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Local entrepreneurs square off for $40,000 in products and services to help new(er) business grow

Let the pitches fly!

New and recently-formed businesses in Guelph have a chance to win part of a $40,000 small business development scholarship.

Initiated by small business planning and advising firm according 2 plans+, and involving a number of other businesses and organizations, the Community IMPACT Scholarship Program for Guelph, Kitchener-Waterloo and Cambridge will see three winning companies share in the prize.

Businesses pitch their idea, but instead winning just capital to start their business, nine finalists will receive in-kind products and services from professional sponsors of the program, including Staples, The Making-Box, Waterloo Region Business Enterprise Centre and more, says a news release on the contest.

The nine finalists will prepare a business pitch at a live finale on April 12 where three grand-prize winners will each receive a minimum of $12,000 in professional business advising, website development, marketing, and more to help them grow their business and improve the tri-city community.

“Entrepreneurs often have skills in their area of expertise, but lack the fundamental knowledge and experience needed for operating a business.” explains Doug Daymond, Founder and Managing Director of according 2 plans+ and creator of this scholarship program, in a press release.

Nine finalists across three categories (ideation, business under four years, business over four years) will be chosen from the online applications submitted to compete at the April 12th live pitch finals to a panel of local judges.

Before the competition, each finalist will attend a “pitch” workshop where they will receive formal training and advice as to how to pitch to the judges for the grand prize. Each of the finalists will receive a minimum of $2,000 of professional products and services and the three-grand prize scholarship category winners will receive a minimum of $12,000 including professional small business advisement, business planning, website design, graphic design, branding development, local advertising, marketing materials, HR consultation and more.

Registration for the CISP is open now, and closes on March 9, 2018. Finalists will be announced on March 15.

Full details on the Community IMPACT Scholarship Program are available here.