BizIdea is a business idea contest for youth ages 13-24 who live in any of the 50 towns in the Hampshire Franklin County, Hampshire County and North Quabbin areas of western Massachusetts.
$5,000 in Prizes! ♦ Win cash if by signing up with a BizBucks number (found on BizIdea postcards) ♦ Win an HD video camera for taking the BizQuiz ♦ Win cash and a BizKamp scholarship by entering a BizIdea ♦ Win cash by gathering feedback on your BizIdea using social media ♦ Win cash to start your business by entering a BizPlan during BizKamp
Get started! Review the official rules below. Sign up and enter your BizIdea before 11:59 PM on April 15. Exhibit and pitch your idea at the Youth Business Expo late in the afternoon on the third Thursday of April.
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Want to see if your idea is also an opportunity? Don't have an idea? Use our nifty... OFFICIAL RULES
REQUIREMENTS To be considered for a prize or award, you must submit your BizIdea by 11:59PM on April 15 and attend the Youth Business Expo from 5:00-8:00PM on Thursday, April 24.
ELIGIBILITY You are eligible to win cash prizes and scholarship awards if you:
are between the ages of 13 and 24 at the time your register;
submit a BizIdea on this website for a business, non-profit or invention that is legal to start, operate, produce, possess, and/or sell in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts;
exhibit a BizBoard and make a 1-minute BizPitch at the Youth Business Expo;
submit a BizIdea by yourself or as part of a team of up to three members. (Each team member must register idividually. Your team should select a 'captain' and compose, edit, and submit your BizIdea using the captain's BizVenture Series account. The captain should enter the team members' first and last names and towns of residence in the fields provided at the top of the BizIdea template.); and
live in one of these 50 Massachusetts towns:
A Amherst, Ashfield, Athol
B Belchertown, Bernardston, Buckland
C Charlemont, Chesterfield, Colrain, Conway, Cummington
E Easthampton, Erving
G Gill, Goshen, Granby, Greenfield
H Hadley, Hatfield, Hawley, Heath, Huntington
L Leverett, Leyden
M Middlefield, Monroe, Montague
N New Salem, Northfield, Northampton
P Pelham, Petersham, Phillipston, Plainfield
R Rowe, Royalston
S Shelburne, Shutesbury, South Hadley, Southampton, Sunderland
W Ware, Warwick, Wendell, Westhampton, Whately, Williamsburg, Worthington
AGE CATEGORIES Your BizIdea will be judged within one of three age categories: 13-15, 16-18, 19-24.
CONTEST A team of judges will score your BizIdea using the values and criteria below. Judges are volunteers representing area businesses, schools, towns, civic and non-profit groups, and youth. Their scores will be averaged and the awards presented to contestants with the highest average scores. If there are tied scores, the judges will decide final ranking based on a second review of contestants' BizBoards and BizPitches.
Scoring Values (maximums):
BizIdea 70 BizBoard & BizPitch 30 Total 100
BizIdea Scoring Criteria:
Summary (10 points max.): Clearly summarizes business: product and/or service, customer need, origin of idea, target market, target customer, and competitive advantage.
Description (10 points max.): Clearly describes in adequate depth the business: product and/or service, target market, target customer, and competitive advantage.
Customers (10 points max.): Understands the business type they selected, their target market, target customer, customer needs, and has a realistic plan to reach, attract, and sell to customers.
Competitors (10 points max.): Has identified competitors and has a good grasp of their histories, locations, pricing, marketing strategies.
Competitive Edge (10 points max.): Has described the competitive advantage of their business.
Goals (10 points max.): Has three realistic short-, medium- and long-term business goals.
Overall (10 points max): Has done a quality job with researching, conceptualizing, and writing-including clarity, spelling, grammar, and punctuation-that is consistent with their age and educational level.
BizBoard & BizPitch Scoring Criteria (30 points max) The contestant has done a quality job summarizing their written business plan into a persuasive table display, including creativity, design, thoroughness, and clarity. Has made a persuasive sales pitch and provided satisfactory answers to the judges' questions (including level of enthusiasm, degree of confidence, audible speech, maintain eye contact, firm handshake, completeness of pitch, organization of pitch, professional dress, professional posture, persuasiveness). Special Category Awards You may opt to have your BizIdea considered for one of these awards. Each will be scored using a scale from 1 to 10. Judges' scores will be averaged and the awards presented to contestants with the highest average scores. The outcome of ties will be left to the judges' discretion.
Judges' Choice Award: BizIdea that the judges deem worthy of an award regardless of score or criteria.
Green Impact Award: BizIdea that shows the greatest promise of solving an environmental issue or problem.
Social Impact Award: BizIdea that shows the greatest promise of solving a social issue or problem.
Creative/Innovation Award: BizIdea that demonstrates the most original thinking and creativity in its concept and design.
Arts & Culture Award: BizIdea that has the most potential for contributing to a thriving arts & culture economy in the region.
Technology Award: BizIdea that proposes the most innovative use of technology in its operation and delivery.
Energy Award: BizIdea that advances the best means of producing and distributing energy derived from renewable sources or conserving energy produced from any source.
Agriculture Award: BizIdea that demonstrates the most potential for developing, implementing, supporting, or advocating heatlhy, wholsesome and sustainable food production, distribution or consumption practices.
Health & Wellness Award: BizIdea that has the most potential for boosting health and wellness in our society.
Government Award: BizIdea that proposes the most creative and impactful solution to making local, state, federal governemtn more responsive, efficient, effective, transparent or accountable.
Cooperative Award: BizIdea with the most potential for creating or expanding a consumer, producer, worker, purchasing, or hybrid cooperative. Definitions.
Job Creation Award: BizIdea that demonstrates the most potential for creating the greatest number of part-time or full-time living wage jobs in the shortest time frame.
Local Impact Award: BizIdea the demonstrates the most potential for boosting the quality of life for residents of Franklin County, Hampshire County and North Quabbin region.
International Award: BizIdea the demonstrates the most potential for boosting the quality of life for those living in one or more regions of high need outside the United States of America.
Philanthropic Award: BizIdea that proposes to do the most good for the most people.
CODE OF ETHICS We ask you to abide by the following code of ethics. Anyone found not to be honoring this code will be disqualified from this and all future BizVenture Series activities.
Employees of the Series' presenters and their family members are ineligible to participate.
Judges may not score a BizIdea of any entrant whom they would be unable to assess impartially because of a family, friend, or other personal or professional relationship.
Soliciting input and advice from others is permitted, but a BizIdea, BizBoard, and BizPitch, must consist of your original work and be in your own words. Quoting, summarizing or paraphrasing the work of others is permitted but must be referenced using MLA Style endnotes: www.citationmachine.net. Plagiarism will result in elimination from the Challenge. Tampering with a contest website or webpage or using other improper means to increase scores will result in elimination from the contest. You must be respectful of other contestants, judges, and program staff and supporters in all interactions: on-line, in writing, or in person. Disrespectful language or behavior will not be tolerated and will result in elimination from the contest. Your BizIdea will be evaluated without regard to your sexual-orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, sex, age, social class, income level, political beliefs, town or area of residence, school, disability, national origin, past or current court involvement, and all other forms of bias and discrimination. Contest staff and volunteers will endeavor to reach out to and include in the contest all eligible young people regardless of their race, sexual-orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, sex, age, social class, income level, political beliefs, town or area of residence, school, disability, national origin, past or current court involvement, etc. Staff and volunteers, with adequate notice, will make every reasonable accommodation o include and support the full participation of contestants with disabilities.
Ages 16-18 360° Mascara, Aliona Olaru (Greenfield) Pyara Treasuers, Boski Patel (Shelburne Falls) Tiffany's Personal Care Assistant Service, Tiffany Maloof (Orange) Games & Gamers, Kaleb Babineau (Bernardston) and Roberto Rodriguez (Greenfield) 2nd Chances, Israel Moyston (Amherst)
Ages 19-21 Children of the Void, Ariel Wigdor (Amherst) BMX Customs, Tom Costello (Greenfield) Jasmin's House, Jasmin Cage (Easthampton) PLA Café (Promoting Local Arts), Zoe Salls (Greenfield) FallFree, Daemon Nubile (Montague)
Creative Award Children of the Void 360° Mascara
Local Award Jasmin's House
Arts Award Tiffany's Personal Care Assistant Service
Judges Award BMX Customs
Ages 18-24 sustainable pesto!, Evan Scheltema and Martha Pskowski (Greenfield) ReCYCLE, Nick Courtney (Sunderland) TRASH BUSTERS, Melissa Bonnevie (Orange)