Entrepreneurs to compete for business start-up funds
By Brie Handgraaf
The Wilson Times
Monday, January 8, 2018
Forty-six entrepreneurs signed up to participate in the inaugural DreamFest competition later this month for a chance to win start-up funds and share their dreams with the community.
“We wanted to elicit new business and innovation by seeing what assets we have right here in our region,” said Upper Coast Plain Business Development Center Manager Olga Abrams.
Eighteen registrations were submitted by Wilsonians while 12 came from Nash County, eight from Pitt County, three from Halifax County, two each from Edgecombe and Wake counties and one from Pender County. The prospective businesses vary, including 18 from the service sector, eight each in food service and retail products, four in manufacturing products, two in technology and one each from real estate, health care and farming.
For a chance at the $10,000 grand prize, entrants must submit a business plan by Thursday. Abrams said a five-judge panel will review the submissions and narrow the pool down to six finalists, which will be announced on Jan. 19. The business plan will account for 70 percent of the applicants’ score while the remainder will be related to oral presentations by the top six made at DreamFest on Jan. 27.
Before the competition presentations, DreamFest attendees will hear from keynote speakers Ken Adelglass and Julius Tillery. Adelglass founded Waxhaw Kid Coders after struggling to find ways to teach his then-12-year-old computer programming in a fun way. Tillery, a native of eastern North Carolina, is an “agvocate” promoting business development among agriculture operations.
“We’ll have our keynote speakers who will create synergy, then we’ll move on to our oral presentations from the competition finalists,” Abrams said. “We’ll have a lunch break and come back for the announcement of the winners.”
Tickets to the event on Jan. 27 are on sale now at tinyurl.com/yaxhntk4 for $15 each, which includes a $5 coupon to eat at a downtown restaurant. Attendees will get a chance to weigh in on the competitors with smartphones. For more information on the event, visit www.dreamfest2018.info/.