The Innovation Awards application deadline has been extended to June 15, 2014, due to the recent historic flooding in Northwest Florida. High-tech companies have a little more time to get their big idea off the drawing board.
Open to businesses and entrepreneurs across the Southeast, the 2014 Innovation Awards will offer companies a chance to present their business cases to venture capitalists, angel investors and financiers.
The top 20 companies will be selected by a panel of experts to showcase their products and services before an attending audience of entrepreneurs, industry leaders, and potential investors or strategic partners. The top 10 companies will be invited to compete before a live panel of judges for cash and prizes valued at more than $215,000, making this the single largest business plan competition in Florida’s history. 1st place is a cash prize of $100,000. 2nd place is a cash prize of $50,000. 3rd place is prize equal to $5,000 in business services. The top 20 companies will receive an exclusive package of business mentorship, business planning and counseling services from the Florida SBDC Network.
Additionally, Microsoft will award all qualifying companies a Microsoft BizSpark subscription, which provides start-ups with software, support, development tools and Microsoft Azure cloud usage credits to help start-ups build their business and succeed.
The three most promising software development entries will receive a “Microsoft BizSpark Plus” subscription, a $60,000 value in Microsoft software and Azure services.
The event will also provide an opportunity for the companies to be seen by potential investors. All top 20 companies will receive an exclusive package of business coaching and counseling services from the Florida SBDC Network. Venture capital and angel investors are invited. Two previous Space Florida-sponsored competitions led to over $40 million in total capital investment for participating companies.
Applications are online at www.innovationcoast.com/awards and will be accepted through June 15. Finalists will be notified by June 30. The Innovation Awards event will be held November 6 and 7, 2014 at the Hilton Pensacola Beach.