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Beringea U.S. holds startup business plan competition for Michigan high school students

What's your Big Idea?

Beringea is a Michigan venture capital firm that provides capital to early stage businesses which have great potential. It’s not a loan, but it is an investment, where we gain partial ownership in the business in return for our money. We tend to invest a lot of money, $3 million to $10 million, and in return the companies use that capital to keep growing and eventually allow us to find another investor to buy our share of the company, hopefully for more money than we initially invested. Simply put, this is the process venture capital investors go through when investing in and then selling investments in growing small businesses.

Innovation is what makes investing in small businesses exciting, and we know some of the best ideas come from young people! At Beringea, we want to know what creative, new business ideas YOU have, and we’re offering $3,500 in prize money for the best start up business plans from Michigan high school students—no strings attached!

The Beringea Start-Up Business Plan Competition provides an opportunity to create a startup business plan and submit it to our venture capital professionals for feedback and possible prize money (not an investment)! During this pandemic school break, you might have more time for enrichment activities, and we hope you take advantage of this fun project that exercises your entrepreneurial brain!

Beringea Start-Up Business Plan Competition Submission Document Guidelines
Please register here. To enter, create and submit a complete business plan of your Big Idea! Acceptable formats include Word, Google Docs, PowerPoint or PDF documents. Your entry must be received by May 31, 2020 at info@beringea.com and contain the following information:

Student(s) Name (1-3 students can submit one business plan), email addresses
Name of high school teacher, email address
High School Name, City, State, and Zip Code

One-page summary of your startup business concept (can be any type of business but should show a potential for growth with a large addressable market).

Describe the problem your startup business’ product or service solves.

Who are the target customers? Why will they be attracted to your solution?

What is the single, clear, compelling reason why your product/service is different and worth buying?

Describe the top features of the product/service that solve the problem. What about your product/service will customers find new or different?

How will you reach your potential customers?

Who are the competitors to this product or service? Is it easy or difficult for new competitors to join the market, and why? 

How much will you charge for your product or service, and how much do you project you’ll sell in the first year?

What are the costs to make, market and distribute this product or service, and how many employees might you need?

How will you measure success?

Where do you see the business’ sales and profitability in the next year? 

Feedback will be provided for every plan by a Beringea investment professional. The best business plan submission as judged exclusively by the Beringea investment team will be awarded $2,500 in prize money, the runner-up will be awarded $1,000, and both will be featured on our social media channels (publicity release must be signed, by winning team members and/or a parent/guardian for children under age 18). All entries must be received by May 31, 2020 at info@beringea.com or by mail at Beringea, 32330 W. 12 Mile Rd., Farmington Hills, Michigan, 48334, Attn: Business Competition.

RULES FOR ENTRY: All entrants must be enrolled high school students, and at least age 13, in the State of Michigan for the 2019-2020 school year. No more than three students may enter together, and prize money will be awarded by team to the first name listed on the submission, not by individual student. If winner does not respond within 10 days or fails to qualify for any reason under the rules, an alternate winner may be chosen.

Please, no business concepts related to vice industries (alcohol, drugs, pornography, etc.).

DISCLAIMERS: Relatives of Beringea employees or relatives of Beringea portfolio company employees are not eligible. Business plan submissions are not property of Beringea and may be used freely for other purposes by the applicants at any time. Business plan submission does not constitute an offer for investment review or otherwise guarantee any formal investment or exclusive relationship between Beringea and the entrants. All entries are subject to these official rules and by entering this contest, participants agree to be bound by these official rules, including all eligibility requirements. Decisions made by the sponsor regarding interpretation of the rules and the administration of the contest, including the selection of winners, are final and binding. Contest is governed by the laws of the State of Michigan, U.S.A.

RELEASE and LIMITATION OF LIABILITY: Neither Beringea, nor its agents, officers, directors, employees, agencies, or attorneys, are responsible for, or shall have any liability to any contestants, and contestants release all such parties from any liability of any kind including without limitation: (a) any liability arising from the contest; (b) prizes awarded as part of the contest; (c) incomplete, lost, late, damaged, illegible or misdirected e-mail and/or postal mail; (d) hardware or software failures of any kind; (e) lost or unavailable network connections; (f) failed, incomplete, garbled or delayed computer transmissions, whether any of the foregoing are caused by users or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the contest, or by any technical or human error which may occur in the processing of submissions, which may limit a contestant’s opportunity to participate in the contest; or (f) Beringea’s current or future investments, including investments of a similar nature to those submitted as part of the contest.

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