For Hometown News
TREASURE COAST -- A little more than a year ago, John Moore and Kevin Barry, partners in the Vero Beach based Rossway Moore Swan Attorneys At Law, attended an entrepreneur summit at the Richardson Center located at Indian River State College in Vero Beach.
The purpose of the event, organized by Michael Corbit of Workforce Solutions and Jan Pagano of Indian River State College, was to present entrepreneurs from across the Research Coast (Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin and Okeechobee counties), and showcase their innovative technologies.
The seven entrepreneur presenters included a variety of start-up and early-stage companies representing an array of industries.
It didn't take long before Mr. Moore and Mr. Barry, together with Russell Bjorkman, approached the college with their desire to help form a nonprofit, private sector foundation that could launch a business plan competition for similar companies along the Research Coast.
Combining their vision, talents and investments in the community, the Research Coast Principium Foundation, a nonprofit entity, was born and plans for a business plan competition were initiated.
The purpose of the foundation is to dedicate and promote the development of economic opportunity by facilitating interaction between professionals, investors, supporting organizations and the emerging business community of Florida's Research Coast.
Through the business plan competition, they seek to bring together all relevant elements in support of business development and by creating jobs on the Research Coast.
In addition to Mr. Barry Mr. Moore and Mr. Bjorkman, an international corporate attorney,the other foundation directors include Michael Corbit, regional talent acquisition manager at Workforce Solutions, Vinny Olmstead, founder of Vocap Ventures, Ms. Pagano, associate dean of administrative services at Indian River State College and Ed Tighe, a retired entrepreneur and independent trustee, who also acted as a mentor and a judge for the 2011 entrepreneur summit.
Since the competition was announced over the summer, a number of applications have already been received. The foundation is looking for entrepreneurs and companies with innovative ideas that are interested in participating. Applicants from all industries are welcome to apply.
Bonus points, however, will be given for companies that are operating in one of the qualified target industries which include clean tech, life sciences, information technology, aviation/aerospace, logistics and distribution, defense and homeland security, financial/professional services and manufacturing.
There will be a progression of applicant eliminations prior to the March 21 public event at IRSC in Vero Beach where the final applicants will make their presentation in a "Shark Tank-" type analysis of plans and ideas in front of a panel of experts.
The winner will receive a cash prize, the title of inaugural champion, as well as a package of free legal, accounting and mentoring advice.
The second-place winner will also receive a cash prize and all presenters will enjoy the ability to market and expose their company to the attending, interested audience.
The deadline to apply is Jan. 7. Applications can be found by visiting www.rcbiznovation.com.
"This is an opportunity for companies throughout the four-county region to identify and showcase their businesses," said Mr. Corbit.
All applicants must upload their submission package online by visiting rcbiznovation.com.
For more information, call (772) 231-4440.