Prospective entrepreneurs have until Friday to apply for the “Big Sell” entrepreneurial competition in Merrillville. The Purdue University Calumet event allows entrepreneurs to give a two-minute business pitch and the opportunity to win cash prizes and startup services.

March 25, 2015

News Release

MERRILLVILLE, Ind. – Friday (3/27) is the application deadline for entrepreneurs who want to test their start-up business idea in The Big Sell Entrepreneurs in Action competition, scheduled, Saturday, April 18 at the Radisson Star Plaza.

Prospective entrepreneurs can apply for the competition on line at:

This fifth annual event provides a dream opportunity, according to Big Sell creator and Purdue Calumet Center for Entrepreneurship Success Director Dushan Nikolovski, for 50 entrepreneurs to impress audience members and a panel of judges with a two-minute pitch of their business idea for an opportunity to win cash prizes and start-up services.

2 competition categories

There are two competition categories: 1) Technology or Open and 2) Social Entrepreneurship or Environmental. After morning pitches April 18, finalists will be selected to make final pitches in the afternoon. Four winners—two from each category—will be selected to share some $80,000 in cash and prizes, including office space for one year at the Hammond Innovation Center.

New business ideas will be judged on their innovative nature; economic impact; market likelihood; and credibility, knowledge and experience of presenters.

“Starting a business is one of life’s most exciting times,” Nikolovski said. “It appeals to the young and old, professional and novice, male and female, and the rich and not so rich. All of those individuals comprise a new entrepreneurial movement intent on improving their quality of life by becoming independent, self-reliant and financially successful.”

‘Big Sell’ sponsors

Also sponsoring the competition are (Platinum level): City of Hammond, South Shore Convention & Visitors Authority, NIPSCO, The Idea Factory, Lazarian Certified Public Accountants, Wood Phillips, Hammond Innovation Center, Elevate Ventures, Hammond Development Corporation and The Hub of Innovation; (Gold): The Times, Star Plaza and Markey’s Rental and Staging; (Silver): Majestic Star Casino & Hotel and Consolidated Fabrication and Constructors, Inc.; (Bronze): Peoples Bank; and (Table Sponsor): Regional Development Company.

Other information is available by emailing or contacting Purdue Calumet’s Center for Entrepreneurship Success at 219/989-3159 or 800/HI-PURDUE, ext. 3159.

Source: Purdue University Calumet

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