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

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$1 million in prizes for its planned 2010 debut. The commonwealth has ponied up the first $100,000 for the competition. Boston-area technology entrepreneur and philanthropist Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande, Microsoft, and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation have also signed on as founding sponsors. (Please note that the dates below are not finalized.) Wade wrote about the big MassChallenge competition back when it was first announced.

Deadline: July 15, 2010

Finale: October 15, 2010

Top prize: $50,000

MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition

In New England, the MIT $100K is the granddaddy of all business plan competitions. The competition features an elevator pitch contest, an executive summary contest, and the classic business plan contest. As previously noted, a good number of teams from this competition have gone on to raise venture capital and bring products to market. Waseem Daher, chief operating officer reboot-less updating software startup Ksplice, winner of the $100K this year, provided us with an insider’s perspective of the competition.

The Elevator Pitch Contest challenges contestants from the fields of life sciences, energy, and IT/Web to boil down their business plans into pitches that last no more than a minute.

Deadline: Passed

Finale: Oct. 29, 2009

Top prize: $5,000

The Executive Summary Contest judges competitors based on a two-page summaries of their business ideas.

Deadline: Dec. 3, 2009

Finale: Feb. 11, 2010

First Prize: Details not available

The MIT $100K Business Plan Contest

Begins: Feb. 11, 2010

Finale: May 2010

Top prize: $100,000

MIT Clean Energy Prize

The MIT Clean Energy Prize is embarking on its third competition for 2010, but it has already shown that it can attract top teams in the clean energy field from all over the country. Contestants don’t have to be from MIT, but the top MIT-affiliated team from the competition automatically takes part in the MIT $100K Business Plan Contest as the energy track finalist. Xconomy has followed the Clean Energy Prize since MIT, local utility NSTAR, and the U.S. Department of Energy collaborated to launch it in 2007.

Deadline: Feb. 25, 2010

Finale: May 11, 2009

Top prize: $200,000

Revolutionary Angels business plan competition

If you don’t mind paying a $4,995 … Next Page »

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