Autry Technology Center’s annual Cherokee Strip Business Model Competition now is taking applications. The deadline to apply is April 24.

Up to $30,000 will be awarded to the top four teams.

“The Business Model Competition is a tremendous opportunity for local businesses and entrepreneurs to present their concept to experienced judges,” said Meredith Westfahl, Autry Tech small business management coordinator.

“Competitors gain incredible feedback and access to seed capital. It is also a great way for companies to gain exposure in the local market.”

Businesses interested in entering must be less than five years old to be eligible.

Preference may be shown to businesses operating in the Enid and Northwest Oklahoma trade area.

The competition consists of three phases: submission of a business plan, a 15-minute oral presentation and a third presentation in front of a judging panel. Four winners and a people’s choice winner will be selected.

Top three winners will receive one year of co-working space at the Strate Center.

“The competition was created to put education into action,” said Brian Gaddy, director of the Strate Center for Business Development. “Enid has a multitude of educational opportunities for business owners, and we wanted to add the motivation of a contest with significant funding up for grabs to get aspiring and new business owners to apply business concepts to their projects.”

More than $100,000 has been awarded in seed capital through the Cherokee Strip Business Model Competition since its start in 2012.

Funding for the competition is provided in combined effort by donors in the Enid Entrepreneur Leadership Series.

Donors for this year’s competition include the Allen Family Foundation, the Ward Family Foundation, Enid Regional Development Alliance, Security National Bank, Encompass Financial Services, Inc., Bank of Kremlin, Michael P. Wright — Edward Jones Investment and Groendyke Transport Inc.

For more information about the competition and for an application, visit or contact Meredith Westfahl at mwestfahl@autrytech. edu or (580) 242-2750.