Business plan competition offers entrepreneurs startup cash
Eager entrepreneurs are invited to make their dream businesses a reality with Fort Lewis College’s annual Hawk Tank Business Plan Competition. FLC’s School of Business Administration has expanded this year’s Hawk Tank to include students from San Juan College. The competition launches on January 26.
“We’re so excited to be partnering with San Juan College and are really looking forward to providing the same opportunities to San Juan College students as we do FLC students,” says Michael Valdez, associate professor of Management. “We’re doing exactly what we preach and teach, and we’re growing during a pandemic. I’m just so proud of both institutions.”
Three competitions, lots of winners
This year’s competition will bring SJC students into the college track, and like years prior, FLC alumni and regional high school students will also be able to compete. Contestants have the opportunity to earn cash prizes and FLC and SJC scholarships by entering their business plans in the Hawk Tank competition. Along the way, they will receive professional guidance and mentorship from local business entrepreneurs.
“We are excited to partner with Fort Lewis College to bring this unique opportunity to San Juan College and area high school students,” said Eddy Rawlinson, dean of the School of Business and Information Technology at San Juan College. “Through Hawk Tank, students not only advance and learn vital skills in their academic studies, but participation in the program allows them to apply those skill sets in a real-world environment as well as prepares them for success as future entrepreneurs and business owners.”
- College Track - San Juan College students compete against each other to win up to $5,000 for the best business plan. In a grand prize final round, the first-place team from Fort Lewis College will go head-to-head with the first-place team from San Juan College for another $5,000 prize for a grand prize total of $10,000.
- High School Track - High school students from the Durango and Four Corners region will compete to win scholarships to Fort Lewis College or San Juan College and cash prizes. The scholarships are flexible; students can use the scholarship at San Juan College, Fort Lewis College, or start at San Juan College and transfer to Fort Lewis College. Students can win up to $2,000 in scholarships to San Juan College, up to $8,000 in scholarships to Fort Lewis College, and cash prizes up to $500!
- FLC Alumni Track - Recent FLC alumni will compete against each other to win a $5,000 prize for the best business plan, with second and third place prizes available as well.
"We’re giving away real cash to teams to take their idea to the next level. I’m excited about that student who wakes up on April 25 and has $5,000 and the confidence to pursue their business idea."
“We’re giving away real cash to teams to take their idea to the next level,” says Valdez. “I’m excited about that student who wakes up on April 25 and has $5,000 and the confidence to pursue their business idea.”
A free virtual Hawk Tank Kick-Off Information Session will be held via Zoom on Tuesday, January 26, from 5-6 p.m. All through February and March, contestants can attend free virtual workshops about business planning, operations, and pitching. The sessions are open to all students and community members as well. After multiple rounds of competition, winners will be announced on April 24.
For the full schedule of workshops, events, and deadlines visit fortlewis.edu/hawktank.