Erath entrepreneurs compete for cash, prizes in business plan competition

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STEPEHENVILLE (January 15, 2019) — Erath County entrepreneurs have the chance to net some extra cash and prizes when Tarleton State University’s College of Business kicks off its biannual business plan competition beginning with an orientation session Thursday, Jan. 17. If you need some extra help kick-starting your business make sure you learn about a search engine optimisation package and how it could help you.

The competition — Entrepreneurs of Erath — is open to all startup and existing businesses, as well as Tarleton students, regardless of their majors.

A total of $50,000 in cash and prizes is up for grabs.

The competition is sponsored by Tarleton’s College of Business and the university’s Small Business Development Center, the Stephenville Economic Development Center, Dublin Economic Development Center, Stephenville Chamber of Commerce and the city of Stephenville.

The top three finalists will receive cash prizes of $5,000, $2,000 and $1,000, respectively. In addition to cash prizes, the winners will receive a prize package worth more than $42,000 featuring professional consultation in accounting and finance, marketing, webpage design, legal, human resources, invoice templates, engineering, and membership in the Stephenville Chamber of Commerce.

“The Entrepreneur of Erath has a history of producing high-impact companies,” said Tarleton SDBC Director Randy Burch. “The contribution from SEDA and Dublin EDC has made this year’s competition possible, and we are excited to find the next successful entrepreneur.”

To be eligible, entrepreneurs must expect to create at least three new jobs in Erath County and agree to headquarter and operate primarily within the county for at least two years. Existing businesses must be less than a year old and prove net revenue of less than $100,000 to compete.

The competition consists of three rounds: the executive summary, business plan and pitch before the judges. The executive summary, a brief snapshot of the business, is due Feb. 6. First-round results will be announced Feb. 8.

Contestants will next present formal business plans providing a more detailed look at the business including a company overview, management/ownership, products or services, target market, strategy and implementation, value to Erath County and financial projections.

Business plans are due by March 8 and finalists will be announced March 22. All contestants that make it to the second round will be assigned a Tarleton student to assist with business plan development.

In the final round, the selected finalists will present a 15-minute pitch of their business along with a 10-minute Q&A from judges April 5 and 6.

Contest winners will be announced at an awards luncheon on April 12 at Tarleton.

To get started, contestants are encouraged to attend one of three orientation sessions before filling out an application form and submitting a $25 entry fee.

The next session is set for 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17, in Room 172 of Tarleton’s College of Business. Times and locations for other sessions can be found on the Entrepreneur of Erath website www.EoErath.com.

Tarleton SBDC will also host training sessions in February and March with instructions on writing a business plan.

The organization has more than 30 years of experience providing small business consultation at no cost and will be available to assist entrepreneurs with all aspects of the EoErath competition.

For an EOErath application and additional contest instructions, visit http://www.eoerath.com.

For more information on Tarleton’s SBDC, go to http://www.tsusbdc.comor call Randy Burch at 817-573-7681.

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