Since its inaugural year in 2014, the Louisiana Startup Prize has brought in close to 500 entrepreneurs to be educated and energized in order to take their business to the next level. To empower entrepreneurs to grow and evolve their business or business plan into it’s full potential, the Startup Prize is back for its fourth year and is already attracting a more diverse group of aspiring and growing business owners and offering deeper educational and networking opportunities.
Question: What are the Dates?
Qualifying Event One: June 2-4
Qualifying Event Two: July 21-23
Registration for each event closes the Friday before each Qualifying Event (May 26th and July 14th, respectively) or when the event reaches capacity. Registration is $50 for one event and $75 for both.
Question: What type of entrepreneurs are you looking for?
Answer: The Louisiana Startup Prize is a startup business competition open to entrepreneurs of any nationality. A business will be considered for competition only if it is considered to be early-stage. An early-stage business is classified as one that is no more than three (3) years old, does not exceed $1 million in equity-based investment, and does not exceed $1 million in annual revenue at the time of application. Some exceptions can be made in certain circumstances, so if you don’t believe you meet the criteria, please call or email us!
Question: I don’t have a business (yet) but am interested in learning how to successfully create one, can I be a part of the Startup Prize?
Answer: Absolutely! That’s what the Startup Prize is designed to do! Each Qualifying Event is designed to help you grow in the right direction, connect you with valuable resources and mentors, and prepare you for those next steps that are needed to be taken.
Question: Do I have to be from Louisiana to register for the Startup Prize?
Answer: No! While we support local, and love to see local startups and entrepreneurs at our events, the beautiful thing about the Startup Prize and what makes us stand out from other entrepreneurial competitions, is the fact that we are geographically agnostic. Our main purposes are to help set entrepreneurs up for success, and possible investment.
Question: What is a Qualifying Event and what will I get from it?
Answer: Each Qualifying Event is designed to help your startup grow in the right direction by connecting you with valuable resources and mentors who can help you shape up your business plan, assess your business’ strengths and weaknesses, and prepare you for the final competition. What you learn at a Qualifying Event will help you complete your business plan (submitted through the Entrepreneur Portal) so that you can truly compete for the Grand Prize. Need legal advice? We’ve got that. Financials? You’re covered. Marketing? Absolutely. You will need to gain as much information as possible and learn how to ask the right questions. Pay attention, learn from others!
Question: Can you break the weekend down for me?
Answer: Sure thing! Here’s a broad overview of how the Qualifying Events will go down:
Friday Night: Networking Event and Session Registration
Meet your fellow entrepreneurs, mingle with gurus, plus register for your roundtables and mentoring sessions that are most applicable to your business and its needs. You will also enjoy free food and drinks. Not sure what roundtables or mentor sessions to sign up for? Call the Startup Prize office and we can help guide you.
Saturday: Keynotes, Roundtables, and Panels
During the day, we will present two keynote discussions which everyone will attend. There will also be three rounds of educational sessions. In each educational session you choose how to spend your time in one of a few ways. You may pick ONE event for each educational session:
Roundtable educational sessions discuss a specific topic (such as taxes, business to business transactions, or patent law) with a Guru Expert and up to 7 other entrepreneurs. The roundtables offer an opportunity to engage in a group discussion about a topic and to engage with other entrepreneurs, feeding off of each others’ energy and lines of thought. Roundtables last for 1 hour.
Open Panel Discussions also occur during the educational sessions and take on an array of topics. Each session will include a panel of a different topic. These discussions consist of two or more Guru Experts and a moderator discussing a given topic along with audience participation. This format is more intimate than the keynote discussions, but are more self-guided than roundtables. A lot of material can be covered in a very short timeframe. Panel Discussions last about 45 minutes.
Saturday Night: The Big Game
After all the hard work, this is when the party begins. Following our last keynote panel you can relax, grab dinner on your own, and start working on your “Big Game” competition task that has been assigned to you. These tasks are unique to each Qualifying Event and will require creativity, ingenuity, and teamwork if you want to win. You’ll turn in your project at the Hilton Downtown Shreveport bar and then party the night away with us. The winner is announced at Sunday Brunch and will be handed $1,000 on the spot.
Sunday Brunch: Big Game Winner and Wrap Up
Put on your sunglasses, hit the Advil, and join us for one last hoorah. On Sunday we’ll announce our $1000 winner, revisit with friends, and hand out some final pieces of advice on how to win the Louisiana Startup Prize.
So, if you are an aspiring business owner or promising startup, what are you waiting for? Shreveport is home to the best resources to start and grow your business anywhere in the Ark-La-Tex and rivals entrepreneurial competitions around the world. Register today, become a part of the best family, and realize your full potential with the tools that Startup Prize has to offer you.
As we always say, YOU are the PRIZE! We can’t wait to see you this year.