11th Annual Business Plan Contest

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE/
Contact: WPI Venture Forum, +1-508-831-5075

Deadline for Pre-Contest Mentoring: April 5, 2004
Deadline for Executive Summary Submissions: May 3, 2004
Announcement of Winner: June 8, 2004

WORCESTER, MA (March 4, 2004) - The WPI Venture Forum's Business Plan Contest - developed to honor and reward start-up technology companies that provide innovative products and services - takes a new twist this year. In addition to a larger prize of $20,000 in cash and professional services for one lucky winner, this year's contest also features complimentary one-on-one mentoring for all entrants. Best of all, the top three finalists will win something that many would argue is the most valuable of all...a private pitch meeting with a venture capitalist. Participating venture capitalists include Longworth Venture Partners, Long River Ventures/Worcester Capital Partners, River Valley Angels, and Zero Stage Capital.

The 2004 WPI Venture Forum Business Plan Contest is open to technology-based pre-start, startup, and on-going businesses located in New England. Students are eligible. The venture should involve the development of a new product, a new application, or process in an existing business, or the start-up of a new business.

For those needing assistance prior to the entry deadline, the WPI Venture Forum will be offering complimentary, one-on-one mentoring sessions. Entrants from qualified ventures will have the opportunity to meet with a WPI Venture Forum member who can offer expert advice related to business plan development. Those who intend to enter the contest and take advantage of the mentoring, must submit a pre-entry application by Monday, April 5, 2004.

Contest applications and executive summaries are due Monday, May 3, 2004. In the first round of judging, all entrants will make a presentation to a judging panel selected from professional service and advisory groups. The finalists will present their full plans at the WPI Venture Forum meeting to take place on Tuesday, June 8, 2004 from 6:00 to 9:00pm in the WPI Campus Center Odeum room. The winner will be selected at the conclusion of the meeting by a panel of venture capitalists. Entry forms and additional info can be found here. The entry fee is $50.


About the WPI Venture Forum

The WPI Venture Forum was created in 1990 to promote the entrepreneurial spirit and to serve those who engage in technology- based entrepreneurial enterprises by providing advice, support and education tailored to meet their needs. The forum fosters entrepreneurship through such activities as monthly programs, a business plan contest, a weekly radio show on News Radio WTAG (Saturdays, 5-7 pm, 580am), and a monthly newsletter.

The Venture Forum, as part of the Collaborative for Entrepreneurship & Innovation in the Department of Management at WPI, serves individuals who are seeking to begin their own technology-based businesses; founders, presidents, and senior managers of start-up or early-stage companies; senior managers of companies that are restarting or making a transition for one mode of operation to another; and employees leaving large companies due to a reduction in force or to start businesses.