Comcast Business announced that for the third consecutive year the company will seek out the nation’s most innovative startup companies and entrepreneurs to participate in its Innovations 4 Entrepreneurs competition. Current and aspiring business owners can enter the competition for a chance to win up to $30,000 and participate in a day of mentoring with teams of business experts who will provide advice on how to implement their plan.
Based on a 250-word essay submission, applicants will answer the question: How could your business use technology to help enhance your business? Startups and entrepreneurs are encouraged to visit the Comcast Business Community to submit their application and essay and review the full program details. Entries are due by March 12, 2016.
"Our sales have increased 32 percent since last year, and I attribute that to some of the changes we put in place using money we won in the Comcast Business I4E contest," said Gail Kincade, owner of Act II Consignment, a boutique consignment shop and 2015 Grand Prize Winner. "We added a technology-driven loyalty program, updated our computers, improved our website and hired more employees so we could ramp up sales. I was able to open a third store three months after I got back from my i4E trip to Philadelphia."
Entries will be judged and two winners will be selected in each of the 15 Comcast Business Regions: one winner for startup companies (in business two years or less) and one winner for entrepreneurs (in business for more than two years). The 30 regional winners will each earn $10,000 in cash.
From the regional winners, six grand prize winners will be selected – three startups and three entrepreneurs – who will earn an additional $20,000 in cash, plus a trip to Philadelphia to spend a day attending group sessions with industry experts, who currently include: Anita Campbell, Founder, CEO & Publisher of Small Business Trends; Robert Irvine restaurateur, TV star and entrepreneur; John Jantsch, Marketing Consultant, speaker and best-selling author; Denice Hasty, Senior Vice President, Product and Marketing, Comcast Business; Sam Schwartz, Chief Business Development Officer at Comcast; Louis Toth, Managing Director for Comcast Ventures; and experts from Drexel University’s Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship.
Regional winners will be announced April 25, 2016. Voting from among the regional winners will take place between April 26 – May 13, 2016. The six grand prize winners will be announced June 6, 2016 with the Grand Prize event planned for August 2016.
"Startup businesses and entrepreneurs play a key role in developing our economy and creating new jobs across the country, and technology can play an important part in helping them turn business goals into reality." said Denice Hasty, senior vice president of product management and marketing at Comcast Business. "We have seen amazing ideas and examples of innovation from past i4E winners and participants, and we look forward to bringing opportunity to more innovative startups and entrepreneurs this year."