BLUFFTON — The cash would be great, but the training that comes from an annual business plan competition is priceless.
Bluffton Center for Entrepreneurs is kicking off its 2014 Ropp Triplett Business Plan Competition in January, in which the top prize earns $5,000.
The fifth annual competition launches at the Jan. 10 Bluffton Area Chamber of Commerce breakfast. Seminars through the competition help entrepreneurs with business plans.
“The contest is open to start-up businesses and emerging businesses that are less than 3 years old. The competition teaches entrepreneurs to write a business plan that will help them improve their existing business or to successfully start a new one,” said Brendon Matthews, BCE board president.
The Bluffton Center for Entrepreneurs is a not-for-profit business incubator offering support services and professional guidance to entrepreneurs and small businesses.
First place prize is $5,000 in business start-up costs and a one-year BCE client program membership. Second place is $1,000 in start-up costs and a one-year BCE client program membership. Third place is a one-year BCE client program membership. The competition is open to people in Allen, Putnam, Hardin and Hancock Counties.
The contest recognizes the late Ropp Triplett, longtime Bluffton industrial leader and entrepreneur.
Kathy Keller, director of the Small Business Development Center at Rhodes State College in Lima, instructs all seminars. Each takes place at Bluffton University from 6 to 8 p.m. on the following evenings:
- Jan.16: “Launch Your Business Right” (free)
- Jan. 23: “So You Want to be an Entrepreneur” (fees and applications are due)
- Jan. 30: “Planning to Start a Business”
- Feb. 6: “Developing Your Business Idea”
- Feb. 13: “Testing Your Business Idea and Getting it to Market”
- Feb. 20: “Accounting for Your Business”
- Feb. 27: “Financing Your Business”
- March 13: “Final Pitch Dress Rehearsal (business plan due)
- March 15: “Final pitches.”
To enter the competition, contestants must complete an entry form and submit a $150 application fee. The fee for college students to enter is $75. The deadline to enter the contest is Jan. 23. For a copy of the entry form and additional information contact BCE at 419-369-2985 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Material is also available at http://blufftonentrepreneurs.com.