Many entrepreneurs are in the dark about the number of investment capital contests that are available to them.
Business plan contests get a lot of attention. But there are a lot of other competitions that offer similar benefits.
Business competitions give small companies visibility and industry recognition, as well as financial rewards. For startups, the right competition can establish your company's name in the marketplace. For existing companies, investment capital contests can provide a venue for showcasing your organization and your products.
Most competitions require self-nomination and the completion of a basic application. The entire process takes just a few hours, but the results can be dramatic. Here are just a few of the many types of investment capital contests that can benefit your small business.
- Startup contests. Startup companies are an important part of the small business marketplace. Subsequently, there are a lot of organizations that are interested in rewarding successful startup efforts. Although it's natural to equate startups with business plan contests, there are many startup contests in which your business plan is not a factor.
- Product-related contests. B2B corporations frequently sponsor contests for small companies. These contests evaluate companies based on their ability to incorporate the supplier's product into a successful sales strategy. Winners are often awarded additional products and even cash.
- Green contests. Over the past few years there have been an increasing number of green contests on the small business landscape. Contestants are rated according to their ability to integrate clean technologies and ideas into their business activities. As the business community has become increasingly focused on environmentally-friendly activities and business practices, the awards for these contests have increased in value.
- Social business contests. Investment capital contests aren't exclusively about the companies that are capable of earning the most profit. Some businesses exist for the additional purpose of making the world a better place. These businesses are recognized in contests that rate the additional value each company brings to the quality of life in their community and in the world.
- Local and regional contests. Don't underestimate the value of local and regional business contests. Will these contests land your company's name on the cover of Inc. magazine? No, but they will raise your profile locally and establish you as a leader in your community.