Sunday, February 10, 2008

Blog Release: EnterPrize Business Plan Competition

The Pittsburgh Technology Council has announced that its EnterPrize Business Plan Competition will kick off this year on Wednesday, February 20, 2008 with a workshop entitled, "Developing the Idea." The workshop will be held at the training facility at the Council's offices in the Pittsburgh Technology Center, starting with registration at 5:30 p.m. The workshop will wrap up with a question and answer session at 7:30 p.m. The cost for EnterPrize competitors and Council members is $25.00, and the cost for non-members is $40.00.

Each EnterPrize workshop will feature subject matter experts and distinguished professionals who will present a wide variety of key topics that are necessary to consider in developing a business plan. Budding entrepreneurs with ideas for potential high-growth business are urged to attend this and seven other workshops throughout the series to ensure that their business plans include everything potential investors require, all the while competing for cash prizes to fund their businesses. Last year, EnterPrize awarded $80,000 to participants in two categories over three phases of the competition. Participants in the competition, regardless of whether they have won or lost, have attracted a total of more than $100 million in venture capital funding over the course of the nine years the competition has been in existence.

The three phases of the competition include:

Phase I: Business Concept

Three businesses in each category will win cash prizes for developing an executive summary that:

  • defines customer value
  • estimates market size
  • selects target audience
  • determines feasibility
  • predicts profitability
  • generates business leads

Phase II: Business Plan Components

Two businesses in each category will win cash prizes for expanding their business plans by:

  • examining the components of a successful plan
  • understanding what investors seek
  • focusing on the final product
  • working with a coach

Phase III: Business Plan Details

One business in each category business will win cash prizes for finalizing its business plan with:

  • market, competition and sales information
  • product or service features
  • implementation schedules
  • financing requirements

Additional topics and dates for this year's workshops include:
  • "Entrepreneurial Marketing Strategy" (Wednesday, March 5, 2008)
  • "Business Plan Writing" (Wednesday, March 26, 2008)
  • "How to Get Your Plan Ahead" (Wednesday, April 2, 2008)
  • "Entrepreneurial Finance" (Wednesday, April 9, 2008)
  • "Legal Issues of Starting a Business" (Wednesday, April 23, 2008) -- "Funding Sources" (Wednesday, May 28, 2008)
  • "The Pitch" (Monday, June 16, 2008)

The objective of the EnterPrize Business Plan Competition is to increase the number of start-up companies in the Pittsburgh region, to increase access to capital, and to establish a channel for the commercialization of products, services and technology. The geographic scope of EnterPrize encompasses Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Butler, Cambria, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Somerset, Washington and Westmoreland Counties.

Sponsors for this year's EnterPrize include the Idea Foundry, Innovation Works and the R.P. Simmons Foundation. For more information on the 2008 EnterPrize Business Plan Competition, contact Melissa Ungar, director, entrepreneurial programs at (412) 918-4292 or by visiting

Pittsburgh Technology Council

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