The Denver Office of Economic Development (OED) will honor the best and brightest ideas in small business this year through its second annual JumpStart Biz Plan Awards. The program recognizes the top ten start-up and early-stage business plan finalists with tools to help their businesses thrive in Denver.
“Small businesses are critical to the success of our local economy, and never has the entrepreneurial spirit been more alive and well in Denver,” said Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock. “The business plan competition is just one way the city is helping the small business community thrive. Through this unique citywide contest, we look forward to providing a boost to promising small businesses in Denver.”
The grand prize includes a $50,000 cash award, one year of office space at Galvanize's G1.0 building, 35 hours of legal counsel provided by Polsinelli, 60 hours of strategic marketing services from dovetail solutions and entrepreneurship mentoring from TiE Rockies. The top ten finalists will receive memberships to TiE Rockies and the Rockies Venture Club. Additionally, all entrants will receive Business Plan Elite app software from AppIt Ventures, the grand prize winner of last year’s JumpStart Biz Plan Awards.
"Winning the OED JumpStart Biz Plan competition had a profound impact on our company,” said Rob Carpenter, co-founder of AppIt Ventures. “It provided us with exposure we wouldn't have received, and helped us nearly double our annual revenue in the months that followed. It's just another example of why Denver is the best city for entrepreneurs and new start-ups."
Identified as a key strategic initiative in OED’s JumpStart 2013 strategic plan, the awards program is open to start-up businesses and established businesses with up to 25 employees that have been in operation for up to five years. Applicant businesses must reside or have plans to reside in Denver.
“We received an incredible response to last year’s business plan competition,” said Paul Washington, OED executive director. “We’re proud to continue this award program as an important measure to recognize and celebrate our city’s strong culture of innovation that resonates among our small businesses.”
Applications will be reviewed initially via the Business Catapult online platform by a panel of OED staff and business partners. Top finalists will be reviewed by a panel of business leaders, including executives from dovetail solutions, Galvanize, and Polsinelli.
Awards program is open to the first 150 entries. Applications are being accepted now through August 2, 2013, or until 150 entries have been received. Winners will be announced September 19, 2013, during Denver Startup Week. For more information or to apply, visit www.denvergov.org/business.
JumpStart Biz Plan Awards sponsors include US Bank, Deloitte, Galvanize, Polsinelli, dovetail solutions, TiE Rockies, Rockies Venture Club, AppIt Ventures and Business Catapult.