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2018 Catapult Small Business Competition

September 26, 2018 - November 16, 2018

Regional Catapult 2018-19 Cropped Image

2018 Catapult Small Business Competition. 

Application Period Opens – September 26, 2018
Application Period Ends – November 1, 2018
Applications Reviewed – November 5-9
Top 6 Finalists Announced – November 12
Finalist Business Pitches (local) – Throughout December
Finalist (Local 1st Place Winners) Business Pitches (Regional) – January 24 at I-69 Summit


Please click on the county in which you wish to apply:

Genesee County

Huron & Sanilac County

Lapeer County

Shiawassee County

St. Clair County

Tuscola County

Who is eligible to compete?

Eligible applicants are individuals wishing to start a business within the next six months or existing small businesses.  A small business has 20 or fewer employees, existing revenue of less than $400,000.

What kinds of things might we pitch to be part of the I-69 Catapult Small Business Competition?

Something you have a mission and purpose to accomplish in your business, to help it grow, offer enhanced products or services, set your business apart from others.  What could you do to launch or elevate your small business with the top prize?

  • Buy more equipment in order to increase production or improve production?
  • Develop marketing materials or websites or conduct research on new markets?
  • Buy materials or commodities needed to increase or improve the production process?

Of course, there may be other possibilities that will help you launch or grow your small business!

What are the steps to compete? 

You have until November 1, 2018 to submit application and required materials.

Step 1) Complete the Online Application by answering a few questions about your proposed business venture or existing business:

  1. Describe your product or service and the industry it relates to.
  2. Who is your primary customer and what is the market for your product or service?
  3. Describe the business landscape (key activities) and your competitive advantage.
  4. How will you make money? Indicate current or projected revenue streams.
  5. Describe yourself and the principal partners/key members of your team and actions they perform.
  6. Do you have current customers and sales? If yes, share monthly, quarterly or annual sales.

Step 2) Submit a brief Executive Summary via email no later than November 1 (not to exceed three pages or more than 1,200 words).  It is recommended that the author use 11 point font for the body of the text with single spacing.  A Microsoft Word document or PDF are acceptable upload formats

Step 3) Submit a PowerPoint Presentation via email of no more than 10 slides by November 1

You will also need to prepare a visual slide presentation (PowerPoint) with no more than 10 slides. The slide presentation will be used to convey your business concept and/or business plan to judges during live presentations.   The slide presentation will be used by all finalists for the live business pitch and cannot exceed 4 minutes in presentation format.  A Microsoft PowerPoint or PDF are acceptable formats to upload.

Who can I contact for questions or application assistance?

If you have questions or difficulty with the application process on Startup Compete, you may contact the Economic Development representative of the county which you are located in or applying to compete within.  Keep in mind, funds must be utilized to launch a new business or accelerate an existing business within one of the seven counties.  Competitors may not utilize funds for a business outside of the I-69 Thumb region.

Tracy Joseph, Genesee – 810.600.1406
Justin Horvath, Shiawassee – 989.725.9241
Stephen Erickson, Tuscola – 989.673.2849
Carl Osentoski, Huron or Sanilac – 989.269.6431
Patricia Lucas, Lapeer – 810.667.0080
Matt Fernandez, St. Clair – 810.937.2003

What If I Need Help with Writing A Business Summary or Creating A PowerPoint Presentation?

Small Business Development Counselors from the MI-SBDC I-69 Corridor are available to assist you prepare your business pland and/or slide presentation.  Call 810.762.9660 to ask for this free assistance available to you.

When will the local and regional competitions be held?

Genesee – January 10, 2019
Shiawassee t/b/d
Tuscola – t/b/d
Huron & Sanillac – t/b/d
Lapeer – t/b/d
St. Clair – December 6, 2018

When will the regional final completion be held?

January 24, 2019 in conjunction with the I-69 Regional Summit.  The location has not been set.  But, normally, the Regional Summit is held in Flint at the Holiday Inn Gateway Centre.  We’ll announce the date and location once it has been determined.

What is the judging criteria?

The scoring system consists of seven categories with scoring from 1 to 4 points each with 4 points representing the highest score.

  • Company addresses an important problem or opportunity
  • Business concept and revenue model are clearly articulated and meets customers’ needs
  • Company’s solution is better than anything offered by competitors (competitive advantage)
  • Existing and planned team can credibly implement the business or idea
  • Marketing and sales approaches are appropriate for acquiring customers/sales
  • Company has a reasonable financial plan
  • Presentation was prepared and delivered professionally and is compelling



September 26, 2018
November 16, 2018


I-69 Thumb Region