Business plan contest returns in ‘21

Midlothian Chamber brings back competition; more than $10K in prizes to be awarded

Bill Spinks
Midlothian Mirror
Representatives of The Honeybee show off their third-place award in the inaugural Midlothian Chamber of Commerce Business Plan Competition in November 2019. The Chamber has announced that it will hold a second competition this spring.

The Midlothian Chamber of Commerce business model competition will return in time for what many are hoping will be the waning days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The competition will be returning for a second time this spring, the Chamber announced last week. The “Shark Tank”-style contest will once again be open to anyone interested in starting a business in the Midlothian area.

The deadline for business plan submissions will be March 24, with finalists announced on April 7 and the pitch competition scheduled for April 15. Registration fee is $50. A registration form and competition details are available on the Midlothian Chamber’s website.

The first competition was held in November 2019 and was a success. The Ready Room won the competition, while Azure Kids was voted second and The Honeybee was third.

More than $10,000 in prizes will be awarded during the competition, with $2,500 for first place, $1,500 for second place and $500 for third place. The grand prize winner will receive a package of in-kind business services and support valued at $5,000.

The purpose of the competition is to encourage small business owners to manage and operate their business according to a written plan.

Last year, Angel Biasatti, chair of the Midlothian Chamber’s education committee, said the Chamber wanted to offer an opportunity for people who want to start a business in Midlothian.

“It’s an opportunity to learn about how to put together a business plan, and to win funding for that plan,” she said. “Research has shown that a well-researched plan has a positive impact on the bottom line. It strengthens an owner’s ability to generate revenue and create jobs.”

Entrants will be scored by judges on certain criteria on a scale of 1 through 7, and the top three will be chosen based on the sum of their scores. Those criteria will include executive summary; company overview; products or services; marketing plan; operations plan; management; financials; risk assessment/exit strategy; and viability.

Sponsors to date include Google, First Financial Bank, Tarleton State University, Methodist Midlothian, Frost Bank and the Midlothian Economic Development Corporation.