AOA Startup Grant 2017

AOA Startup Grant 2017 announce billboard

The AOA Startup Grant is back for 2017!!!

This fall we'll again be awarding $2,500 in cash to help a new local project get off the ground, or take an existing small business project to the next level. This year's grant is sponsored by CDPHP, CDTA, the College of Saint Rose, Nine Pin Cider, and the Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region.

The contest is also an opportunity to get a look at some of the good ideas circulating just below the radar in our region and shine some attention on them. And of course, you get to help decide who gets the funding through the crowd vote for two of the finalists.

So we're excited to see what people are working on.

Here's what we're looking for -- and how to apply...

CDTA-Cycle-525x80-static.jpg

16-0375 All Over Albany Small Business online Ad_525x80

Saint Rose in-post ad 2016

Nine Pin Cider Works AOA Startup Grant ad

Previous years entries

AOA Startup Grant 2016 winners Josh and Jamie Wallbank
Collar City Candle's Josh and Jamie Wallbank won last year's prize. Here's a follow-up on how things have gone since then.

Before entering it's a good idea to review some of the entries from past years -- especially which projects made it to the finals. Here are the previous years:

+ 2016 (finalists)
+ 2015 (finalists)
+ 2014 (finalists)
+ 2012 (finalists)
+ 2011 (finalists)

Entries

Please read these instructions carefully.

What we're looking for
Think small business (retail shop, taco truck) or community effort (public art, neighborhood program). We are not looking for straight-up charities, but rather business or community enterprises.

Who should enter
The $2,500 cash prize probably isn't going to change a lot for an established small business. But for someone with an idea, or a small project that they want to take to the next phase, it could help a lot.

How to enter -- please read all the details!
AOA will be accepting proposals from August 21 through September 7 at 11:59 pm. Be sure to include:

+ A short bio: Tell us a little about yourself. What have you done in the past? What led you to this project?

+ A description of your proposed project: What is it you want to do? Why do you want to do it? Why should it get funding?

+ An image: A photo/screengrab/image of the idea as it exists now and/or of what you would like to change. Be creative. Images should be at least 600 pixels wide and 400 pixels tall. Have a video to go along with your application? Excellent. Please post it online somewhere (example: YouTube or Vimeo) and provide us with the link so we can embed it.

+ How this funding would help: Tell us how you'd use the $2,500 startup grant to grow your idea and help you move it into the next phase. We're not looking for a dissertation -- 200-300 words are plenty.

+ Your email address and phone number so we can contact you. (We will not share this info publicly.)

Studying entries from past years -- especially of those projects that became finalists -- is a good guide.

Entries will be posted on AOA in the order they're received. So the sooner you enter, the more time your entry will be on display on the site.

Applications should be emailed to startups@alloveralbany.com. Please enter the title of your project in the subject line. You will receive a confirmation email within 24 hours of your submission.

How finalists are selected

The first round
AOA will post all the projects online for the crowd to review. Crowd voting -- from September 11 through through September 20 -- will select two finalists. The editors will pick a third.

Coaching for finalists
All three finalists will be required to attend a one-night crash course with John Dion, associate professor of marketing at The College of Saint Rose. Finalists will meet with Dion the evening of September 27 to help them arrange their ideas and think about how to present their projects to the judges in the final round.

The final round
The three finalists will then present their ideas to the panel of judges on October 4 at the College of Saint Rose. Each finalist will get 20 minutes to convince the judges to fund their project.

Results

Shortly after the final presentations, the winner will be announced here at AOA.

Important dates

So, just to review:

August 21-September 7: Open for entries.

September 11-September 20: Crowd voting for two of the finalists.

September 27: Coaching night for finalists.

October 4: Presentation to the judges.

Big thanks to CDPHP, CDTA, the College of Saint Rose, Nine Pin Cider, and the Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region for sponsoring the contest this year.

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

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All Over Albany is for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. In other words, it's for you. It's kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who can help you find out what's up. Oh, and our friends call us AOA.

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