Entrepreneurs who are dreaming big do not have much longer to submit applications for a contest that will give them a public showcase for their ideas and a potential springboard for launching a business.
The Big Sell Entrepreneurs in Action contest is accepting applications through March 1. The Purdue Calumet University's Center for Entrepreneurship Success is sponsoring the annual competition, which aims to promote entrepreneurship and attracts innovators from across the country.
Winners in the technology, open, and social entrepreneurship or environmental categories will divvy up a record $120,000 in prize money. They also will get help nourishing their ideas until they grow into viable businesses, organizer Dushan Nikolovski said.
Participants who come in first and second in each category win free office space for a year in the Hammond INnovation Center, a business plan from Purdue Cal students and donated legal, accounting and marketing services.
Representatives of the statewide entrepreneurial initiative Elevate Ventures will be in attendance. They could offer a funding opportunity of up to $1 million if impressed enough by an entrepreneur's two-minute pitch, which the audience will vote on with clickers and judges also will evaluate.
The event will take place on March 29 at the Radisson Hotel at Star Plaza, and feature Option 3 founder and managing partner James Dreher as the keynote speaker. Tickets are $25 per person, and include a continental breakfast, lunch and snacks.
Entrepreneurs who are accepted into the contest will get notified by March 1.