Now is a great time to develop your entry for the annual Forbes.com Boost Your Business contest. First prize is $100,000, which comes as $50,000 cash plus $50,000 in advertising.
This is your chance. Unlike the MBA-level contests sponsored by major business schools, this contest is open to just about any company. To enter your business, you have to have at least one salaried employee, be incorporated (LLCs, LLPs and LPs are OK) for less than five years, be a for-profit company and have annual revenue of less than $5 million. You can click here for more contest details.
Speaking from both the judge and entrepreneur points of view, this is an especially interesting business plan contest, for two reasons. First, it’s open to more or less everyone, while most of the business school contents, not surprisingly, have academic requirements; second, it’s for existing businesses, not just startups. I’ve been involved with this contest since last year, and I love it. Good people, good plans and good prizes.
To enter, you start with a 500-word summary, which is due as a web submission by June 30. From there you hope to get selected to give a pitch and, if you make the finals, give a pitch and answer questions from the judges. Even if you don’t win, it’s a great opportunity to focus your pitch, and a great experience.