A few years ago when I wrote my first paper on bplan contests, most folks thought I was nuts. But I knew something was going on. I was aware that contests and prizes were growing. I observed that groups outside of the business school and the university were holding contests. I began to see stories of policy makers putting the contest into place.
According to a story at Rapid Growth (out of Grand Rapids I believe), the State of Michigan is putting up $30 million for winners of business plan competitions. Now that is a lot of cheddar. I am trying to find verification on this story from the state or other sources and will post an update later. From the story by Deborah Johnson Wood:
Some $30 million is soon to be up for grabs in the second statewide business plan competition sponsored by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. The funds will be awarded as grants and loans for winners of the competition.
The contest seeks to spur commercial development and job growth in four competitive-edge technology sectors: life sciences, advanced automotive manufacturing, alternative energy, and homeland security and defense.