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Start Up Challenge contest returns to boost entrepreneurs

by on October 17, 2019 8:05 AM

BELLEFONTE — Do you have a great idea for a new business but haven’t taken the next step toward reaching your goals yet? Or, are you a fairly new business owner that could use a little extra cash to market your business? Well, then the SpringBoard Start Up Challenge just might be perfect for you.

SpringBoard, the Bellefonte business incubator, will be giving away two prizes to two entrepreneurs who present the most compelling or achievable marketing plan, to be determined by a panel of judges that work in the marketing industry.

“Last year’s entries were so good that we couldn’t pick just two,” said SpringBoard’s manager Ellen Matis, who launched her own business Hello Social Co. at Spring-Board. “The same prizes were offered, but we ended up giving out two second-place prizes. First-place prize winner AbleRacers was able to design and produce the materials for a creative vendor booth that ended up scoring them a lot of business at a major conference. HoopStars was able to utilize Bellefonte-based business 3twenty9 Design to develop a website, which in turn led it to booking out all of its original classes.”

Aspiring entrepreneurs, solopreneurs or business owners that have been in business for less than three years, who are local to Centre County communities, are eligible to apply, said Matis. Current SpringBoard members are also welcome to apply.

To enter, those interested must submit a summary of the business or business plan, a marketing plan with any creative materials to go along with it and a short biography and photo to Matis. Entries are due by 10 a.m. Nov.

22. Judges will select two winners by Dec. 2. More information is available on SpringBoard’s website.

“It’s our hope that potential entrants truly show off some creative ideas within their marketing plans. This opportunity and funding really gives them the opportunity to get the name of their new business out there through marketing initiatives, and there’s a chance for them to think outside of the box,” said Matis.

“The Start Up Challenge proves that Bellefonte is an amazing place for entrepreneurial minds. It’s our hope that, when these winners are done with their membership at SpringBoard, they’ll ‘graduate’ into the downtown and add to Bellefonte’s growing list of successful businesses,” said Matis. “We’ve given the community the chance to win funds to help its business grow, and we’re asking for very little from entrants compared to other big funding contests. By spending just a small amount of time crafting a marketing plan and putting some efforts into the ideas, they can reap huge benefits. Even those businesses that don’t win will find that the press coverage and other PR related to this contest will help their business grow. All entrants will also be given the opportunity to start a membership at SpringBoard at a very discounted rate, even if they don’t win a prize.”


Vincent Corso is writer for Town&Gown and the Centre County Gazette.
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