Why is Partnership Gwinnett conducting this Contest?
First, we believe in the importance of business planning. All the issues we ask you to address in our entry forms are related to challenges you will face as a business owner. It helps to think them through and write them down. You’ll stand a better chance of succeeding if you have a battle plan.
Second, entrepreneurs are busy people, which means they don’t often take the time to engage with support services that will help them. By entering this contest, you will meet a host of resources that will make your life easier. Since we’re here to help you succeed, these seemed like two good reasons for us to bring you this contest.
Why should I enter the Contest? Another great question! First, the contacts you’ll make alone will be more than worth the time you’ll put into it. Many of our contestants, even those who don’t place as finalists, have gotten leads for paying customers. And, of course, if you do snag a finalist spot, or become a category winner, we have some great prizes. Long after the prizes have been utilized and the trophies are a little dusty, you’ll always have the connections you made and what you learned through this experience.
I’m new to this, and I’ve never done a business plan. Any suggestions?
Yes. Please visit UGA SBDC for information and guidance on writing your first business plan.
What are the judges looking for when they evaluate the entries?
They are looking for thoroughness in planning your business. All sections of the business plan template need to be answered thoughtfully. They are not looking for who has the cleverest product or who will make the most money. They are looking to see who did their homework when thinking through the challenges the business will face.
Does my business have to be in Gwinnett to enter the Contest?
For the Established Business category, yes. If you’re entering the Pre-Venture category, you must provide proof as a Gwinnett resident. (i.e. copy of driver’s license or power bill).
My business is in the formation process. How do I know whether I’m an Established Business or a Pre-Venture contestant?
Simple. If someone offered you money, and you can take it because you’re far enough along to provide your product or service, then you’re an Established Business. If you must forego the sale because you’re not ready yet, then you’re Pre-Venture.
What do I have to submit to enter the Contest?
Before you fill out any entry forms, please consult the rules. You want to make sure you’re eligible.
How do I submit my entry?
You may email your entry materials to Li Wong. You will receive email notification of receipt of your entry.
Is there a fee to enter?
There is no fee to enter the Contest.
When does the contest open?
February 15, 2019. Entries will be accepted beginning that date.
When is the deadline?
5:00 pm on May 15, 2019.
How will I found out whether I’m a Finalist or Winner?
You will be officially notified via email as a finalist. Contest winners will be announced at the Demo Day event on June 27.
What’s the best way to participate in this contest?
Start drafting your business plan early. Take full advantage of the resources we’ve provided.
If I am a high school student with a business or an idea for a business, can I enter?
The contest is open to anyone 18 years of age and older. There is a student edition of the Contest for high school and college students in Gwinnett.
Do I have to submit a full-length business plan if I’m selected as a finalist?
No. The only business plan submission is the summary version.
Do I have to be a member of the Gwinnett Chamber to enter?
Are non-profit corporations eligible to enter?
No. The contest is limited to for-profit businesses.
Can I submit materials in addition to the entry documents listed on this website?
No, sorry. We know you’re proud of your marketing materials, and you should be. However, the contest is about the thoroughness of your plan. Your other materials will not be considered during the evaluation of your submissions. Brochures, folders, flyers, photographs, and the like will not be shown to the evaluators. Only the entry documents listed on this website will be reviewed.