Penn State Berks seeks entrepreneurs for Business Plan Competition

READING, Pa. — As part of its commitment to promoting entrepreneurship, Penn State Berks is inviting prospective entrepreneurs to compete in the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance Business Plan Competition. This is an opportunity for current Penn State Berks students and alumni who graduated within the past three years to launch their business, while promoting entrepreneurial activity in Berks County. Individuals or teams can enter the competition. 

Each of the institutions of higher education in Berks County will select their top three candidates for the competition. The teams will be vetted to identify eight to 10 businesses that will move on to the Business Pitch Competition. Each of these businesses will be enrolled in an Entrepreneur Academy, which will offer help in developing a “pitch video” as well as assistance in creating a detailed business plan, identifying marketing strategies, and offering financial and legal advice.

In addition to the benefits of the Entrepreneur Academy, three teams will be awarded $20,000 in seed capital to support their business at the Business Pitch Competition. Winners also will receive one-year access to office space and support services at the GRCA Center for Business Excellence and the opportunity to participate in the Ben Franklin Technology Partners Big Idea Competition. All Business Pitch participants will have the opportunity to seek crowdfunding for their enterprise.

Applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. Dec. 4. Download and follow the recommended guidelines. Top teams will have a short interview from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 11. The top three competitors to move on to the second phase of the competition will be identified by Dec. 15. The GRCA will identify the top eight to 10 businesses from the institutions of higher education, and they will be invited to participate in the Entrepreneurs Academy during the spring of 2020. The actual business pitch competition and awards, a public event, will be held in April 2020.

For additional information, contact Sadan Kulturel-Konak, director of the Flemming CEED Center and professor of management information Systems at Penn State Berks, at [email protected].