The panel of judges has been secured for The Next Great Idea 2014 Oswego County Business Plan Competition, said Austin Wheelock, economic development specialist for Operation Oswego County and co-chair of Next Great Idea.
“The Next Great Idea is the result of business and community leaders joining together to launch a competition that encourages entrepreneurs to commit to new business development in Oswego County and offers a $25,000 prize to help make a dream come true,” Wheelock said.
Judges for the event are Jeff Grimshaw of the SUNY Oswego Office of Business and Community Relations; Adam Gagas of Breakwall Asset Management; Kimberly Steele of the Steele Law Firm; Shane Broadwell of the Broadwell Hospitality Group; John Sharkey IV of Universal Metal; Sue Witmer of Cayuga Community College Fulton Campus; Mike Quenville of Pathfinder Bank; John Fitzgibbons, owner of the Fitzgibbons Agency; Atom Avery, local entrepreneur and owner of Avery Rental Properties & The Beacon Hotel; and Laurie O’Brien, owner of Port City Café & Red Sun Fire Roasting Co.
Judges were selected based on their local business knowledge and expertise in the fields of operations, management, financing, and entrepreneurship.
The first phase of the 2014 NGI Competition is underway and the deadline for submitting business concept proposals is April 11.
The entire competition will consist of three phases that will require semi-finalists selected from the first phase to develop full business plans and, in the third phase, finalists will make their “pitch” in person to the panel of judges.
This panel will determine which proposals will be selected to enter the subsequent phases culminating in the winner being chosen and honored at a luncheon Nov. 13.
Ideas that are not selected will receive written feedback from the judges of how to improve their proposals for the future.
The event web site, www.oswegocounty.org/NGI, includes an overview of the event, a competition timeline, guidelines, details on the $25,000 prize, sponsors, partners and contact information. In addition, the $25,000 can potentially be leveraged to borrow up to $250,000 in partnership with local banks, the Oswego County Industrial Development Agency, the cities of Oswego and Fulton community development offices, and the U.S. Small Business Administration.