Aug 25, 2010

Help for Startups In Business Plan Competitions.

Young startup businesses looking for mentorship, services and investors may want to take note of a new resource available to them. iStart, a new web-based platform from the Kauffman Foundation, is designed to connect entrepreneurs to a network of support to assist them in the growth of their businesses.

It’s a common practice for universities and other organizations to host business plan competitions to motivate aspiring students. In fact, more than 50 universities award up to $10 million to contests each year. It can be very time-consuming and complex to administer the competitions, thus preventing many organizations from holding them. That’s where iStart comes in, created by the Kauffman Foundation, it makes the competition process easy and streamlined for both judges and teams.

iStart is the first customizable platform to provide this service and will expose business plan competitions to a worldwide network of other competitions and student users. Students can search for participating competitions from around the world to win prize money and find potential startups that may need employees. They can easily submit their business plans and post resumes. Administrators can launch their competitions on iStart and then personalize them by customizing to their brand and website’s style.

As entrepreneurs help fuel the economy, iStart could be another launching pad for students and startups to tap into to get their plans in front of the right people.

What are your experiences entering or judging business plan competitions? Have they helped you?

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