Innovation takes a starring role in the Miami Herald Business Plan Challenge.

Miami Herald Business Plan Challenge

Miami Herald Business Plan ChallengeThe 2016 Miami Herald Business Plan Challenge, designed to open doors for new business ventures and start-ups throughout South Florida, is now underway.

Now in its 18th year, the contest is sponsored by FIU’s Pino Global Entrepreneurship Center. Anyone with a business idea or an operating startup that is under two years old can enter. Entries from any industry are accepted.

Contestants in the 2015 competition agreed that their participation granted their up-and-coming ventures much-needed brand recognition and networking opportunities. The challenge also affords special opportunities for entrepreneurial thinkers in the Florida International University community, with a separate FIU competition track reserved for students and alumni.

The Miami Herald Business Plan Challenge tasks contestants with creating a succinct yet detailed presentation of their business concept, the issues it will solve and how the venture will achieve success. Entries may be up to three pages, and may include one additional page for a photo, chart or diagram.

The ultimate goal: securing investors to get the venture off the ground or grow an existing business.

In addition to the FIU track, the Miami Herald Business Plan Challenge features two other tracks — a Community Track, open to all South Floridians; and a High School Track, co-sponsored by the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship.

Panels of judges — all experts in entrepreneurship — will evaluate the entries, and finalists in the community, FIU and high school tracks. Among them: FIU professors Dr. Seema Pissaris, professor in the Department of Management and International Business, and Dr. Karlene Cousins, associate professor in the Decision Sciences and Information Systems Department.

The deadline for entries in the Community or FIU Tracks is March 28. Those entering the High School Track have until April 4. The judge’s top three selections in each track plus the People’s Pick winners will be announced in a special edition of Business Monday on May 8.

Email entries to:

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