As the February 22 application deadline for the ninth annual North of Boston Business Plan event deadline approaches, the Salem Enterprise Center has announced the sponsors that have made this year's competition possible.
The competition’s sponsors are divided into two groups – gold and silver – depending on the magnitude of the sponsorship. Gold sponsors include East Boston Savings Bank of Peabody and People’s United Bank in Salem. The silver sponsors are the North Shore Technology Council of Beverly, Phil Holberton Speaking of Leadership in Wolfboro, NH, West Hill Technology Counsel of Beverly and Salem Five Bank.
“We are pleased to see these companies step up to support the small businesses that are the backbone of our regional economy,” said Enterprise Center CEO Christine Sullivan in an announcement this week.
The competition, which is designed to encourage local entrepreneurs to locate in Essex County and Merrimack Valley, gives small businesses in the area the exposure to potential investors as well as the discipline it takes to prepare a formal business plan.
Laura Swanson, the Enterprise Center’s chief operating officer, said that the competition is also crucial to economic growth in the area.
“But the Competition is important to the region as well,” Swanson said in this week’s announcement. “Participants are companies that may well become major players in our regional economy, providing jobs as well as stimulating economic growth.”
After the application deadline, participants will have until March 22 to prepare a comprehensive business plan. Semi-finalists will be announced on April 11th, and the grand finale will take place on Monday, May 6.
The winner will receive $5,000. Prizes of $3,000 and $2,000 will go to the second and third place winners.
In order to apply for the competition, businesses must be start-ups, with less than three years of operation, non-venture funded, original work that will be able to be fully disclosed and located North of Boston. Additional requirements exist.
For more information on the competition go to enterprisectr.org/business-plan-competition/