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SBCC, NAWBO-SB Team Up to Launch Business Plan Competition for Students

The contest, also open to local high-schoolers, is designed to promote entrepreneurship

SBCC’s Scheinfeld Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation has teamed up with the Santa Barbara Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners to launch the first-ever Scheinfeld Center New Venture Challenge.

On May 13, 2011, the SBCC Scheinfeld Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation will host the two-tiered business plan competition for SBCC students and area high school students to promote youth entrepreneurship.

The competition serves as a capstone experience to the community college students in entrepreneurship and career technical studies and as a capstone offering to the high school students participating in the Virtual Enterprise programs run by the Santa Barbara County Educational Office Regional Occupational Program and other organizations.

The Scheinfeld Center is the first to offer a local business plan competition serving community college and high school students in the area. This provides an opportunity to students with common interests and goals to interact, network and prepare for a competition and potentially advance their business ideas. This program bolsters the pathway from area high school entrepreneurship programs to SBCC’s entrepreneurship program.

“Student entrepreneurs of all ages are given an opportunity to be recognized locally for their entrepreneurial spirit,” Scheinfeld Center Director Melissa Crawford said.

Students are required to submit applications and follow uniform guidelines for consistency in presentations and judging. Community executives, bankers, investors and entrepreneurs are invited and selected to volunteer to judge the applicants’ business plans, choose finalists and judge at the competition. Students are first judged based on their application, and 10 to 12 finalists will be invited to pitch at the Scheinfeld Center New Venture Challenge, which will take place on the SBCC main campus for a half-day in a lecture hall, followed by an awards banquet for students and parents.

NAWBO-SB has offered to sponsor the winners’ seats at the banquet. The winning students receive various levels of scholarship, cash or grant awards (or other opportunities) depending on the awards raised and participating sponsors. The current goal is $15,000 for cash and various in-kind opportunities. Sponsorship opportunities are still available.

“SBCC is pleased to partner with NAWBO on this exciting new project,” Dr. Andreea Serban, SBCC superintendent/president said. “Entrepreneurship is a key to the economic engine and progress of our country. The college and the business community are coming together to offer deserving entrepreneurial students a venue for realizing their career aspirations.”

Also on May 13, 2011, NAWBO-SB will host the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards, an awards dinner for NAWBO members and a fundraising event for the Scheinfeld Center New Venture Challenge at Fess Parker’s Doubletree Resort. NAWBO-SB will honor a nationally known woman entrepreneur as the recipient of the main Spirit of Entrepreneur Award, who will in turn present the Scheinfeld Center New Venture Challenge winners with their awards.

A portion of the proceeds of the dinner will help underwrite the New Venture Challenge of 2012. NAWBO-SB will also honor outstanding women in the Santa Barbara community who have shown entrepreneurial success in running organizations in the business, nonprofit and educational arenas.

“NAWBO-SB is delighted to be supporting the New Venture Challenge,” said Maeda Palius, president of the chapter. “It ties in perfectly with our mission to assist women business owners to grow their businesses and create strategic alliances.”

SBCC’s Scheinfeld Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation offers courses and events on entrepreneurship and provides resources to entrepreneurs, start-ups and small businesses. Click here for more information.

— Joan Galvan is a public information officer for SBCC.

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