Please see below for a wonderful opportunity for students interested in business.
Have you hatched a great idea for a business? If your business is less than 2 years old or exists only on paper, you can enter the 13th Annual Miami Herald Business Plan Challenge, co-sponsored by Florida International University’s Pino Global Entrepreneurship Center.
This year, we will have three tracks: A Community Track open to anyone in South Florida; an FIU Track open to students and alumni of the university; and a High School Track for grades 9-12.
Panels of judges will select the three best business plans in each track based on both the quality of the idea and the submitted plan. Readers will be able to vote online at MiamiHerald.com for a “People’s Pick” winner in the community and FIU tracks. (Details on online balloting will be coming in April.)
We will also name an overall 2011 Challenge Champion, which can come from any of the three tracks.
GENERAL RULES FOR ALL TRACKS
· The entry must be no more than three typewritten pages, 8.5-by-11 paper; type no smaller than 10 point, please. You may include one more page of supporting material – such as a product picture or diagram, a spreadsheet or marketing materials. Think of your plan as an executive summary, offering just the highlights of your business plan. See tips for preparing your entry below.
· Entries must be for proposed for-profit businesses or firms in the start-up phase (less than 2 years old on Feb. 7, 2011). Sorry, no nonprofits and no existing franchises. If your submission is an original franchise idea, it will be allowed. But if you are implementing someone else’s franchise plan, it’s not eligible. Multiple entries from one person are allowed if they are different business ideas.
· Entry deadline: E-mailed by 11:59 p.m. Friday, March 25, 2011.
· E-mail your entry to:
challenge@MiamiHerald.com – for the Community Track
fiuchallenge@MiamiHerald.com — for the FIU Track
highschoolchallenge@MiamiHerald.com – for the High School Track
You should receive an automated response after sending. For questions, problems or further confirmation: e-mail ndahlberg@MiamiHerald.com
· Awards: The Challenge Champion, the top three competitors in the community, FIU and student tracks as well as the People’s Pick winners will be the subjects of a Business Monday cover story and section May 16. Winners will be invited to a luncheon in their honor where they will meet with The Miami Herald’s business editors, reporters and judges, as well as a Hall of Fame reception hosted by FIU’s College of Business Administration.
· High School Track: The contest is open to students in grades 9-12 in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe counties. A one- or two-page entry is fine in the student category. Please put “High School Entry” at the top. We’ll also film a video of the top student winner and it will be featured on MiamiHerald.com.
· FIU Track: You must be a student or alumnus of FIU to enter. If a team is entering, at least one member of the team must be an FIU student or alumnus. Please write “FIU Entry” at the top of your submission. You cannot enter both the community track and the FIU track with the same idea.
· You must be a South Florida resident (Miami-Dade, Broward, Monroe and Palm Beach counties). See additional rules for FIU and student tracks under Specific Rules section.