1) General GLEQ Questions
|Q. What is the GLEQ Business Plan Competition?|
|Itís a business plan competition for Michigan entrepreneurs. Great Lakes Entrepreneurís Quest (GLEQ) has been running two cycles of the competition each year since 2000. GLEQ matches participants with business coaches that advise them as they write their business plans or put together planning strategies. Every plan is evaluated by and receives written feedback from venture capital and angel investors, business development professionals and successful entrepreneurs. Each year Fall Cycle awards are made at the Annual Collaboration for Entrepreneurship (http://www.ace-event.org) and the Spring Cycle awards are made at Entrepreneur Connect (http://www.EntrepreneurConnectMI.com). |
|Q. What are the competition categories?|
|Entrepreneurs select a competition category based on their ventureís stage of development. The New Business Idea category is appropriate for early-stage ventures and entrepreneurs exploring and developing new business ideas. |
The Emerging Company category is for revenue-generating businesses and ventures in the initial stages of commercializing technology.
Ventures ready for pre-seed capital may qualify to compete in the $100,000 SmartZone Award category.
Vision to Action Challenge participants are typically looking for a process and coaches to help develop action plans to further validate their businesses.
Participants select a category when registering, but can switch among categories until business plans are due.
Those participants in the New Business Idea and the Emerging Company categories now have the opportunity to be considered for the Pure Michigan Social Entrepreneurship Challenge as well. These companies have sustainable business models that are confronting relevant social concerns.
|Q. What are the prizes in each category?|
|The New Business Idea category allows for cash prized both Fall and Spring Cycle, Spring having the larger prizes of the two.|
The Emerging Company category allows for micro-loan awards and the terms are the same as the Michigan Micro-Loan program.
The $100,000 SmartZone Award is a pre-seed investment. Additional innovation and regional awards are available to participants in the New Business Idea and Emerging Company categories.
The Vision to Action Challenge awards include media exposure and coaching assistance but does not come with monetary awards.
|Q. What business plan documents are required and when are they due?|
|The following documents are required for each category: |
New Business Idea: 5-page Executive Summary
Emerging Company: 12-page Business Plan
SmartZone Award: Business Plan, Financials, SmartZone Letter of Recommendation</i>]
Vision to Action Challenge: Either Complete Business Model Canvas OR Vision Traction Organizer AND a 3 minute video
Pure Michigan Social Entrepreneurship Challenge: Either 5 page executive summary OR 12 page business plan AND a maximum 1 page social impact statement
|Q. Who can join the competition?|
|The competition is basically open to every citizen in Michigan or that is part of a business located in Michigan. Check out our Eligibility and Prizes page for more information.|
|Q. What kinds of resources are available for entrepreneurs?|
|This site has past GLEQ training presentations, many statewide support organizations and their contact information, suggested readings, and recommended websites. One can explore these topics on the Entrepreneur Resources page.|
|Q. How do I contact GLEQ?|
|You can contact GLEQ by e-mail or phone. Our e-mail address is email@example.com. Our phone number is 734-255-3183.|
2) New Business Idea Competition
|Q. What qualifies as a New Business Idea?|
|The New Business Idea is described in greater detail on the Where Do I Begin? page.|
3) Emerging Business Competition
|Q. What qualifies as an Emerging Company?|
|An Emerging Company is described in greater detail on the Where Do I Begin? page.|
4) SmartZones Competition
|Q. What is the SmartZone Award?|
|This award is a $100,000 pre-seed investment presented by Michiganís Network of SmartZones to the winner in the SmartZone Award category of the GLEQ Business Plan Competition. This annual award is made at Entrepreneur Connect (http://www.EntrepreneurConnectMI.com). |
|Q. Are there additional steps to compete for the SmartZone Award?|
|Yes. To compete for the SmartZone Award, an entrepreneur must contact a SmartZone, be matched with a SmartZone Advisor and receive a Letter of Recommendation. SmartZone locations and contacts are listed on the Michigan Economic Development Corporation website at www.themedc.org, on the Ann Arbor SPARK website at www.annarborusa.org and in the registration section of the GLEQ website. |
Entrepreneurs are invited to register for the competition immediately and select the SmartZone Award category, but participation in that category will not be confirmed until a SmartZone recommendation is received. Participants can switch to another competition category at any time prior to April 16.
|Q. Are there other qualifications to compete for the SmartZone Award?|
|Yes. To compete for the SmartZone Award, a venture must not have previous funding from the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund. The venture must have less than $1 million in annual revenues (excluding grant income) and less than $1 million in equity or convertible debt from third parties. Additionally, the venture must be revenue-generating for less than five years or be pre-revenue.|
|Q. Are winners of the SmartZone Award precluded from seeking additional funding from the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund?|
|No. Winners of the $100,000 SmartZone Award can still apply for up to $150,000 in additional funding (for a total of $250,000) from the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund. The additional funding requested, above the $100,000 award, requires a matching cash investment equaling at least half the amount of the request. The SmartZone Award can not be used as the matching funds.|