Each competition cycle consists of two rounds:
- In Round 1, participants apply by completing the six-question application which asks about applicants' business concept.
- Up to 12 applicants are then invited to continue to Round 2, which includes a Boot Camp Weekend which aids applicants in developing the business concept into a written business plan, which is judged by an independent panel of business leaders.
- Round 2 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.
Eligibility - Competition Details - Judging - Awards - Rules & Guidelines
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.
The business/business idea must have a positive social impact that will contribute to conservation and sustainable use of local natural resources. It can be a product, service or social venture
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.
Round 1 - Apply to Compete
The apply to compete entry form and business concept description are due May 31, 2018. Absolutely no late submissions will be accepted. Business concept descriptions are limited to six pages total. Any pages beyond six 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 28 - 30, 2018. 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. 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 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.
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 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.
Round 1 Finalists
- Twelve 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
- 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 one 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
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 plans must involve a feasible business idea that is based on the independent thinking of the applicant(s). Duplicating or copying an existing/recognized business or franchise is not allowed.
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.
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.
Please direct general inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 907.586.9251.
Ashley Snookes, Competition Administrator, can be reached at email@example.com and 907.209.9570.