Local entrepreneurs participated in the Abilene Elevator Pitch round of the Springboard Competition Monday.
Sponsored by the Griggs Center for Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy, the Springboard Competition has five tracks for entrepreneurs, according to the Springboard website. Tracks include the ACU Track, three Community Tracks and the High School Track. Teams of entrepreneurs present their business ideas to a panel of judges throughout the month of January in Coleman, Abilene, Haskell, Brownwood, Sweetwater and Snyder.
Competitors can participate in the Small Business, New Ideas and Be in Abilene competitions. The winners of these competitions can get $15,000, $30,000, and up to $250,000, according to the Springboard website. The Development Corporation of Abilene sponsors the competition. Former winners include Cordell’s, Amanda Joy’s Catering, My Sister’s House and Enchilada Express, according to the Abilene Reporter News.
Springboard offers a High School track that allows local students to compete for $10,000 in funding for their prospective business venture.
By participating in the ACU Track, students can gain access to mentors, increasing their professional network, said Karen Heflin, program coordinator for the Griggs Center.
Students who participate in this track get to choose between three competitions: Pitch 100, the Elevator Pitch competition and Launching the Venture. Pitch 100 is a written competition of 100 words or less that is judged by established investors from the area. In the elevator pitch competition, local investors listen to competitors give a two-minute pitch. The judges decide if the business is good enough to move to the money round, in which the winner gets $1,000 for their business venture.
Launching the Venture is a course that meets one day a week for three hours of credit, guiding young entrepreneurs through the development process of their business.