The Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge by the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) received 355 applications from 39 states.
Applications needed to include a business plan, video pitch and photo. The competition moved into the judging phase on July 1 to determine who will win $145,000 in startup funds.
"We are ecstatic and pleased with the great applications and innovations occurring in rural communities across the country," Lisa Benson, AFBF's director of rural development, said. "We exceeded our goal for the number of applicants and doubled submissions compared to last year."
In October, 10 teams will be announced, including six teams that will each win $10,000 and the remaining four teams that will advance to the finals. Those four teams will compete
on Jan. 8 at AFBF’s 98th Annual Convention in Phoenix for four prizes: The Farm Bureau Entrepreneur of the Year award which will earn the winner $30,000 and the People’s Choice Award which will receive $25,000. The other two teams will win first and second runner up which will earn them $15,000 each.
"Our judges will be looking for solid business and financial plans," Benson said. "Innovation is one thing but the numbers are important in a competition like this. Those who can provide statistics that back their business plan will do well."
Organizations in this story
American Farm Bureau Federation 600 Maryland Ave SW Suite 1000 Washington, DC 20024
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