The board also announced plans for a Business Plan Contest to identify budding entrepreneurs. The contest is open to anyone with a business idea that would benefit Anderson and central Indiana by creating jobs and wealth. Contest applicants may already be in business, or in the process of launching a new venture. Information and a contest application are available online at www.flagshipenterprise.org.
A $10,000 cash prize will be awarded in each of three general business categories: Manufacturing, Service/Retail, and Technology. A distinguished panel of judges will select the most promising business plans – those deemed most likely to bring new jobs and create new wealth in Anderson and the surrounding area.
“I would encourage anyone who has dreamed of starting a new business to enter the contest,” said Judy Nagengast, Interim Executive Director of the Flagship Enterprise Center. “Our goal is to encourage an entrepreneurial spirit in the area by providing educational opportunities and funding assistance to novice business owners. Though we will identify only three ‘winners,’ I’m convinced that every applicant will benefit from the experience.”
Applicants will be required to present detailed plans outlining their service or product and its projected business model. Deadline for entries is the close of business, September 15, 2003. A first round of judging will be held Saturday, September 27, with nine finalists (three from each category) to be announced Monday, September 29.
Finalists will then make presentations before a panel of experienced business leaders Saturday, October 25, at Reardon Auditorium on the Anderson University campus. In addition to the cash prize, each award winner will receive “Incubator Bucks” for the purchase of services or rent in the Flagship Enterprise Center. Finalists who do not win cash prizes will also receive “Incubator Bucks.”
To provide support, the center will host an Entrepreneur Day (E-Day) for existing or potential business owners. E-Day (free admission and open to the public) will be Saturday, August 9, at the AU Wellness Center from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. A series of presentations will cover areas such as obtaining government research grants, applying for SBA-backed loans, and tips on starting a business. Business representatives will be on hand to assist entrepreneurs.
Additionally, Anderson University will host a series of evening seminars entitled, “How to Start a Business” and “How to Write a Business Plan.” The first seminar, “How to Start a Business.” is free and will be held on two dates, Tuesday and Thursday, August 12 and 14, from 7 to 9 p.m. in Hardacre Hall, Patterson room. A series of four evening seminars will follow on the key elements of “How to Write a Business Plan.” These classes will be conducted from 7 to 9 p.m. in Hardacre Hall, Patterson room on Tuesday, August 19; Thursday, August 21; Tuesday, August 26; and Thursday, August 28. The cost of each seminar is $25. Class participants will also work one-on-one with local business people to polish their plan in the final two weeks before the September 15 contest deadline.
The Flagship Enterprise Center, to be built in the Flagship Business Park, will provide space where new businesses can be nurtured by experienced business owners, business school faculty, venture capitalists, government entities, technology personnel, and others. Serving as a small business incubator and early business accelerator, FEC will emphasize the development of emerging manufacturing and electronic technologies. Among the services of the FEC will be to provide access to university researchers and scientists, ongoing contact with management consulting, student mentoring opportunities for research and development support, and access to state of the art telecommunications.
The Flagship Enterprise Center is temporarily housed at Continental Design & Engineering, 2710 Enterprise Drive, Anderson, Indiana, 46013, 765-778-0266.