NH Startup Challenge ready to kick off Feb. 24

$70,000 in cash and prizes up for grabs in 9th annual contest


From left, Joel Robinson, CEO of VidFall, of the 2015 NH Startup Challenge, Jeff Kelley, co-founder of BevNow and winner of the People's Choice award. The 2016 Startup Challenge kicks off on Feb. 24 at Alpha Loft in Manchester.

The Manchester Young Professionals Network’s will be kicking off its ninth annual NH Startup Challenge, a chance for Granite State startups to compete for up to

$70,000 in cash and in-kind services. Start date is Feb. 24.

Since its inception, the Startup Challenge has awarded $500,000 to startups and has connected entrepreneurs and social innovators with seed capital and key services.

Any New Hampshire resident with an idea can apply. Startups must be for-profit, have been in existence for less than three years, have raised under $100,000 in funding and generated under $100,000 in 2015 revenue.

In order to qualify, contestants must email a completed application form (available for download at mypn.org), with optional link to a video pitch, to startup@mypn.org by March 18.

A panel of judges, including venture capitalists, investment bankers and technology experts, will select a group of five to seven semifinalists to pitch their ideas on April 5 at Alpha Loft in Manchester.

Three finalists will be chosen to hone their business plans, with the assistance of mentors from Alpha Loft to help navigate a competitive review process and prepare for a closed presentation before judges on April 25.

The competition will culminate with a final live pitch event on May 11, when finalists will deliver one last pitch and the audience will have the opportunity to select the $5,000 People’s Choice Award.

The first-place winner will receive; $55,000 in cash and in-kind services (cash portion up to $20,000); legal services, accounting services and marketing services from various Manchester area businesses; and a one-year residency at Alpha Loft.

The second-place finisher will receive a minimum of $5,000 to $10,000 in cash.

The People’s Choice Award winner will receive up to $5,000 in cash.

For more information, visit mypn.org.

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