Aspiring entrepreneurs and small business hopefuls are encouraged to submit the next big-business idea for the fourth annual Springboard Ideas Challenge.
The competition is designed to support winning participants in their entrepreneurial ambitions, with the help of cash and other prizes. Advancing participants will also have the opportunity to receive feedback and advice from current business owners.
Jim Litton, J.D., director of the Griggs Center for Entrepreneurship & Philanthropy, said he encourages students to utilize this unique opportunity.
“The competition is a great way for students interested in entrepreneurship or simply with a great business or nonprofit idea to get valuable feedback and potentially win significant prizes to help them launch their venture,” Litton said.
Each team must outline their projected idea by submitting a written mini-business plan. The plan should highlight core concepts and other explanations that would be of interest to new potential investors.
The challenge, sponsored by the College of Business Administration, is open to students and other interested participants in the West Texas region. Teams can consist of up to four members and must register online by March 4. There is a $10 registration fee.
Ashley Carroll, junior business marketing major from Prosper, said she believes this challenge proves ACU’s strong commitment to promoting student success.
“Not only does this contest encourage students to think outside the box and push themselves to be innovative, but it also generates interest from potential investors,” Carroll said.
The competition will award winners in three divisions: Student, Community Pre-Revenue and Community Post-Revenue. From each of the categories, a first place winner will receive $7,500, a second place winner will receive $2,500 and honorable mentions will receive $1,000. A “Most Fund-able” prize of $7,500 will be awarded to only one team, chosen from the three divisions. In addition, the “Social Entrepreneurship” award will grant $2,500 to one team in the competition.
The Springboard Ideas Challenge has launched past winners into mainstream success, including four ACU students who presented the idea of Sheepdog. Sheepdog, a research service aimed at helping organizations identify their customers’ preferred social networks, was the first place winner of the 2009 Springboard Ideas Challenge. The company was sold Fall 2010.
“It’s an opportunity to showcase talents and potentially put a business plan into action,” Carroll said. “The ultimate winnings consist of an investment to jump-start your business plan.”
For information regarding registration, deadlines and competition rules, visit www.acu.edu/springboard.