This year, Louisiana Startup Prize will be hosting two Qualifying Events. You MUST attend at least one Qualifying Event in Shreveport to be eligible for the competition, but the more you attend, the more you will learn. Here are the dates for 2017:
Qualifying Event One: April 21-23
Qualifying Event Two: June 2-4
Registration for each event closes the Friday before each Qualifying Event (April 14th and May 26th, respectively) or when the event reaches capacity.
Each Qualifying Event is designed to help your startup grow in the right direction, connect you with valuable resources and mentors, 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! 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, Panels, and Mentor Sessions
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:
Seated at a Roundtable: These 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.
Engaging in a One-on-One Mentor Session: This educational session provides an opportunity for you to sit mono e mono with a Guru Expert on a specific topic. Did you learn something at a roundtable that you need clarification on? Do you have a specific question regarding a topic in your business plan? Use this time to meet behind closed doors for a more personal touch on a given topic. Mentor sessions last about 20 minutes each. There are three one-on-one slots per Expert Guru for each educational session.
Participating in an Open Panel Discussion: Also occuring during the educational sessions are Open Panel Discussions which 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.
A sample schedule that you might choose could consist of:
Breakfast (everyone attends)
Keynote Panel: Corporate Culture (everyone attends)
Session 1: Roundtable, Taxes and Finance
Lunch and Live Music (everyone attends)
Session 2: One-on-One Mentor Session, Marketing
Session 3: Open Panel: The 45 Minute Business Plan
Closing Keynote: Leadership in Business (everyone attends)
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.