South Florida's entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well. For proof, I offer you this:
The 15th Annual Miami Herald Business Plan Challenge attracted about 240 entries, the highest number since 1999, the year our contest started. As always, the entries seemed to represent the diversity that is South Florida -- with concepts for restaurants and food products, fashion, technology, healthcare, education, social entrepreneurship and more. We had diversity of age as well -- with about 50 high school teams entering and several entries from participants “in retirement.”
If you entered by the midnight deadline Monday and did not get an automatic response that your entry was received or had other problems with submitting your entry, please email email@example.com so we can make sure your plan is entered.
What’s next? The plans now go to the judges. Each track — Community, FIU and High School — has its own set of judges. We will announce the first round of finalists in Business Monday and on MiamiHerald.com/challenge on April 8. Then we will announce our top six plans in the Community and FIU Tracks on April 15, which will also be entered into our video contest. The winners will be profiled in a special edition of Business Monday on May 6.
Our 2013 contest is sponsored by FIU’s Pino Global Entrepreneurship Center and the High School Track is sponsored by the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship.