STOCKTON,CA—Eight entrepreneurs survived Round One to enter the final competition for $20,000 in cash and business services in the 2011 San Joaquin Entrepreneur Challenge on Wednesday, March 23, 2011.
The eight contestants from San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Merced counties, including three student groups from UC-Merced and the University of the Pacific, were selected by an audience of 150 and a panel of expert judges to move on to the semi-final round of this American Idol style business plan competition. The eight semi-finalists are proposing a broad range of business ideas—from solar energy collectors (Merced) to smelling dogs for aquatic pollution control (Denair). Other ideas being presented include a child-in-the-car reminder (Stockton), natural Mexican sauces (Denair), tropical cocktail drink mixes (Stockton), an innovative irrigation system (Merced), a green graffiti removal solution (Stockton) and a children’s educational bath toy (Stockton).
A total of $10,000 in cash and $10,000 in professional services will be awarded to the two winning entrepreneurs when the San Joaquin Angels investment group, in collaboration with several partner organizations, completes its 2011 Entrepreneur Challenge on Wednesday, March 23, 2011. Professional services will include legal, accounting, and marketing assistance.
The March 23 event will be held from 4:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Stockton Golf & Country Club, 3800 West Country Club Boulevard, Stockton, Calif. Members of the public are invited to attend for a cover charge for each event of $12.00 prepaid or $15.00 at the door. For more information or to register to attend the events: http://www.sjchallenge.com.
Mark Plovnick, San Joaquin Angel President and University of the Pacific Director of Economic Development, said “Round One exceeded our expectations for innovation, professionalism, and general excitement. The contestants and judges are now gearing up for the final rounds on March 23”.
The eight semi-finalists were among twenty contestants that presented their business ideas on March 2 and were selected by the audience and a panel of judges to proceed to the next round on March 23. There will be two more rounds of competition on March 23 with the audience and judges selecting two finalists to receive the cash prizes and an opportunity for further discussion with potential investors and advisors.
The San Joaquin Entrepreneur Challenge is part of a regional economic development strategy developed by the San Joaquin Partnership. The Challenge is being implemented through a partnership of the San Joaquin Angels, University of the Pacific, NEC Small Business Development Center-San Joaquin Delta College, Business Council, Inc., Alliance Small Business Development Center, Merced County Department of Commerce, Aviation and Economic Development, Stanislaus Economic Development and Workforce Alliance and the San Joaquin Partnership.
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