Presented by Deloitte and U.S. Bank, citywide business plan competition will award $30,000 to top early-stage firm, and $5,000 to top teen
DENVER, CO — The Denver Office of Economic Development (OED) will honor the best and brightest ideas in small business again this year through the JumpStart BizPlan Awards, presented by Deloitte and U.S. Bank. The volunteer-based application process will select three start-up and early-stage finalists who pitch their concepts at a live event on September 28 during Denver Startup Week.
The top prize package includes $30,000 cash, legal counsel provided by Polsinelli, and strategic marketing services from dovetail solutions. A $5,000 cash prize will also go that day to a top teen entrepreneur, sponsored by Junior Achievement-Rocky Mountain, Inc.
“Incredible innovations, products and services are sprouting from firms of all levels and across many industries throughout Denver,” said Mayor Michael B. Hancock. “By spotlighting these rising stars, we hope to spur investment opportunities, open up access to new markets, and ultimately help the finalists to attain their growth plans.”
Identified as a key initiative in OED’s JumpStart 2015 strategic plan, the BizPlan Awards are open to start-up firms as well as established businesses with up to 25 employees that have been in operation for up to five years. Applicant businesses must reside or have plans to reside in Denver.
The program builds off of two previous business plan competitions offered by OED in 2012 and 2013. Past top winners include AppIt Ventures and Waste Farmers.
“The JumpStart BizPlan Award is an opportunity to publicly recognize and celebrate our strong culture of innovation,” said Paul Washington, OED executive director. “We’re challenging entrepreneurs to bring forth their best ideas, from which we can help grow jobs, expand the tax base, and make Denver a better place to live, work and play.”
Applications will be reviewed initially via the Business Catapult online platform by OED staff and volunteers from TiE Rockies. Ten semifinalist companies will be asked to provide a complete business plan; the subsequent three finalists will present to a panel of venture capital professionals who select a sole winner.
The awards program is open to the first 150 entries. Applications are being accepted now through August 14, 2015, or until 150 entries have been received.
Added in 2015, the Teen BizPlan Award developed with Junior Achievement-Rocky Mountain, Inc. will be given at the same event following short presentations and a popular vote of attendees.
OED is responsible for the application process and award outcome. The presenting sponsors are Deloitte and U.S. Bank, with Junior Achievement-Rocky Mountain, Inc. sponsoring the Teen BizPlan Award.
The Denver Office of Economic Development (OED) is dedicated to advancing economic prosperity for the City of Denver, its businesses, neighborhoods and residents. Working with a wide variety of community partners, OED operates to create a local environment that stimulates balanced growth through job creation, business assistance, housing options, neighborhood redevelopment and the development of a skilled workforce.