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Venture Sharks business competition accepting applications

For early-stage startups and entrepreneurs

FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 15, 2017) — Venture Connectors is accepting applications through March 22 for its eighth annual Venture Sharks business competition. A new audience participation crowdfunding campaign will award a separate prize to a company chosen by the audience.

imgresThe competition is for early-stage startups and entrepreneurs in Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio and Tennessee.

The 2017 prize package of $32,245 includes:

  • A brand strategy and website design package valued at $10,000, provided by Mightily
  • Financial consulting services valued at $8,400, provided by ARGI CFO Solutions
  • Intellectual property risk analysis services valued at $5,000, provided by Intellectual Property Insurances Services Corp.
  • Legal services valued at $5,000, provided by Stoll Keenon Ogden
  • Public relations consulting services valued at $2,500, provided by Guthrie Mayes Public Relations
  • One free year at the iHub incubator valued at $1,000, provided by Nucleus
  • An annual membership to Venture Connectors valued at $345

The Venture Sharks committee will select up to 10 companies to compete in the competition’s semifinals event on April 12, at the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville. Entrepreneurs will present their business plans to a panel of investor sharks.

From there the field will be narrowed to four finalists, who will then vie for more than $37,000 in cash and prizes at Venture Connectors’ regular monthly lunch on May 3 at the Muhammad Ali Center.

In the final round, presenters will be allowed a few minutes to describe their idea to the judges, who then ask questions in the style of the popular television show, “Shark Tank.” The winner will be selected based on the viability of their idea, the ability of the final award to positively impact the business and the quality of their presentation. The winner must agree to use both the cash award and the in-kind services to directly pursue the business opportunity presented in the competition.