HAMMOND | Entrepreneurs who want to test their start-up business idea can do that by entering The Big Sell Entrepreneurs in Action competition, scheduled March 23.
This third annual event provides a dream opportunity, according to Purdue Calumet Center for Entrepreneurship Success Director Dushan Nikolovski, for 50 entrepreneurs to pitch their idea to audience members and a panel of judges for an opportunity to win cash prizes and services. The competition was developed by Purdue University Calumet and its Center for Entrepreneurship Success in cooperation with the Hammond Development Corporation.
Prospective entrepreneurs can apply for the competition on line at www.thebigsell.org until March 1.
Afterward, applications will be evaluated, and the 50 finalists will be notified by March 8 and invited to make a two-minute presentation to judges and audience members, Saturday, March 23 at the Radisson Hotel at Star Plaza in Merrillville. Three winners will be selected to share more than $60,000 in cash and prizes, including office space for one year. Additionally, Purdue Calumet entrepreneurial students will be available to help each winner develop a business plan.
Ideas will be judged on innovation and feasibility, commercial potential and economic impact, marketability likelihood and related financial demands, as well as presentation credibility.
“Starting a business is one of life’s most exciting times,” Nikolovski said. “It appeals to the young and old, professional and novice, male and female, and the rich and not to so rich. All of those individuals comprise a new entrepreneurial movement intent on improving their quality of life by becoming independent, self-reliant and financially successful.”
Also sponsoring the competition are the City of Hammond; NIPSCO; Palo Alto Software; Hammond INnovation Center; The Idea Factory; Radisson Hotel at Star Plaza; The Times; Elevate Ventures; attorney Peter J. Shakula; Petri Financial Services; Lazarian CPA; Peoples Bank; Chicago Technology Group; Crowe Horwath; Centier Bank; Crossin Law Offices LLC; McShane’s; Consolidated Fabrication; Markey’s Rental and Staging; and Djuric Trucking.
Other information is available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or contacting Purdue Calumet’s Center for Entrepreneurship Success at (219) 989-3159 or (800) HI-PURDUE, ext. 3159.