University Park Alliance, Charter One and Torchbearers Gear Up for Second Annual Business Plan Competition
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Carol Murphy, Chief of Staff
Winners of the University Park Start-UP! Competition Will Receive Awards Up to $10,000.
AKRON, Ohio –January 31, 2013 – University Park Alliance (UPA) will once again be accepting applications for the Start-UP! Business Plan Competition. The competition is supported by the Charter One Growing Communities initiative, a project aimed at boosting economic and neighborhood development, and is open to all interested entrepreneurs who would like to locate a business in University Park. Business start-up assistance is provided by Torchbearers. Torchbearers is a young professional organization focused on leadership development and community service, and is an affiliate of Leadership Akron. The goal of the competition is to help attract and assist new businesses in theUniversity Parkneighborhood.
Interested entrepreneurs begin the process by submitting an application found at www.upakron.com/start-up due March 15, 2013. Selected finalists will be notified in April.
“Business development is essential to building a sense of place and strengthening the soul of the community” said UPA Executive Director Eric Anthony Johnson. He continued, “The support of the Charter One Foundation validates this issue and sends a powerful message thatUniversity Parkis a place worth investing in.”
In April, finalists will present their plans before a panel of judges. Winners will be selected based upon the most sound business model and viability of success within theUniversity Parkneighborhood. A cash prize up to $10,000 will be awarded. Multiple winners may be selected. Winning businesses will also receive accounting and legal assistance provided by Torchbearers as they continue in their start-up process.
The Charter One Growing Communities initiative has invested $718,000 in revitalizing urban neighborhoods inNortheast Ohiosince 2010. Small business grant competitions have taken place inCleveland’sOhioCity, Gordon Square Arts District, and St. Clair Superior neighborhoods and Akron’sUniversity Parkneighborhood.
“Charter One is proud to continue our partnership with University Park Alliance to grow our communities and enhance our neighborhoods. The small business grant competition is an exciting opportunity to support entrepreneurs and help bring their fresh, new ideas to life,” said Ken Marblestone, President of Charter One and RBS Citizens,Ohio.
For more information about the competition visit www.upakron.com, call 330.777.2070.
About University Park Alliance
University Park Alliance (http://www.upakron.com/university-park-alliance) is a nonprofit community development corporation dedicated to advancing the transformation ofUniversity Park, the 50-block neighborhood surrounding The University of Akron. UPA’s urban reinvestment strategy is to capitalize on the economic synergy of Akron’s Anchor Institutions and develop University Park as a dense, walkable neighborhood with diverse cultural offerings, great healthcare, quality education and plenty of recreational and leisure opportunities. UPA receives major funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and its partners include The University of Akron, City of Akron, Summa Health System, Akron Beacon Journal, Akron Children’s Hospital, Akron General Health System, Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority, Greater Akron Chamber, Akron Public Schools, and the University Park residential and business community.