Momentum Business Plan Competition deadline is July 31.

July 25, 2018

Momentum Business Plan Competition deadline is July 31.

PERE MARQUETTE TOWNSHIP — The deadline to enter the $50,000 Momentum Business Plan Competition is Tuesday, July 31 at 11:59 p.m. The competition is for new business start-ups, or businesses with a viable startup idea or business with less than $100,000 in sales annually. The winner will be selected at a public pitch night in front of judges and a live audience Sept. 21 at the Ludington Area Center for the Arts.

Participants also can compete for other prize money besides the top prize. In addition to a $5,000 second prize for the main competition, a new Momentum 5×5 Night will award $5,000 to one individual plus an automatic spot as a Top 10 finalist in the Momentum Competition.

“The Momentum Business Plan Competition gives people a leg up to launch their business or get it to the next phase, and in the business-friendly environment of Mason County,” said Ludington & Scottville Area Chamber of Commerce president/CEO Kathy Maclean. The chamber is facilitating the competition. “The Ludington area has a robust entrepreneurial community, and we want to grow that by giving a boost to startups and entrepreneurs to fulfill their business dreams here. And we’re sweetening the pot this year with an additional prize opportunity.”

Interested and qualified applicants can register at momentumstartup.org and upload a business plan according to the format by July 31 at 11:59 p.m. Eligibility requirements and rules can be found on the contest website. Applicants needing assistance in creating a business plan can book a free appointment with a mentor from the Ludington Chapter of SCORE either online or by calling 231-845-0324.

On Aug. 3, a selection committee will shortlist applicants to ten candidates. Five finalists will be selected Aug. 21 who will pitch their ideas in person before the Momentum board and a public audience Sept. 21, 6 to 8 p.m. at the Ludington Area Center for the Arts, 107 S. Harrison St. Past Momentum contestants are allowed to reapply.

New Momentum 5×5 Night Awards $5,000

While the large cash purse is $50,000, contestants also could win smaller prizes. A second place prize of $5,000 is awarded by the Mason County Growth Alliance for the second year. And new this year is a Momentum 5X5Night hosted and sponsored by Epworth Assembly and Epworth Church Association Aug. 15 at Epworth Heights Auditorium, 1161 N. Lakeshore Dr., Ludington. Five applicants will be selected to pitch their business idea for five minutes each in front of four judges and a live audience serving as a fifth judge in the event of a tie. One winner will take home $5,000, in addition to receiving an automatic spot in the Momentum Competition’s Top 10, and all contestants can practice their pitches to prepare them for Momentum. Investors also may be in the audience, giving entrepreneurs additional exposure for their business ideas. Individuals can apply to both the Momentum Competition and 5×5 Night, or just 5×5 Night. The deadline is July 31 at at 11:59 p.m. More information is atmomentumstartup.org.

“More entrepreneurs are choosing Mason County to set up their small businesses,” said Tom Hinman, talent and entrepreneur development coordinator for the Ludington & Scottville Area Chamber of Commerce. “The reasonable cost of living, friendly business climate and incredible quality of life draw people to move here. We want to foster that environment through this contest, which also is a great fit with the Chamber’s ‘Live Ludington’ relocation emphasis.”

Competition Background/”Live Ludington”

The Momentum Business Plan Competition was spearheaded in 2015 by the Pennies from Heaven Foundation to foster and grow the entrepreneurial spirit of Mason County where its founder, John Wilson, made his business mark. The competition’s board of directors is comprised of Mason County CEOs and business leaders.

The Ludington & Scottville Area Chamber of Commerce administers the program to encourage new businesses to come to Mason County through the competition and to demonstrate that the region is a ripe environment for small businesses to grow and thrive. A case in point – 65 percent of the 500 Chamber members are small businesses with less than five employees.

The Chamber recently kicked off a “Live Ludington” relocation campaign to articulate Ludington’s selling points as a livable community. Stories about entrepreneurs who have made Mason County home can be found at ludington.org/liveludington.

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