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2013 What’s the Big Idea?! Business Plan Competition Returns – New & Improved!
Lynsey Wilson
Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Entrepreneurs with Big Ideas are Encouraged to Apply

Recognizing the vital role entrepreneurialism plays in economic development, the Knoxville Chamber has once again joined forces with the Development Corporation of Knox County and Tech2020 on a business plan competition called What’s the Big Idea?! Entrepreneurs with “Big Ideas” can apply to participate in the competition by visiting www.knoxvillechamber.com/big-idea and filling out the online application prior to April 8, 2013. The program is once again being sponsored by Rodefer Moss & Company, PLLC.

The competition evaluates Big Ideas based on their commercial potential, innovation and/or technical feasibility, newness of the concept or plan, and viability of a sustainable, competitive advantage. The 2013 version of the competition adds a new dimension borrowed from the hit television show The Voice – successful entrepreneurs to coach the hopeful entrepreneurs.

On April 15, the application pool will be narrowed down to 15 contestants who will attend several Big Idea Launch Seminars to prepare them to deliver a five-minute pitch on Team Selection Night. On May 7, three coaches, who are successful entrepreneurs themselves, will listen to each of the 15 contestant pitches and will select three semifinalists for each of their teams.  The semifinalists will then spend a month under the mentorship of their coaches preparing for the What’s the Big Idea Knock-Out Competitions.

On June 3, the nine semifinalists will face-off against each other in three separate Knock Out Competitions. An independent panel of judges will preside over the three Knock Out Competitions and select a winner of each round. The three winners will advance to the What’s the Big Idea?! Finale, which will be held June 20.

“The new format enhances the spirit of competition and camaraderie, adding an even greater level of excitement to this year’s event,” said Todd Napier, president and CEO of the Development Corporation of Knox County. “Coaches have already expressed their commitment to winning and that drive, coupled with their experience and resources, will ultimately increase the overall value for everyone involved.”

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