April 12 is the first deadline in this year’s Cherokee Strip Business Model Competition.

Through the support of Autry Technology Center and corporate sponsors, Cherokee Strip Business Model Competition is able to recognize top performers with cash and in-kind service awards, with up to $30,000 awarded annually.

The competition is funded by donors whose mission is to help build entrepreneurial leaders and ventures.

All winnings are only to be used for business expenses that will help launch and/or grow the business. All prizes will be issued upon the presentation of receipts to Autry Technology Center and must be in accord with expenses as outlined in the selected business model.

Those competing must submit their written plans by April 12. Oral presentations will be made April 26 and with final judging and awards set for May 2.

The competition is broken into three rounds. Each competitor will submit a completed release form and business plan to: Autry Technology Center, Center for Business Development, Attn: Business Model Competition, 1201 West Willow, Enid, OK 73701.

Presenting an investment package that attracts the interest of investors and customers is the key to getting to round two. Eight semifinalists will be chosen from submissions and will continue on to round two. Plans that tie within top eight places will all advance to round two.

All applications and plans must be submitted by 5 p.m. April 12. Those needing assistance putting their plans together can contact Meredith Westfahl at (580) 242- 2750 or email mwestfahl@autrytech.edu.

Round two includes presentations. The eight semifinalists will present their business models before the judging panel April 26. The top four models will be selected as finalists that night and are advanced to round three.

Round three includes the judging panel. The finalists will present their business models before the judging panel May 2. There also will be a people’s choice award given.

Eligibility rules include:

• Eligible participants — Individuals or businesses that want to start, expand or diversify and have not been registered with the state of Oklahoma for more than five years.

Previous winners are ineligible to compete.The business must be a seed or start-up venture and the materials must address the entire business concept, including implementation.

Proposals for the buy-out or expansion of an existing company, tax-shelter opportunities, real estate syndications, franchises, non-profit and consulting projects or analyses are eligible on a case-by-case basis.

• Business plan — Plans are limited to 30 pages of typed text, which includes the executive summary, financial statement and projections, but excludes appendices. All pages past 30 (excluding appendices) will be omitted from judging.

Summary financial data must include a five-year pro-forma cash flow statement, income statement, balance sheet and funds required/used. Because of the number of teams/plans entering the competition, reviewers and judges may not be able to read all of the material in the appendices. Therefore, the text portion of the plan (30 pages) must contain all pertinent information in a clear and concise manner.

• Presentation — Each presenting team will be given 15 minutes to present their business plan followed by a five-minute question-and-answer session between the presenting team and the panel of judges. Each presenting team will have five minutes prior to its presentation for setup/preparation and five minutes after the presentation for equipment dismantling.

Each presenting team will receive further guidelines regarding presentations, including the equipment that will be provided. Competitors may bring product samples for their presentations, but may not bring any giveaways to the judges. Handout materials, such as copies of the presentation, are recommended but not required.

For more information, visit https://autrytech.edu/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Business-Model-Competition-Guidelines_FINAL_2018-1.pdf.

Story provided by Enid News & Eagle

Written by: Cass Rains