Date Posted: 8/23/2012
Have an innovative new business concept or an opportunity to grow your existing business? Apply by September 30 to the second annual BREC Breakthrough Challenge and have a chance to turn your idea into a scalable business model and pitch to real investors. Both startups and existing businesses seeing an opportunity to expand are invited to apply. The BREC Breakthrough Challenge is offered by a partnership of the Tech20/20 Center for Entrepreneurial Growth (CEG) and the Blue Ridge Entrepreneurial Council (BREC), a program of AdvantageWest. The challenge is also supported by a grant from the CITI Foundation.
How it works:
Step 1: Apply - Apply by September 30 using the application form available for download at: http://bit.ly/brec-breakthrough
Step 2: Mentor - Work with seasoned entrepreneurs from Tech20/20 and fellow participants in a series of group and 1:1 mentoring sessions to hone your business model and develop the communications capabilities to obtain the funding (or customers) you need to grow.
Step 3: Pitch - Present to a panel of angel investors, fund managers and other finance professionals to get constructive feedback and relationships that may lead to actual funding.
Bonus! The Advantage Opportunity Fund programs aims to award at least one startup loan to a qualifying participant.
APPLY NOW >>
What do you receive? Eight hours of group instruction that will cover such key topics as:
• Small Business Strategic Planning
• Building a Sustainable Business Model and Plan
• Customer Value, Identifying Your Target Market and Market Research
• Building a Credible Funding Plan and Finding Funding Sources
• How to Pitch Your Business to Investors or Loan Officers
Up to eight hours of individual mentoring and coaching sessions will be provided to help the management team develop the individual strategies, goals, and plans to help the individual companies prepare for the demands of starting or growing a business.
So, what does it cost? The BREC Breakthrough Business Challenge II program is free to qualified entrepreneurs and businesses in western North Carolina. Through a grant from the CITI Foundation, Tech 20/20 and its partner, BREC will provide this program free of charge.
What’s the catch? No catch. Just apply by using the (attached or click on the link) application form by September 30, 2012. The program directors from Tech2020 or BREC will call you to discuss your business and application. Acceptance into the program is at the sole description of Tech2020 and AdvantageWest. Companies that participated in the first BREC Breakthrough Business Challenge are ineligible.
What is your obligation? Attend the group classes and scheduled mentoring/coaching sessions and put forth an honest effort to execute the plans and actions to achieve the goals that you will set for your business. You will also let us know how you are performing by telling us some key business performance parameters such as number of employees, payroll, revenue, and capital raised for up to 3 years after the program. This information is kept in confidence and only the aggregated data of all companies participating is shared with our funder. Through this data we can tell how well the program has met its mission of economic development and job growth in western North Carolina.
Qualification of Applicants:
For More Information Contact:
- Existing Small Businesses
- Must have less than $1 million in revenue
- Must be in an early or growth stage of development
- Must have a product or service that can sustain a growth rate of at least 20% per year
- Entrepreneurs or Individuals wishing to start a business
- Must have a good idea of what the product or service is to be developed
- Must have a firm intent to start the business at the conclusion of the program
- The product or service must be capable of sustaining a growth rate of 20% per year
Todd Fisher, Director
Tech 20/20 Center for Entrepreneurial Growth
VP of Entrepreneurship & AdvantageGreen
Tech20/20 was chartered as a non-profit public benefit corporation in 1995 and has been engaged in educational and entrepreneurial activities to stimulate economic growth throughout Tennessee and the multi-state Appalachian corridor. The Center for Entrepreneurial Growth has programs for commercialization of technology at Oak Ridge National Labs and the University of Tennessee and has implemented entrepreneurial development programs at A-B Tech Community College in Asheville, North Carolina and Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation in London, Kentucky. To date Tech 20/20 and the CEG programs have helped client companies create or sustain over 2463 jobs and had a total economic impact of over $305,000,000 in the region.
The Blue Ridge Entrepreneurial Council, or BREC, is a program of AdvantageWest Economic Development Group, western North Carolina's regional economic development commission. BREC is a nurturing organization for entrepreneurs in western North Carolina that focuses on education, networking and mentoring, communications and capital formation. BREC has helped local businesses raise capital, brought private equity investors to western North Carolina to evaluate businesses, hosted venture capital conferences, and recruited businesses with high-growth potential to the region.