Competition Allows Entrepreneurs to Obtain Funding, Support Services

A business venture competition designed to help emerging entrepreneurs kicks off tomorrow.

TiEQuest Ohio, sponsored by The International Entrepreneurs Ohio chapter, offers competitors a shot at a prize package valued at $25,000 ($5,000 cash, as well as legal, accounting and administrative support, and incubator space), and winners will be entered in the TiE global competition where they will compete for more than $150,000 in prizes and an opportunity to win $1 million in investments from sponsoring funds.

Interested parties have until Jan. 31 to submit an entry.

“TiEQuest is committed to providing mentoring and coaching to the contestants as they prepare their executive summary, elevator pitch, and business plan,” says Reka Barabas, executive director of TiE Ohio, which provides mentoring, networking, and business education opportunities

“Entrants will receive feedback and coaching from TiE Ohio entrepreneurs who are all volunteering their time to this initiative,” she adds. “It is not very common for business competitions to have coaching and mentoring built in the process. Usually the entrepreneur has to work on his own, make one submission, cross his fingers and hope he is selected. Every [TiEQuest Ohio] participant will walk away with valuable feedback and contacts, regardless whether he is a finalist or not.”

The aforementioned executive summary, elevator pitch, and business plan will be submitted in stages during February and March. During those two months, contestants can work with TiE mentors, or their own mentors, to finalize the documents, Barabas says.

In March, three to five Ohio finalists will make a live presentation to judges representing the state’s business funding community.

The competition is open to entrepreneurs who reside in Ohio. Business owners with companies generating annual revenues that exceed $250,000 are not eligible.

A $75 participation fee is required for current TiE members. Non-members and students must pay $100 and $35, respectively. The fee covers the cost of mentoring, coaching, and a one-year TiE Ohio membership, which usually costs $100.

For more information about TiEQuest Ohio, visit TiEOhio.org.