By: Nick Mason, Staff Writer
The TU Incubator, Towson University’s business incubator and entrepreneurial resource, will announce the winners of its sixth annual Business Plan Competition Wednesday, May 4.
Split into two categories, one for outside businesses and one for area college students, for the second time since its inception, the competition drew a record 52 entrants this year.
The pool of finalists has since been narrowed to nine participants, who will deliver full presentations of their businesses to a panel of judges, before giving a two-minute “lightning presentation” to the finale audience May 4.
“It is a quick overview snapshot of their company and what they do,” Incubator Program Manager Stephanie Chin said.
Chin said that having two groups encourages students to register when they may be otherwise intimidated to compete against existing or experienced businesses.
The student category finalists are Agoge Automation, which is geared toward improving efficiency in the restaurant industry, vehicle repair space Moe’s Auto, BHEST Medical, aimed at helping surgeons operate, student-run non-profit HireAStudent.org, and Sureshunt, which aims to create an improved shunt catheter.
The professional business category consists of brewing technology company MoJoe Brewing Co., education technology company Communication APPtitude, Mobtown Fermentation, Vizier Grooming Brands and jang*go, a mounting system for phones and tablets.
Chin said that the competition is open to contestants and ideas of any level, from the early stages to already generating money.
She also said any industry is welcome, and said that many other competitions have a narrower approach as to what forms of business may apply.
Starting in February, the competition begins with executive summaries from the contestants. Full business plans and presentations are laid out around the competition’s midpoint, and the competition ends in May.
Eight businesses are currently located in the Incubator building, which is under the Division of Innovation and Applied Research. Winners in both categories will receive a 90-day TU Incubator membership valued at $5,000, which includes office space, mentoring and other advisory services, a cash prize and other assorted prizes.
The TU Incubator helps provide resources to startup ventures.
They also host various speaker series, workshops and events.
Information on the competition eligibility and criteria can be found at www.tuincubator.com.