Tuesday September 6, 2011

Fertile Grounds

Business plan competitions are terrific ways for companies just starting out to take root with advice, mentoring and technical assistance.

The University of Dayton's 2011-12 Business Plan Competition is offering nearly $140,000 in total support to help entrepreneurs turn great ideas into real businesses. 

The competition will hold its first informational meeting 5:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9, in O'Leary Auditorium in Miriam Hall on the University of Dayton campus. 

There is no cost to enter and every entry receives a free download of Palo Alto Software's business planning software. Online applications, which consist of simple one-page entries, open Sept. 12 and close Oct. 15. 

"Business plan competitions are a terrific way for companies just starting out to get advice, mentoring and technical assistance," said Diane Sullivan, assistant professor of management and competition coordinator. 

The competition is geared to providing all of the entrants with assistance throughout the competition, which ends in the spring, including mentoring and online resources. 

The competition is open to all types of business plans, including nonprofit ventures. High-tech companies are especially encouraged. 

A total of $80,000 in cash prizes includes $25,000 for the best business plan, a $5,000 increase from last year's first prize.  

Anyone in the Dayton region can enter. Competition rules require that final-round entries must involve either a University of Dayton student or graduate. The entries must be original work, involve a start-up company and mesh with the University of Dayton's values. 

For more information on the competition and visit http://sba.udayton.edu/udbpc or contact Diane Sullivan at udbpc@notes.udayton.edu

For more information, contact Cilla Shindell, executive director of news and communications, at 937-229-3257 or shindell@udayton.edu.