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Startup Challenge Offers an Opportunity for Entrepreneurs

Springboard, Bellefonte’s business incubator and co-working space, has announced a challenge that aims to give two new local businesses or aspiring entrepreneurs prizes totaling $5,000 to help toward the marketing of their companies.

“One of the hardest things as a new business owner is to have the funds to get out there and market yourself,” said Bellefonte Springboard director Ellen Matis during the announcement of the Startup Challenge at a recent Centre County Commissioners meeting.

“So, this challenge looks to help new businesses do that by offering cash prizes to be used for marketing and advertising.”

The challenge is open to businesses that have been around for three years or fewer or to aspiring entrepreneurs who might not have even started their businesses. Contestants must submit a summary of their business plan and a marketing plan that details how they would use the winning funds.

A panel of three judges who work in marketing will look at the plans and decide on the winners. First place will receive $3,000 and second place will receive $2,000 to execute their marketing plans.

They also will receive six-month memberships to Springboard, as well as coaching from representatives of three Bellefonte-based agencies, Hello Social Co., Loaded Creative and 3twenty9 Design, and prizes from local businesses.

Entries are due by 10 a.m. Monday, Dec. 3. Winners will be announced by Monday, Dec. 17. To enter, contestants must submit either a Dropbox link or Google Drive to [email protected] that includes a summary of the business/business plan, the marketing plan, any creative materials to go along with it and short biography and photo of the owner.

“The focus of this is people who are ready to launch or people who have been out there for a couple of years and need more name recognition,” said Commissioner Mark Higgins. “This is going to help people with marketing and advertising. As long as people are using it to promote their business, we are happy to administer the cash prize for that.”

The awarded Springboard memberships will begin Wednesday, Jan. 2. Higgins said the six-month membership to Springboard could help businesses that are still working out of owners’ homes by giving them an office space in which to grow. Bellefonte Springboard offers a shared office space for new businesses to bring their ideas to realization.

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