KANKAKEE, IL – February 23, 2015 – Kicking off National Entrepreneurship Week, organizers of Kankakee County’s business plan competition “EnterpriseU” issued a call for applicants for their 2015 program at a press conference held Monday, February 23. Event sponsors including the Economic Alliance of Kankakee County, Kankakee Community College, the Community Foundation of Kankakee River Valley, Kankakee Development Corp. and Kankakee County Chamber of Commerce – with special guest Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs – outlined the components of this year’s program, which includes business plan mentoring, a small business coursework series crafted by KCC’s Small Business Development Center, networking events with local entrepreneurs and business leaders, along with the formal business plan competition and prize package eligibility.
Also released were a refined program logo and a new tagline, which urges aspiring entrepreneurs to “Make Your Mark in Kankakee County.”
“EnterpriseU is a perennial favorite in this community,” explained Economic Alliance Director of Marketing & Business Attraction Lisa Wogan. “Our phone has been ringing with inquiries about it for months.
“Simply, this program is an outstanding way for anyone with a strong business idea to give that idea some structure and legs in the form of a lender-ready business plan,” she added. “We’re aiming for at least 25 participants this year.”
The EnterpriseU Entrepreneurs Boot Camp & Business Plan Competition ran from 2011-2013, helping to launch a number of recognizable local startups, including Crème of the Crop Catering & Food Truck, BC Systems Wastewater Treatment, Geek Speak, Arseneau Media, Carlile Architects, The Pie Ladye, Align Yoga & Healing Arts, and Your Party Studio. Contestants each year vie for three prize packages that include startup capital, 6 months rent-free office space, and a suite of business and professional services.
Complete prize package and program details can be found by visiting kankakeecountyed.org or “EnterpriseU Kankakee County” on Facebook, or by calling 815.935.1177.
EnterpriseU 2015 is open to startups, existing businesses seeking expansion into new product/service markets, and new businesses open for less than 1 year. Contestants are not limited by geography, but winners must agree to site their businesses within Kankakee County.
Application deadline for EnterpriseU 2015 is Friday, March 20. The 2-month program concludes with final presentations and the announcement of winners on Thursday, June 11. There is a $50 fee per applicant business. Apply online here.
EnterpriseU 2015 program sponsors include the Economic Alliance of Kankakee County, Kankakee Community College, the Community Foundation of Kankakee River Valley, Kankakee County Chamber of Commerce, Kankakee Development Corp., The Daily Journal, Catalyst Innovation Center, Buck Tamblyn Property Management, Momentum Momence, Geoffery Johns and Associates, LinkPoint Media, Premium Specialties, Wayba Productions, Ravenspring Creative, Midland States Bank and Geek Speak.
The Economic Alliance of Kankakee County is a public-private partnership that works to create jobs and expand the economic base by improving the local business climate. Working under Kankakee County’s 2014-19 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy, the Alliance is challenged to help spur $500 million in new business investment and 500 new jobs, along with assisting 150 prospective new businesses. For more information, visit kankakeecountyed.org or phone 815.935.1177.