Business law

Entrepreneurs have been invited to the 2023 Southern Illinois Business Plan Competition at SIU


Dan Richmond

August 28, 2023

Entrepreneurs have been invited to the 2023 Southern Illinois Business Plan Competition at SIU

by Christy Mathis

CARBONDALE, Illinois — If you’ve been thinking about entrepreneurship, this is your chance to bring your business idea to life. Southern Illinois residents can win valuable cash prizes and development services to help turn their business ideas into reality in the 2023 Southern Illinois Business Plan Competition, thanks to Regions Bank and Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

“I think the business plan competition provides local entrepreneurs with a great platform to shine,” said Melissa Ray Roach, director of the Illinois Center for Small Business Development at SIU. “Not only does it celebrate innovation and creativity with real money prizes, but it also provides a supportive environment for learning, growth, and networking. This competition is more than an opportunity to win; it is an opportunity to refine ideas, receive valuable feedback, and build a strong foundation for success. We are here to foster entrepreneurial spirit and make an impact. Positive change in our region.

We welcome new or expanded business concepts

Any entrepreneur with a new business concept or pre-venture plan, as well as start-ups or existing for-profit companies focused on innovative ideas, products or services, are welcome to enter. Deadline for subscription At 11:59 PM on September 10th.

the Illinois Small Business Development Center And Business incubation programs SIU will provide business plan assistance to competitors.

Contestants must be located in one or more Southern Illinois counties: Alexander, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Massach, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Randolph, Saleen, Union, White and Williamson.

The offer will contain advertising

The winners will be announced during the SIU Research Park’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Showcase, scheduled to take place at 4:30 p.m. on November 30 at the Dunn-Richmond Center for Economic Development, 1740 Innovation Drive in Carbondale. Judges from diverse backgrounds will select winners based on written business plans, financial statements, presentations, target market identification and impact, market needs, marketing potential, business model, innovation and creativity, and presentation.

“Announcing the winners of the business plan competition will be the highlight of the show,” said Lynn Andersen Lindberg, executive director of the Office of Innovation and Economic Development and the SIU Research Park. “We are very excited about the opportunity to work with Regions Bank to start many small startups or expand and celebrate the innovation happening throughout southern Illinois.”

Who is eligible

Individuals and teams can enter. Competitors must attend three workshops in the coming weeks, submit a comprehensive business plan and deliver a compelling 90-second pitch of their concept to win a share of $20,000 in prize money and in-kind services. Regional competitions will be held the week of October 13th in Marion, Mount Vernon, Red Bud and Carbondale, and the Dunn-Richmond regional final will be held in Carbondale the week of November 13th.

Contestants must also adhere to a few other requirements:

  • They cannot be affiliated with government agencies, non-profit organizations, public or private schools, universities and colleges.
  • No one may engage in cannabis, gambling, lobbying, or any activities prohibited by state or federal law.
  • All contestants must register to become clients of Illinois SBDC. This is for free.

Get all the details about the business plan competition and register Connected.

the SIU Research ParkIn partnership with Regions Bank and SI Now, the contest is being hosted. Other Illinois SBDC sponsors include SIU, Seo CarbondaleFirst Southern Bank, Saline County Industrial Development Corporation, Legacy Bank, Randolph County Economic Development, Jefferson County Development Corporation, Southern Illinois University FoundationSmall Business Incubator and Coworking Spaces at EThOs in Marion, Arthur Agency, Clearwave Fiber and Legal Advocacy Headquarters.


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