Venture Works announces business challenge

FOR RELEASE
2008-01-21
Huntington, Ind.—Venture Works is a resource center for entrepreneurs established by Huntington County United Economic Development (HCUED), in partnership with Huntington University, Northeast Indiana Innovation Center (NIIC), Huntington County Commissioners, and Huntington County Chamber of Commerce.

Venture Works announced today its inaugural Huntington County Business Concept Challenge for local high school and/or college students with prizes for winning competitors totaling $1,500. The top finisher also will be given the opportunity to apply for an internship to further develop his/her concept.

The purpose of the program, according to Joanne Green, Huntington University and Venture Works representative, “is to encourage young entrepreneurs to explore what it takes to launch a new venture or expand an existing one. The first prize of $750 will provide pre-seed funds for developing the concept further into a business plan. Even more importantly, the internship will give a student an incredible opportunity to work closely with experts to turn a potential business idea into reality.”

Rules of the competition require interested participants to be high school students who reside in Huntington County or college students who reside in Huntington County or attend Huntington University. Participants must provide an overview of their business concept with a $10 non-refundable application fee. Competition registration closes March 31, 2008.

Competition finalists will have the opportunity to make a 30-minute presentation of their business concepts to a panel of local judges and answer their questions at Huntington University on April 24, 2008. Cash prizes of $750; $500; and $250 will be awarded to the top three finishers. The 1st place winner also will have the opportunity to apply for an internship with the Innovation Center to implement his/her business idea.

Competition organizers also announced business planning workshops available on some critical elements in creating a business plan. These free sessions will be open to the public and are recommended for all participants. The first workshop, offered on Monday, Feb. 18 and Tuesday, Feb. 26, is titled: “Boot Camp I: Business Concept Basics & Creating a Winning Plan.” The second workshop, offered on Wednesday, Feb. 20 and Monday, March 3, is titled: “Boot Camp II: Marketing Elements of a Sound Business Plan.” The third workshop, offered on Monday, Feb. 25, and Tuesday, March 4, is titled: “Sleuthing the Internet (Research) & Capital Sourcing Options.” An optional workshop will be offered on Tuesday, March 25 titled: “Critiquing the Plan: Presentation Practice and Facilitator Feedback.” Please RSVP to jgreen@huntington.edu, or call 260.359.4310.

Entries for the competition will be judged on (1) the idea; (2) the market; (3) innovativeness; (4) overall college graduate level job creation impact of the idea; and (5) overall impression.

For answers to all your questions about the Huntington County Business Plan Competition, please contact Joanne Green at (260) 359.4310 or jgreen@huntington.edu.

Applications for the competition can either be obtained online at www.hcuedventureworks.com, or picked up at the following locations:



Enterprise Resource Center

Huntington University

Loew-Brenn, Suite 067

2303 College Ave.

Huntington, IN 46750



Huntington County United Economic Development Corporation

8 W. Market St.

Huntington, IN 46750



Huntington County Chamber of Commerce

305 Warren St.

Huntington, IN 46750

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Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. U.S.News & World Report ranks Huntington among the best colleges in the Midwest. Founded in 1897 by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Huntington University is located on a contemporary, lakeside campus in northeast Indiana. The University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).  
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Heather Barkley
Director of Communications
260.359.4129
Joanne Green
Sports Information Director
260.359.4284