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New England Biz Plan Competitions That Offer Cash and Connections to Entrepreneurs

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Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network Business Plan Competition

MBA students in the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College launched the DEN Business Plan Competition last year, drawing entries from Dartmouth-affiliated groups and startups from all over the U.S. I’ve been told that the competition will be an annual event, but I haven’t received details about plans for the next one. Novoculi, a Dartmouth spin-out focused on a non-invasive blood sugar test for diabetics, took the $50,000 cash prize for first place in the competition this year.

Deadline: Not available.

Finale: Spring 2010

Top prize: Undetermined, but was $50,000 in 2009

Harvard Business Plan Contest

Harvard Business School says it began its annual business plan contests in 1997 for teams affiliated with HBS. The contest has a traditional business track for for-profit ideas and a separate track for teams with a social mission. A cool feature of this contest is that teams that participate get reimbursed for up to $1,000 in business expenses, even if they don’t win.

Deadline: Dec. 18, 2009

Finale: April 27, 2010

Top prize: $25,000 in cash and $25,000 in in-kind services

Ignite Clean Energy (ICE) business plan competition

The competition, which calls itself the most prestigious clean-tech business plan contest in the U.S., involves a year of training and mentorship for entrepreneurs in the clean energy field. Though the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge are leading supporters of this competition, there are no geographic or institutional restrictions to enter.

Deadline: Passed

Finale: Nov. 10, 2009

Top Prize: $35,000

ITEC $50K Business Plan Competition at Boston University

This competition, organized by the Boston University School of Management’s Institute for Technology Entrepreneurship & Commercialization, says it is open to BU students and recent alumni. To get a sense of the caliber of entrants in this contest, here is a story I wrote about the 2009 winner of this annual competition, Novophage, which has a novel approach to treating antibiotic-resistant bugs. The ITEC will hold its $1K business concept competition on Friday, Oct. 30, to get the ball rolling for the $50K contest.

Deadline: Dec. 14, 2009

Finale: April 7, 2010

Top prize: Unavailable

MassChallenge Venture Funds Competition

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick announced in June that this competition was being formed to spur the growth of innovative startups in the Bay State. The competition is aiming high, trying to put together a whopping … Next Page »

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