Springboard Ideas Challenge

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The Springboard Ideas Challenge, sponsored by ACU’s Griggs Center for Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy, has made some big changes for 2016.

Founded in 2007, the program has made a name for itself by allowing local college students and members of the community a chance to pitch their ideas to local investors and possibly walk away with thousands of dollars in startup funding and other resources. Over the last nine years, the competition has awarded more than $400,000 in winnings to aspiring entrepreneurs.

For 2016, the program will make significant changes to the overall process.

“One of the biggest changes has been moving from a business plan to a business model competition,” Karen Heflin, Springboard program coordinator, said. “A business plan, which is what we’ve required in the past, is a lengthy report. A business model is more of a storyboard presentation with initial research done by participants. It gives aspiring entrepreneurs valuable information before they ever launch their business, helping them be more successful.”

In 2016, the Springboard Ideas Challenge will be making it easier for entrepreneurs across the Big Country to compete. Participants will get started by presenting a two-minute elevator pitch instead of submitting a plan or written application. These first round elevator pitch events will be hosted in several cities including Sweetwater (Feb. 8), Brownwood/Early (Feb. 11), Haskell (Feb. 23), Abilene (Feb. 22) and Snyder (Feb. 25).

Training and mentors will be available to teams that advance past the first round of the competition. These resources will help prepare contestants to take their initial idea, and transform it into a working and applicable business model that investors would be interested in.
The competition will end in May with the top three teams presenting their final business model to a group of local investors for a chance to win $15,000.

For more information, visit acu.edu/springboard, call Heflin at 325-674-6485 or email griggscenter@acu.edu.

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