Cathy Swain: Venture competition offers opportunity
By Cathy Swain Special to the Times
Posted: 02/03/2013 12:00:00 AM MST
Don’t miss a great opportunity to pitch your business to potential investors in the Professional Track of the Paso del Norte Venture Competition.
The deadline to apply is Feb. 11, and final judging is March 9. Sponsored by The Hub of Human Innovation and hosted by the University of Texas at El Paso, the competition offers a $10,000 cash prize and one year of affiliate incubation services to the winning business. A $3,000 cash award will go to the second-place finisher.
The competition provides a venue for developing business concepts from initial planning to a startup company and product commercialization. The competition has both a Professional Track and a Student Track to give students and professionals in the Paso del Norte Region the opportunity to launch a startup company.
The Professional Track is for entrepreneurs with big ideas that address today’s challenges through innovative approaches. Eligible entrepreneurs must be developing or expanding innovative businesses, which will contribute to the regional economy and can scale beyond the region. Eligible businesses must be incorporated and physically based in the Paso del Norte region (El Paso, Las Cruces and Juárez), scalable beyond the region, and meet two of the three following criteria:
- In business no longer than three years.
- No more than $250,000 in total annual revenue.
- Fewer than five full-time employees.
The following are important dates in the competition:
- Feb. 11: Intent to compete due.
- Feb. 15: Notice of eligibility sent to contestants.
- Feb. 22: Last day to practice pitch with Hub staff.
- Feb. 25: Competition entry form due
- March 9: Final judging.
The Hub of Human Innovation incubator works with entrepreneurs who have technology enabled scalable ideas to bring those ideas to market. Hub staff, partners and volunteers also work with companies based outside the region, seeking a “soft landing” to launch new products or tap new markets from here.
The Hub Works Monthly Workshops are held on the fourth Thursday of most months and are followed by Hub After Hours, which offers networking opportunities to connect innovative companies with know-how, talent, technology and capital.
Hub programs that support client companies include the Hub Team Mentor Program, which is modeled after the world-class MIT Venture Mentoring Service, Hub Clean Energy Partners, Hub Manufacturing Partners and The Hub EquityNet CrowdFunding Program.
The Hub is also preparing to host an intensive, hands-on 14-week advanced entrepreneurship course this spring, to go beyond the basics through the process of creating a scalable company. People with business experience who have managed a team and a budget, and who want to launch or grow a company beyond local markets will benefit from this course. The Hub will take applications in mid- February.
Cathy Swain is the executive director of The Hub of Human Innovation, 500 W. Overland, Suite 230. Email her at email@example.com To learn more