Those who make something in Southwest Michigan have an opportunity to show off what they do at the upcoming Catalyst University.
For the first time, Catalyst is sponsoring a Makers Mart competition. It's intended to encourage people to support small businesses.
“We’ve added the Makers Mart competition to Catalyst University as a way to lift up the entrepreneurs of our region by encouraging people to support small business through buying products and services, not just by giving handouts," says Ron Kitchens, CEO of Southwest Michigan First. "We want to inspire leaders to not only define their passions and beliefs, but to put words into action and grow our community.”
The way it works: The Catalyst University Team will review applications for the competition and select four finalists who will tell their company's stories on video. The videos will be voted upon by the public to determine the overall winner.
The public will be able to vote through social media as will attendees at Catalyst University. There also will be feedback from a preselected judges panel of experts.
To be eligible companies must:
• Sell an existing product or service for consumer purchase;
• Be owned and operated in Southwest Michigan;
• Have annual sales of $500,000 or less;
• Be able to attend Catalyst University in Kalamazoo on January 29, 2015;
• Display and sell products or services at Catalyst University.
The winning Southwest Michigan maker will receive $5,000 in cash plus $5,000 worth of legal, marketing and accounting consultations.
Applications for the Makers’ Mart can be submitted now through 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2 p.m. here
. Additional information about Catalyst University can be found here
Source: Heather Baker Southwest Michigan First