Don’t Miss Out On $100,000…

Read it here, read it now: there are two new updates to report regarding the PremierPlan Business Plan Competition. First, the application deadline for the intent to apply application has been extended to April 27. Second, funding is now available to both business concepts and existing businesses. This has been done in an effort to give worthy DC-based businesses the opportunity to compete for a $100,000 investment and pro bono business development assistance. To further encourage aspiring entrepreneurs and fund worthy developing concepts, the competition has also removed the requirement that applicants must have been in existence for one or more years.

Why should you apply? It’s more than just a competition; consider it boot-camp with a $100,000 investment.

Business plan competitions provide a free and objective feedback mechanism for entrepreneurs.

Obtaining feedback on your business plan could cost a small business hundreds or thousands of dollars. Often times, after the technical assistance phase, entrepreneurs find themselves at a loss for experienced sounding boards with which to discuss and enhance their plans. The business plan competition process provides the benefit of this service, interactive workshops and learning platforms where you can hear from investor’s first-hand, and an opportunity to have your plan reviewed by seasoned executives.

Business plan competitions do not just provide financing, they provide additional pro bono services that can be extremely costly to a small business:

Private office space for one year can cost a company roughly $11,000 a year. Twenty hours with a seasoned corporate lawyer at one of the most prestigious law firms in the country can start at $500 – $700 an hour. In addition to workshops taught by faculty from local DC MBA programs, as the winner of PremierPlan, these services are provided free.

Business plan competitions can give your business priceless visibility:

It is not every day that an entrepreneur has the opportunity to be in-front of potential investors and business executives pitching their services. And, with $100,000 on the line, trust me they are listening. You never know who may be drawn to your business concept, believe in your vision. Even for those businesses that may not walk away with the $100,000 investment and promotional video, participation may serve to peak the interest of impressed potential funders.

Competitions provide a training ground for an entrepreneur’s number one survival tactic – Being COMPETITIVE!

No one said that starting your own business was going to be easy! Entrepreneurship is about believing in your ability to provide a service or product that does or does not exist in a way that outshines, outsmarts, and out markets your competition. Entrepreneurs are confident, driven, risk-takers, whose best gift tends to err on the side of salesmanship moreso than management (entrepreneurs tend to be too busy and easily distracted to really manage). A true entrepreneur is not threatened by a little competition, they are inspired by it. It drives them to be more innovative, creative, and proactive. With that being said, a business plan competition should bring the best out of an entrepreneur, not give you reason to put your tail between your legs.

Just remember the old adage, anything worth having is worth working for.

Business plan competitions provide a non-traditional forum for funding opportunities:

Let’s start by dispelling a common myth: walking into a bank and applying for a loan is not the only way that a business can get financed. In fact, more and more, businesses are sprouting up with financing from angel investors, venture capital companies, individuals and…business plan competitions looking to cultivate innovative concepts.

Sometimes it takes unconventional means to start an exceptional venture.

Businesses who meet the requirements, DC-based, a small business as defined by the SBA, and satisfy employee residency minimums are encouraged to apply. Applicants must also show that they have failed to obtain conventional financing.

To assist businesses in developing the most compelling business plans, the Washington, DC Economic Partnership is hosting workshops taught by industry leaders and renowned faculty from partner DC graduate business school programs. The remaining program, Presenting Your Business Plan to investors is scheduled for May 6th, 2009. To register, please click here.

Click to download application materials and rules and guidelines.

The winner will be announced at the 2009 BusinessPremier Small Business Awards on July 22.

Posted Under: DC News