Submissions for the ninth annual Southern Nevada Business Plan Competition are open.
The competition, presented by UNLV’s Troesh Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, invites students and members of the community to pitch their business plans to a panel of judges. The winning team will receive more than $50,000 worth of prizes, including more than $10,000 in cash and offers like free accounting services and marketing company support.
Leith Martin, executive director for the Troesh Center, said the competition was designed to help kick-start real businesses.
“It’s not an academic exercise,” Martin said. “The judges look at the quality of the team, the commercial viability of the concept, how well the plan has been developed. … In terms of an entrepreneurial focus, we feel like this is an important initiative to have.”
Clifford Goldkind, whose Las Vegas-based hydroponic farming company won in 2016, said the competition made certain aspects of starting the business easier.
“We were introduced to a lot of people in the Las Vegas community,” said the founder of Higher Ground Produce. “It provided us with a lot of infrastructure like legal services, accounting services …. a lot of things we probably wouldn’t have had the money to pay for had we not won the competition.”
The deadline for executive summary submissions is March 1. On May 3, a panel of judges will select the winner after hearing pitches from five finalist teams.
Instructions for entering can be found at snbpc.com.
Those who want to prepare their pitch can attend the Business Plan Workshop on Feb. 1 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the UNLV Lee Business School. The workshop will share information on how to create business plans and offers resources like mentorship. The workshop is free. Participants can register by emailing email@example.com.