YBI, America Makes Announce $100K Startup Contest

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – To raise its profile in additive manufacturing, the Youngstown Business Incubator has announced the Amped $100,000 Startup Competition.

YBI describes the contest as an opportunity for the winning team to start a portfolio company on its campus.

“Teams will have the opportunity to compete for up to $100,000 of investment funding and up to $50,000 of in-kind professional services offered through the Youngstown Business Incubator,” the announcement reads.

With America Makes, the incubator will accept applications for “products that solve some of the technical challenges facing additive manufacturing” or “business ideas related to business-to-business software or other technologies.”

Proposals in the additive manufacturing sector will be given special consideration, said Rich Wetzel, YBI additive manufacturing business coordinator.

Applications will be accepted from July 1 to Aug. 14. After all have been reviewed, judges from the YBI and America Makes will choose up to seven teams of entrepreneurs and invite them to Youngstown Nov. 2 to pitch their ideas, marketing strategies and team members to a panel of YBI and America Makes members.

The winning team – or teams, Wetzel noted – will receive or share up to $100,000 of investment funding and up to $50,000 in support services from the incubator.

“This is an investment opportunity for credible entrepreneurs looking to grow their early-stage start-up,” Wetzel said in a release. “Prizes will only be awarded to the team or teams that display strong business and technical acumen and have a viable business idea that can be taken to market.”

Teams that apply can have no more than six people, and a designated “entrepreneurial lead.” Their revenues cannot exceed $100,000.

“For finalists of the competition to be eligible to receive investment prizes, they must live or relocate in northeastern Ohio,” Wetzel said.

The competition came about last year after the University Business Incubator Index ranked the incubator as the No. 1 university-affiliated business incubator in the world.

“One of the recommendations to further enhance YBI’s programming was to develop initiatives to generate new ideas and increase the number of portfolio companies,” Wetzel said.

Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.