Pasco County, Fla. (December 9, 2015)—Applications are now being accepted to take part in the Pasco Economic Development Council’s 2nd Annual SMARTstart Challenge business pitch competition. During the competition, which will be held February 25, 2016 in conjunction with Saint Leo University’s student business plan competition, local entrepreneurs will compete for a combined $10,000 in prize money. The first place winner will also receive a six-month, on-site membership in one of the SMARTstart Pasco Business Incubators.
“The SMARTstart Challenge is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to present their companies to the market, get valuable feedback on their presentations, and to earn capital to help them grow,” explained Krista Covey, Program Director for SMARTstart Pasco Business Incubator Program. “We are pleased to partner with Saint Leo University, which helps engage students that are involved with the business plan competition portion of the event.”
“The SMARTstart Challenge is a perfect complement to our business plan completion” said Dr. Lorrie McGovern Assistant Dean, MBA Director Saint Leo University. “It will be exciting to have students interact with entrepreneurs from the community.”
SMARTstart Challenge applications will be evaluated on measures relating to important elements about the economics of the business and the ability of the applicant to be successful. Other important elements will include; market potential and research, unique dynamics of the business/idea, evaluation of potential partners, financial considerations and attractiveness of business/idea.
Deadlines for the event include:
- January 8, 2016—Applications due
- January 20, 2016—Application review
The review team will evaluate the applications according to the preapproved measures and select up to 10 businesses for oral presentations which will are scheduled to be given on February 10, 2016.
- February 10, 2016—Oral Presentations, 5 minutes with Q and A from judges.
The contestants will have 5 minutes to present their business/idea to a panel of judges. The judges will evaluate the business plan/idea and the quality of the presentation and question any aspect of the presentation within the categories identified for the completion. Five or six finalists will be selected for the final competition on February 25, 2016.
- February 25, 2016—SMARTstart Challenge Finals
During the finals, which will be open to the public, the five to six finalists will present their five-minute pitch to a panel of judges. The grand prize winner and runners up will be announced at a reception following the presentations.
Applications are available online now at www.smartstartpasco.com. For additional information about the 2016 SMARTstart Challenge, call the SMARTstart Pasco Business Incubators at 352-437-4861 or email HCarapella@pascoedc.com.
# # #
About the Pasco Economic Development Council
Pasco EDC is a non-profit organization that promotes economic development in Pasco County, Florida. Pasco EDC continues to be a strong partnership funded by corporate and public investors focused on the economic vitality of Pasco County. www.pascoedc.com
About SMARTstart Pasco Incubators
SMARTstart is the Pasco Economic Development Council’s capstone program to engage entrepreneurs, grow new business, and create job opportunities in Pasco County. The program’s partners include the City of Dade City, City of New Port Richey, Dade City Business Center, Florida High Tech Corridor Council, Greater Dade City Chamber of Commerce, Pasco County Board of County Commissioners, Pasco-Hernando State College, Saint Leo University, USF Connect, USF Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Service Core of Retired Executives (SCORE), and Tampa Electric Peoples Gas (TECO). www.SmartStartPasco.com