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Catawba to announce winners of Big Idea business plan contest

SALISBURY — What’s the big idea? Come to Catawba College Wednesday night to find out.
The public is invited to hear the winners in the first Big Idea Business Plan Competition announced at an awards ceremony slated for 6 p.m. in Tom Smith Auditorium of Ketner Hall on Catawba’s campus.
Would-be entrepreneurs in Rowan County had a chance to vie for cash prizes in the Big Idea Business Plan Competition that began March 1 and ran through March 21.
The competition is sponsored by Catawba College’s Ketner School of Business as a way to promote entrepreneurship and an understanding of the business planning process for Rowan County residents. The Rowan County Chamber of Commerce is preparing to launch an entrepreneurial development program with a focus on business plans.
Catawba’s competition invited participation in three categories — high school, college and adult. Entrants in each division are competing for a $1,000 first place prize, a $500 second place prize and a $250 third place prize to be awarded Wednesday.
Participants were asked to submit a broad summary of their business concept online. The top three competitors in each division were assigned a mentor who helped guide and refine their business plan development.
A completed Business Model Canvas, along with a two-to-three minute video pitching the business idea, was submitted to the judges for final review and ranking.
Dr. Pam Thompson, interim dean for the Ketner School of Business and Big Idea co-chair along with Dr. Phillip Frank, said she sees this year’s competition as “the first annual” and hopes it will “sow the seeds of entrepreneurship for the future Ralph Ketners in our county.”
A generous grant from Ralph Ketner made possible the competition and the $1,750 per division prizes.

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