PUEBLO – Viewing the ABC series, “Shark Tank” will prepare audience members for the thrill of the final evaluation and negotiation of business proposals entered in the Pueblo Student Business Plan and Adult Venture Capital Entrepreneurship Competitions. The final round of interviews will be held on Saturday, April 5 on the Colorado State University-Pueblo campus. The general public is invited to attend the April 5 competition at which four student finalists and 4-5 adult finalists pitch their ideas to a panel of judges.
The Healy Center for Business and Economic Research and Services at CSU-Pueblo and Junior Achievement Pueblo District sponsored two parallel competitions, student and adult, which offered prizes, scholarships, and equity capital to the winning entrepreneurs, while encouraging entrepreneurial thinking and action in Pueblo County. Entries had to be new ventures, not businesses currently in operation.
The student division for participants in grades three through 12 will begin at 8 a.m. in CSU-Pueblo’s Massari Arena with the adult division to follow at 10 a.m. for entrepreneurs who created a plan to open and operate a business in Pueblo County.
The grand prize for the Student Business Plan Competition includes a scholarship for enrolling in business courses at CSU-Pueblo. Prizes for the Adult Venture Capital Competition include accounts, “in-kind” benefits, and possible venture capital seed money that are redeemable when the entrepreneur officially opens the business, which ultimately stimulates the economy in Pueblo County.
Prizes will be offered in multiple categories, and each contestant has the opportunity to compete for possible venture capital seed money. A contestant is eligible to win prizes in more than one of the following categories:
- Venture Capital – Amount and terms negotiated with venture capital judges. Amounts could conceivably range from $1,000 - $250,000, or more. Venture capital is made available solely at the discretion of the venture capitalists.
- Up to $5,000 PEDCO Foundation Primary Job Creation – Up to $5,000 will be made available toward building or office rent if the business is launched and at least 50 percent of the revenue comes from outside of Pueblo County. Building or office rent allowance is applicable only of the business meets PEDCO’s description of “primary jobs” (This description will be available in one of the downloadable guidelines on the website). NOTE: PEDCO Foundation does NOT use any funds derived from the Pueblo ½ cent sales tax.
- $3,000 Dave Feamster/Little Caesar’s Pizza Social Entrepreneurship Award - $3,000 is available to a business that is launched that demonstrates a clear commitment to making a sustainable, socially beneficial difference in our community.
- $1,500 Pueblo Urban Renewal Authority Redevelopment Award - Awarded to a business launch that is located in an area in Pueblo County designated as a Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) Zone. For more information on HUB Zones, visit this link: http://www.sba.gov/hubzone/
A 50/50 raffle also will be held at the event, with a prize of up to $999.
Competition sponsors include the PEDCO Foundation, Little Caesar’s Pizza, Pueblo Urban Renewal Association, Xcel Energy, Deetslist, Pueblo Chieftain, Land Title, Castle Investment, Hasan School of Business, Healy Center, and Junior Achievement.
Complete contest information may be found at www.pueblobizplan.org
. For more information, contact the Healy Center at (719) 549-2757.