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Here’s something you should be aware of going on in Central PA – A business plan competition for college students and start up companies. I think people have a real misconception about the amount of innovation and interesting start ups that are growing in the area.

Here’s the article straight from http://www.harrisburgregionalchamber.org/business/startmeup.asp

The Start Me Up entrepreneurship promotion is back for 2008! The successful program is a three part business plan competition to foster entrepreneurial activity in the region. Cash prizes, products and services, will startmeupfinalrgb.jpgbe awarded to new and emerging businesses that win the competition. The program itself is divided into three separate competitions: a student business plan competition; a contest for companies that are less than 2 years old; and a challenge for companies that have been established from 2 to 5 years.

College Venture Challenge is geared toward area college students, awarding free advisory services and cash prizes for up to two graduate and three undergraduate business plans. Graduate students can earn $5,000 for first place and $2,000 for second place. Undergraduates can earn $2,000 for first place with lower cash prizes available for second and third place winners.

For companies less than 2 years established, the winning business plan of the Murata Great Business Challenge will earn $30,000 worth of free products and services, including six months free rent at the Murata Business Center in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Also included in the prize package is access to a board of advisors, priority assistance from colleges who can provide trained student interns, consideration for low-interest financing, and additional support services from various business assistance programs.

The CREDC Fab 5 competition seeks to find the “Top 5” companies in the region that have been in business two to five years. Collectively, Fab 5 winners will receive free advertising packages, as well as products and services including: human resource and and access to capital counseling; marketing and sales consulting; and advisory panels.

The winners of the competitions will be announced at the Start Me Up event on April 29 th at the Radisson Hotel in Cumberland County. Sponsors of the event include: Ben Franklin Technology Partners; Life Sciences Greenhouse of Central PA; Harrisburg Area Community College; and the Harrisburg Market Keystone Innovation Zone.

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