Do you have the next “Great Idea?” Enter the 2016 Merced Innovation Challenge (MIC) for a chance to win cash and professional services to help get your Idea “off the ground”.
The 2016 MIC is presented by the Valley Sierra Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and co-sponsored by CA Community College – “Doing What Matters” small business program.
What is the Merced Innovation Challenge (MIC)?
The “Challenge” is designed to assist people in Mariposa and Merced Counties who have viable and innovative new ideas or products. The focus of the program is to determine if their idea has commercial potential, help them develop their idea into a viable concept and then help those with the best concepts become successful businesses. The 2016 MIC will be held on April 27th at the Merced City Hall located at 678 18th Street in Merced. The winner of the Challenge will receive a $1,500 cash prize and professional services valued at $2,000 to help them develop their concept and move toward market introduction.
Who is eligible to enter the Challenge?
The 2016 Merced Innovation Challenge is open to residents, students and owners of businesses located in Merced County and the adjacent county of Mariposa. The first step to enter the Challenge is to complete and submit a simple application. Up to a maximum of 8 applicants that best meet the completion criteria will be invited to present to a panel of three experienced Judges.
Each presenter will have a total of 2 minutes to “Pitch” their idea to the panel and then each judge will have 2 minutes to provide feedback about the presenter’s “Pitch”. After all presentations, each judge and each member of the audience will vote for their three favorite competitors. The three competitors garnering the most “votes” move forward to a second round that evening to determine the final competition winner.
Round two will consist of nine specific questions asked by the judges to each presenter one at a time. The presenter will have up to 30 seconds to answer each question. After all nine questions are answered, each judge will have 2 minutes to ask the presenter any final clarifying questions. Presenters can respond until the two minutes is up. Then the judges and the audience will vote for their favorite competitor. The person with the most votes is declared the winner. The 2016 MIC winner will also be invited to present at the 8-county Regional Challenge to be held in Stockton in the spring of 2017. Each year the SJEC presents the 1st and 2nd place winners a share of $20K-$24K in cash and professional services.
Participants will be encouraged to use the no-cost consulting services of the Valley Sierra SBDC to guide them forward and prepare for the competition. Valley Sierra SBDC consultants are available at no-cost to assist MIC competitors complete their application, prepare for their “pitch” and continue to develop their idea whether they win the completion or not. For SBDC assistance or more information regarding the 2016 Merced Innovation Challenge call (209) 386-1008.
How to enter
Step 1: Download the 2016 Merced Entry Form and email to firstname.lastname@example.org by 11:59pm on
April 10th April 15, 2016. OR complete the application below and submit by 11:59pm on April 10th April 15, 2016. ALL entries submitted prior to each deadline will be reviewed for consideration. Those applicants who are selected will be contacted at the phone number you provide in your application.