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NMC Hosts 3rd Annual Business Concept Competition (April 28, 2008)

In an effort to generate and promote new business ideas that would encourage entrepreneurship and economic growth in the CNMI, the Northern Marianas College (NMC) Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and Business Department have teamed up to host the 3rd Annual NMC Business Concept Competition, which awards substantial cash prizes to the top four student teams with the best business ideas for the CNMI.

Eight (8) teams comprised of students studying business at NMC will be submitting their written business concept papers for initial judging on April 28th. Of the original 8 teams, four (4) finalist teams will be selected to present their business concepts to a panel of three judges from the local banking industry. The presentations for the four finalist teams will be made on Friday, May 2nd. The first place team will win $1,000, second place $750, third place $500, and fourth place $250.

The competition was designed to achieve four objectives: promote economic development in the CNMI by stimulating viable business ideas; encourage business community mentors to serve as a resource for NMC students pursuing entrepreneurial interests; provide NMC students with hands-on professional experience through which classroom concepts and theories can be applied and tested; and enhance general understanding of the importance of entrepreneurship to the CNMI economy.

“We are extremely proud of the members of all eight teams that entered the competition. Even though the judges have the task of selecting the four winning teams, all the teams had great ideas and they put a lot of thought and effort into their business concepts,” said NMC’s Business Concept Competition co-coordinator, D. Rik Villegas.

Competitions like this can be found on Guam, Hawaii, and at many universities in the United States. Some of them are very popular and the entrants often implement their ideas and plans to start successful businesses. It also allows budding entrepreneurs to gain valuable feedback and attract possible investors. In order to be an acceptable business concept, the concept had to be: legal; a for-profit business venture; a business that could be implemented in the CNMI; and not a franchise.

It is hoped that this business concept competition will continue as an annual event and that it will stimulate many new business ideas in the CNMI. Even more desirable is that many of those ideas will move from the planning to execution, where it can possible generate good income for its owners and jobs for employees. The first time the event was held back in 2005, the winning team, Tropical Attitude Magazine, used their prize money to help launch their tourist magazine that targets Chinese visitors to the CNMI.

NMC encourages the community to show its support for these student teams by attending the finalist presentations on Friday, May 2th from 2:00 pm ” 5:00 pm in room D-1 (across from the NMC Bookstore). Admission is Free. Questions can be directed to Eric Plinske, also a co-coordinator for the competition, at telephone no. 234-5498 x1830 or email him at [email protected].

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