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NEWS

November 9, 2012

Build Bartlesville Contest to Provide Seed Grants to Winners

Bartlesville, Okla. — Early stage entrepreneurs, as well as current business owners in the Bartlesville area, are encouraged to submit their innovative business ideas to the Build Bartlesville competition.

Build Bartlesville is a second-year program of the Innovation Center at Rogers State University. Participants in the competition will compete for their share of up to $15,000 in grant funds to start or enhance their business.

Entrepreneurs who plan to compete should visit the competition website, www.BuildBartlesville.info, and complete the intent-to-compete forms by January 25, 2013. Proposals are due on February 11, 2013. Finalists of the competition will receive one-on-one coaching from Innovation Center staff members to help solidify their business idea for the final stage of the competition, oral presentations before a panel of judges.

"Sometimes entrepreneurs need a little capital to turn an innovative idea into a commercial success. We are offering an incentive to encourage more people to take their ideas to the next level," said David Wood, President and CEO of Bartlesville Development Corporation.

The competition is open to qualifying startups or businesses looking to expand in the Bartlesville area or willing to locate a business there, Wood said. The grants are intended to create jobs in the Bartlesville community and may be used for implementing ideas resulting in a new business, upgrading a product line or service, or branching into new markets. Successful proposals will have the potential to increase wealth for the Bartlesville area. To be eligible, the innovative product or service will generate more than one half of its revenues from outside Washington County.

Applicants with the best plans to start or expand a business will receive a portion of $15,000 to go toward eligible costs, which include equipment, the purchase or improvement of property, marketing and more.

"We want to encourage the pioneering spirit Bartlesville was founded on," said Jeri Koehler, director of the Innovation Center at RSU. "This competition is a way to provide the seed funds to do just that. Through the RSU Innovation Center and our partners we provide the assistance entrepreneurs need."

The Build Bartlesville innovative ideas competition is a collaboration among Rogers State University and the Bartlesville Development Corporation. Area sponsors include the 66 Federal Credit Union, Armstrong Bank, RCB Bank, the Strategy Center at Tri County Technology Center, Woolaroc, the Price Tower and the Bartlesville History Museum. The official media sponsors for the event are Bartlesville Radio and the Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise newspaper.

More information regarding the competition and eligibility requirements are available at www.BuildBartlesville.info.