2017 Path to Prosperity Seeks Food Businesses!
Now accepting applications
The Path to Prosperity (P2P) competition is excited to support Southeast Alaska food businesses in 2017! Alaskans import 95% of the food we consume each year, yet we live in a state filled with abundant resources and opportunities for food production.
If your business (or business idea) involves the growing, harvesting, processing, aggregation, preparation or distribution of food, P2P can connect you to resources and training to help launch or grow your business. The competition is open to new or existing business - learn more below and apply today!
How it works
Each competition cycle consists of two rounds:
- In Round 1, participants register and submit a description of their food business concept.
- Up to 12 entries from this round are invited to continue to Round 2, where they will receive substantial coaching in business basics and individualized advice in developing their idea into a written business plan.
- One of the highlights of Round 2 is the Boot Camp Weekend for entrepreneurs attended by all 12 contestants. All travel, meals and lodging are provided for an intense weekend of workshops dealing with topics such as business plan writing, business organization, management, marketing and accessing financial capital. This is an excellent opportunity to network with fellow entrepreneurs and professionals from across Alaska.
- During Boot Camp Weekend, contestants meet individually with mentors to develop their business ideas and plans.
- Once the finalists' business plans are submitted, they are judged by an independent panel of business leaders and the winners chosen/awards made.
- Each competition cycle results in two winning entrepreneurs receiving an award of up to $25,000 in seed funding for consulting/technical assistance to develop their business concept, along with support in finding investor funding.
Positive Social Impact for Rural Southeast
An important consideration in selecting the two winners for the competition is the concept’s contribution to conservation and sustainable use of local natural resources. Business ideas will be judged primarily on the basis of their feasibility and their positive social impact. Feasibility will focus on business fundamentals, including a market and competition analysis and marketing strategies, implementation feasibility, strength of financial projections and quality of the management team. Social impact will focus on how the business contributes to conservation and sustainable use of local natural resources, the extent to which the business revenue stays within the local economy, and how the business contributes to the development of local business leadership and community self-determination. Preference is given to entries coming from rural (outside of Juneau, Ketchikan and Sitka) communities.
All applicants must be residents of Southeast Alaska. The competition is open to:
- For-profit businesses
- Tribal entities
Business concepts must be for a business located in Southeast Alaska. Entries can be a new business start-up, diversification of an existing business, or extension of a current business activity.
All entries must be engaged in the growing, harvesting, processing, aggregation, preparation or distribution of food.
All plans must involve a feasible business idea that is based on the independent thinking of the applicant(s). Duplicating or copying an already existing/recognized business or franchise is not allowed.
The business/business idea must have a positive social impact that will contribute to conservation and sustainable use of local natural resources.
A business plan that has been previously submitted to this competition or another is allowed. A plan that has won this or another competition is not allowed.
Judging Round 1 – Business Concept Description:
- The Competition Committee will score each eligible business concept in order to determine the top scoring entries that advance to Round 2.
- Round 1 is judged by the Competition Committee.
- View Round 1 Judging Criteria.
Judging Round 2 – Development of Business Plan and Concept
- An independent panel of judges will score entries for Round 2 and will select two winners.
- One winner will be the highest scoring rural entry and the second will be the highest scoring entry from the remaining business plans.
- View Round 2 Judging Criteria.
Round 1 Finalists
- Twelve semi-finalists will be selected to participate in a Boot Camp Weekend in Juneau, Alaska. All travel, meals and lodging will be provided. Boot Camp Weekend will include business related workshops led by industry professionals, opportunities for networking, one on one business mentorship, and business planning assistance.
Round 2 Top Awards
- In Round 2, of the twelve finalists, two business plans will be selected by a panel of independent judges to receive up to $25,000 in seed funding for consulting/technical services over the course of a year. Consulting/technical services will be tailored to the needs of each business concept and be delivered according to the plan and budget developed by the applicant.
- Winners receive ongoing support from competition sponsors for twelve months.
Rules & Guidelines
The Path to Prosperity Sustainable Business Concept Development Competition is open to individuals, for-profit businesses and tribal entities that have or intend to have a significant operational presence in Alaska. The business idea may be an original business concept or an extension of a current business activity. It can be a product, service or social venture. Business ideas will be judged primarily on the basis of their feasibility and their positive social impact. Feasibility will focus on business fundamentals, including a market and competition analysis and marketing strategies, implementation feasibility, strength of financial projections and quality of the management team. Social impact will focus on how the business contributes to conservation and sustainable use of local natural resources, the extent to which the business revenue stays within the local economy, and how the business contributes to the development of local business leadership and community self-determination.
To enter the competition, each entrant must consent to follow these rules:
Each entrant must submit a completed Business Concept Description to the competition administrator by the registration deadline in order to be considered for the competition.
Round 1 - Apply to Compete
A webinar will be held on May 9, 2017 to answer questions and provide more information about the competition. Anyone interested in applying is encouraged to participate in the webinar. The apply to compete entry form and business concept description are due May 31, 2017. No late submission will be accepted with absolutely any exception. Business concept descriptions are limited to seven pages total. Any pages beyond seven will not be read by the judges. The competition administrator will first screen each submitted registration form for completeness and eligibility. For all entries that pass initial screening, judges will score the business concepts in order to determine the top scoring entries that advance to Round 2. Round 1 is judged by the Competition Committee, consisting of one representative each from The Nature Conservancy, Spruce Root, and one rotating committee organization. Twelve entries will be selected to advance to Round 2: the top six rural applicants by overall score, and the top six from the remaining applicant pool. An applicant residing in and/or locating a business in a community other than Juneau, Ketchikan and Sitka is considered a rural applicant. In order to ensure representation from around the region, a maximum of two business plans from each community will be allowed to compete in Round 2. To ensure the quality of the business plans developed in the final round, the organizers reserve the right to select fewer entries if the submissions do not meet judges’ quality standards of a minimum of 50 points out of a possible 100 points from each judge during the scoring process.
Round 2 - Develop Your Business Concept
Participants advancing to Round 2 will be required to attend an in-person weekend Boot Camp for entrepreneurs. All travel, meals and lodging will be provided. The Boot Camp Weekend will be held September 29 - October 1, 2017. Boot Camp Weekend will provide workshops and opportunities for networking. The 12 participants who advance to Round 2 will be assigned one or more advisors to help develop the Round 2 entry. There is no required format for the submitted business plans. Please see Entry Requirements for page limits. Round 2 participants will receive detailed information for Business Plan entry requirements and content at the Boot Camp Weekend. All electronic submissions must be attached to an email as a single document with the business name in the file name (example: businessname.pdf). All electronic submissions will include the following in the subject line of the email: P2P Competition. Entries can also be mailed or dropped off in person. An independent panel of judges, selected by the Competition Committee from different fields (business, marketing and technology), will score entries for Round 2 and will select two winners. One winner will be the highest scoring rural entry and the second will be the highest scoring entry from the remaining business plans.
While the competition organizers and judges are bound by ethical considerations to keep information confidential, neither the organizers nor the judges will sign non-disclosure agreements with any of the participants as part of the competition process. The organizers reserve the right to use the following information about each business concept to publicize the competition and the Innovation Summit:
- The name and location of the business.
- A brief description of the company provided as part of the Apply to Compete Entry Form (subject to confidentiality of proprietary information).
- The names of all applicants mentioned explicitly in the business plan.
- Any photographs taken during the competition.
Participation in this competition gives entrants no guarantees, expressed or implied, to any awards or to any potential or future funding. Copies of business plans submitted to the competition will not be returned to the entrepreneurs. Participants agree that the organizers of the competition are not liable for any direct or indirect damages, including any loss of revenue that may or may not be related to business advice received in conjunction with the competition. The Competition Committee reserves the right to disqualify, in its sole and absolute discretion, any participant from the competition at any time (before or after a judging round or the award of any prize) for any reason. Reasons for disqualification may include, but are not limited to, plagiarism and any other form of dishonesty, misappropriation or infringement of the intellectual property of others, and any failure to comply with these rules and regulations. Disqualified participants shall forfeit all prizes awarded to them.
Changes to the Competition, Rules or Organization
The Competition Committee reserve the right to amend or change the Path to Prosperity Sustainable Business Development Competition, its rules or organization.
Paul Hackenmueller, Spruce Root Inc., One Sealaska Plaza Juneau, AK 99801, P2Pcompetition@spruceroot.org, 907.586.9122