07 Jul Eau Claire business contest down to 7 applicants
Eau Claire, Wis. – Seven emerging companies in the Chippewa Valley are vying for up to $10,000 in cash, $25,000 in low-interest loans and, eventually, a needed dose of public awareness as part of the 2006 “Create Your Own Business Plan” competition sponsored by the Eau Claire Area Economic Development Corporation.
From a total of 19 pre-applications submitted earlier this year, seven applicants have been invited to submit full business plans for the competition. As has been the practice in past years, the identities of the seven applicants will be divulged later in the evaluation process.
“This year the number of business plans are down, but the quality of the plans have improved,” said Brian Doudna, ECA-EDC executive director.
Eau Claire start-up companies judged to have the best ideas, plans, management teams, and potential for success during the review process in July and August will be awarded prizes in late September. The precise date will be finalized after the ECA-EDC confirms a keynote speaker, Doudna said.
Submitted business plans addressed a variety of markets, including Web-based software serving the non-profit and real estate markets, automated notification systems, print, electronic and visual publishing, alternative fuel source heating systems, and facilities for the hospitality industry.
The ECA-EDC, a nonprofit public-private sector partnership, has sponsored the competition annually for the last 20 years, promoting the development of several local funding projects, including the Family and Friends Innovation Development Fund and the Youth Award Contest.
As in past years, judges representing business, industry, finance, and education will evaluate plans and award the most promising combination of job creation, growth potential, actual implementation, product knowledge, and financial feasibility.
If winners of either the emerging/growth business category or the micro-business category initiate or significantly expand the company within six months of the award, they become eligible for low-interest loans.
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