive to small business owners and other entrepreneurs to create or expand small businesses within the Center City or West Greenville Redevelopment Areas.
  • Eligibility: N/A

Location: Greenville

Wells Fargo Business Plan Competition @ Mitchell Community College

  • Entry Deadline: April 9, 2018
  • Prizes / Awards: $5,000
  • Target: “Startup” businesses

Oregon Business Plan Competitions

Cottage Grove Business Challenge

  • Entry Deadline: September 25, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $6,000
  • Year Started: 2017
  • Target: Small businesses in Cottage Grove

Klamath Falls Downtown Association Business Plan Competition

  • Entry Deadline: August
  • Prizes / Awards:  $10,000 in-kind
  • Year Started:  2017
  • Target: Downtown retail businesses

Rhode Island Business Plan Competitions

Rhode Island Business Plan CompetitionRhode Island Business Plan Competition

  • Entry Deadline: April 2, 2018, 5 p.m. Eastern time
  • Prizes / Awards: In 2017, top prize was $93,000 (cash and in-kind); $271,000 total to top seven competitors.
  • Year Started: 2000
  • Target: Startup businesses
  • Eligibility:  Generally a new business or an early stage company. All semi-finalists must agree that, should they be chosen as a finalist or winner, they will use prize winnings to establish or continue operations that employ people in Rhode Island. “Entrepreneur” track and “Student” track.

Texas Business Plan Competitions

Amarillo Enterprize Challenge

  • Entry Deadline: September 30, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: Total available “$500,000 in capital funding grants”
  • Year Started: 1995
  • Target: New or growing businesses
  • Eligibility: Need to be in Amarillo

Fort Worth Business Assistance Center logoFort Worth Business Plan Competition

  • Entry Deadline: Mid-June
  • Prizes / Awards: First place $8,000 cash plus in-kind; 2nd and 3rd place prizes as well
  • Year Started: 2011
  • Eligibility: Business registered in or resident of Tarrant County Texas. Annual revenue no more than $500,000
  • Entry Fee: $35 non-refundable application fee

McAllen Business Plan Competition

  • Entry Deadline: May 23, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $7,500
  • Year Started: 2011
  • Target: Startups
  • Eligibility: New, independent, for-profit ventures in the seed or start-up stages in the McAllen Texas area.

i.d.e.a. wfi.d.e.a. Witchita Falls

  • Entry Deadline: March orientation session
  • Prizes / Awards: $12,000 for each of 3 categories, plus in-kind
  • Year Started: 2010
  • Target: Young companies, annual revenue less than $250,000
  • Eligibility: Based in Witchita Falls, but projects more than 50% of revenue will be outside the town within 3 years.

Veterans Business Battle logoVeterans’ Business Battle

  • Entry Deadline: January 15, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards:  $5,000 cash prize
  • Year Started: 2015
  • Description: Veterans’ Business Battle inspires our country’s military veterans to take their proven leadership skills into the business world by stimulating entrepreneurship and helping to launch and grow veteran-owned businesses.
  • Eligibility: Either the individual, controlling business owner (51 percent) or the majority of equally-shared partnership members must be honorably discharged from a branch of the U.S. Military
  • Entry Fee: No fee
  • Location: Houston, Texas

Washington Business Plan Competitions

Enterprise Challenge (Yakima Valley)

  • Entry Deadline: February
  • Prizes / Awards: $10,000 first place
  • Year Started: 2010
  • Target: Young businesses
  • Eligibility: New and emerging companies in Yakima and Kittitas Counties

Wisconsin Business Plan Competitions

Pressure Chamber logoPressure Chamber


  • Entry Deadline: July 11, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: N/A
  • Year Started: N/A
  • Description: The Greater Madison Chamber produces this event in which five finalists compete in a startup pitch event that takes place during the Forward Festival as part of neXXpo.
  • Eligibility: Must be a member of the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce
  • Location: Madison, Wisconsin

Wisconsin Governor's Business Plan ContestWisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest

  • Entry Deadline: January (note: as of Sept 2017, no date set for 2018)
  • Prizes / Awards: cash and in-kind
  • Year Started: 2004
  • Target: Young tech businesses in Wisconsin
  • Eligibility: Based in Wisconsin, less than $25,000 in “private equity”



Don Gooding


  • Don
    You left out the
    Maine Food System Innovation Challenge
    Application Deadline: October 8, 2017 for the November 10-12 Challenge at Saint Joseph’s College
    Prizes / Awards: cash and services
    Year Started: 2015
    Target: Idea stage startups focused on the Food System
    Eligibility: Startups in Maine and those business outside of Maine that meet the requirements stated on the Challenge Website.

    • Hi Tiffany- The prizes are a mix of grants, debt and equity. For example, here in Maine we have 4 grant providing prizes, including the Greenlight Maine $100,000 prize on television (I hosted the first two seasons). Many others are grants. Last year’s Forbes sponsored “Under 30 Impact Challenge” was equity. The Minnesota Cup might also be equity. The million dollar prize in New York state’s 76West Clean Energy Competition is kind of debt if the company is successful: “in the event of company success, the award amount may be recouped without interest over an extended period of time. This rate of repayment will increase if the company moves out of New York State.” So… read all the fine print!

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