Student Business Incubator gets a $10,000 incentive

Applications are now open for the BUSU Blueprint program.

Applications are now open for the BUSU Blueprint program.

From a student business incubator initiative, to $10,000 in start-up funds to the successful candidate(s), now’s the time for students and new grads to start a business in Niagara.

What is Blueprint?
Blueprint is a new and exciting program designed to give student and alumni entrepreneurs a chance to develop and grow their ideas and businesses. The program is run through the Brock University Students’ Union in collaboration with several departments at Brock University and partners throughout the Niagara community. More than a business competition, Blueprint is designed to create a unique opportunity for students and new graduates by providing them with business advice, mentorship, and funding.

How does Blueprint work?
Students or recent graduates with a budding business or even just a creative business idea can submit an application and proposal to the Blueprint program; all applications are considered by a selection committee, who will select the top 10 business ideas to move on to a pitch presentation to a panel of business experts.

General entrepreneurship seminars will be offered to all applicants, and the selected top 10 applicants will be provided specific training to prepare them for the presentation of their idea to a panel of experienced community entrepreneurs and business development experts. The Panel will select up to 3 winners who will receive funding, mentorship, and other professional guidance to help develop their businesses. Last year, 33 applicants participated in the Blueprint Program, and three were chosen as winners, receiving $2,000, $3,000 and $5,000 prizes.

As an additional incentive this year, the Nitsopoulos Family of St. Catharines is making $10,000 available for the winning business plan committed to establishing and operating a business venture in the Niagara region. The Nitsopoulos Family Entrepreneurship Award funds can be divided between the eligible winning candidates, at the discretion of the Blueprint Advisory Panel.

Who can apply?
Blueprint is designed for undergraduate students at Brock University, and recent graduates (no more than 2 years since graduation). Blueprint is open to students of any faculty and area of study, and is not limited to business students. If a team of individuals wishes to submit an application, at least 50% of the team members must be Brock University undergraduate students, or recent graduates.

How to Apply
To submit a proposal, visit the Blueprint website. The deadline for submissions is November 30, 2012, at 11:59pm.

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