The Path to Prosperity sustainable business development competition is open to individuals, for-profit businesses, and tribal entities that have or intend to have a significant operating 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, start-ups, and existing businesses are all encouraged to apply.
Business ideas will be judged primarily on the basis of their feasibility and their positive social and environmental impacts. Feasibility will focus on business fundamentals, including a market and competition analysis, 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, participants must agree to the rules and regulations.
Each competition cycle consists of two rounds:
Round 1: Apply to Compete
For the first round of the competition, applicants submit their applications through the Spruce Root website, by email, by mail, or in person at the Spruce Root office in Juneau. Applications open on April 1 and close promptly at 11:59 pm on May 31. Judges will then review applications and select 12 finalists. Finalists will be announced on July 8. Travel, meals, and lodging during the boot camp will be provided and Business Boot Camp will be held in Juneau from September 26 - 29, 2019.
Business Boot Camp
During this three day intensive training, entrepreneurs will work with experts in marketing, finance, and business development to grow their businesses and to prepare for submitting their business plans in Round 2. Many past participants report that boot camp was the most valuable aspect of the Path to Prosperity program because it allowed them to develop connections with other entrepreneurs from around the region.
Round 2: Develop Your Business Plan
In the three months following boot camp, the finalists use the skills they have developed to write a comprehensive plan. Spruce Root business coaches support the finalists through financial projections, market analysis and developing a narrative for their business. To compete for award funds, finalists must submit their full business plans by December 2, 2019. An independent panel of judges will then review business plans and score them based on their feasibility, sustainability, and social impact. Judges will make their final decision and winners will be announced in February 2020.
Each of the two winning businesses will receive $25,000 in award funding to be used for consulting and technical assistance. Winners work with Spruce Root business coaches over the following year to utilize those award funds to grow their business. In addition to award funding, the winning businesses also benefit from substantial media attention and marketing from their announcement as winners.
This is an Equal Opportunity Program. Discrimination is prohibited by Federal Law.