Collegian business plan contest adds energy category

A new award has been added to the statewide collegiate business plan competition next spring, focusing on businesses that are good for the environment.

It was created by the Nevada Commission on Economic Development.

The new category in the 2007 Donald W. Reynolds Governor's Cup, known as the Lieutenant Governor's Award, will provide a $5,000 cash prize to the student whose business plan best employs clean, renewable or efficient energy technologies and services.

"Everyone in Nevada is very conscious of the environment, and this will focus attention on businesses that are good for the environment." said Dave Archer, managing director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology. "All of us feel strongly that here in Nevada there is great opportunity for renewable energy and related technologies."

Archer said the state provided the money for the award but CET is seeking donations to expand the category and provide prizes to the best undergraduate and graduate plans just as it does for the primary competition.

Students compete for $100,000 in cash prizes in the overall competition for the best business plan.

"We'd like to raise at least $5,000, but we'd like to raise even more to increase the cash prizes to make them more significant," Archer said.

The goals of the Governor's Cup awards, Archer said, are to stimulate new business, to encourage innovation, and to encourage students to think of entrepreneurship as an option when they graduate.

Archer said anyone who is taking a class in a college or university is eligible to compete. Entries aren't limited to technology-related business plans.

"They have this misconception. We're open to anything as long as it's a business that makes sense," Archer said.

The new award runs parallel to the other awards, so students may enter both by simply checking a box on the entry form. Those plans will be reviewed by a separate panel of judges.

The deadline for entries in all categories is March 14.

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