Wondering where you’re going to find funding for your small business? If you’re motivated and excited about your idea, annual business competitions can be a great option. Don’t worry if you’re working with a tight budget — most are free to enter, so all you need to spend is your time. Prizes range from seed money for small startups to larger chunks of cash, which can help you in the startup or growth phase.
GoDaddy Life Fulfilling Ventures
If you need a small cash infusion to get started, GoDaddy’s Life Fulfilling Ventures competition could be right for you. This competition is open to any entrepreneur or small business owner based in Canada. Don’t be afraid to gush about your idea — the focus of the contest is to find Canadians who are passionate about their businesses. As of April 2018, if you win, you could get $2,500 in cash, plus a $250 credit for any of GoDaddy’s services. To enter, all you need to do is submit a short statement about your company and why you should get the prize money.
Pitch for the Purse
Are you a female entrepreneur? Look no further than the Pitch for the Purse competition held by the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs. As its name suggests, this contest is designed to help you refine your pitch. Each step comes with exciting benefits. Just for applying, you gain access to a special educational session and the chance to get direct feedback on your spiel during a Mini-Pitch Session. If you make it to the Semi-Finals, you’re partnered with an industry professional for personalized coaching and attend the pitch competition in front of a panel of judges. In the final round, a financial expert mentors you, and you pitch to an audience of business leaders for the $25,000 grand prize. If you make it to the Finals, you automatically get a free registration for FWE’s E-Series entrepreneurial program.
If you’re looking for serious funding, the TiEQuest competition could be the right choice. This popular event, which is held in Toronto and open to startups all over Canada, has cash prizes that top out at over $100,000. That’s not all — by participating, you also have the opportunity to network with industry professionals, including venture capitalists and angel investors. TiEQuest unfolds over several months and involves multiple stages. To start, you must submit an online application. From there, you move through a round of online judging, a mentoring session, and an elevator pitch competition. If you move on, you can compete with other startups in a business plan pitching competition. The event ends with an industry gala, where you have the chance to meet the industry leaders that are interested in new businesses. Even if you don’t win, this exposure can help you get the venture capital you need.
Business competitions come with some big benefits for new businesses. In addition to the prize money, the attention these events draw can bring in potential customers or investors who can help you skyrocket your company to the next level.