The Bay Area Pitch A Dream competition is back.
Area entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply for the small business competition, which is awarding more than $25,000 in cash and prizes to local early-stage businesses in this year's contest. Entrants have until Sunday, Aug. 11 to apply.
The 2019 Bay Area Pitch A Dream competition will culminate with the grand prize event on Tuesday, Nov. 12.
But first, a number of steps must be completed in order to qualify and compete for the grand prize.
Applicants must be early stage companies with a principal location in Bay County or willing to relocate to Bay County.
Though not required, applicants are being strongly encouraged to complete a consolidated version of the Central Michigan University Research Corporation’s Right Choice Program. Kick-off meetings are scheduled at the CMURC Uptown Bay City offices on June 27, July 15, Aug. 5, and Aug. 8.
A crowdfunding phase has been added to this year’s competition. The first three contestants to crowdfund $1,000 by Monday, Aug. 19 will receive $500 grants from the competition.
A Top Ten of finalists will be announced by Monday, Nov. 4. The Top Ten then go on to compete in the final competition, pitching their businesses in front of a Shark Tank-like panel of judges.
More than 40 entrepreneurs competed in last year’s contest, with the final 10 presenting their businesses at an event at the Bay City State Theatre. Professional basketball trainer Luke Lloyd won the top prize for his Dribble Stick Training company, taking home a check for $25,000.
"Going through this program gave me the tools I needed to take my business to the next level," says Lloyd.
"CMURC was there to help me every step of the way, which helped bring my product from idea to first sale."
Visit the Bay Area Pitch A Dream competition online to learn more about the application process and to apply.