Shark Tank-like business pitch competitions are popular than ever, and a great way for new entrepreneurs with innovative ideas to win capital for their companies, in the form of prizes ranging from $5,000 to as much as $200,000 or more. Returning for a fourth year is the Miller Lite Tap the Future pitch competition. The business plan competition is aimed at minority entrepreneurs and is sponsored by MillerCoors. Entrepreneurs get to compete for a $200,000 grand prize, including the opportunity to pitch their business plan live in front of FUBU Founder Daymond John of ABC’s “Shark Tank.” Black Enterprise’s own Editor-at-Large/Senior Vice President Alfred A. Edmond Jr. also serves as a national judge for the business plan competition.
Miller Lite Tap the Future has awarded more than $1 million in funding over the last three years. Thousands enter each year, with one business crowned the top winner. The most recent grand prize winner is Brian Hill, founder of Edovo, a business that provides a self-driven educational and vocational platform to correctional institutions across the country.
“Miller Lite Tap the Future can open doors for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to take their business to the next level and are willing to put in the work to do so,” notes Daymond John in a statement. “I encourage entrepreneurs who are ready to get down to business and work hard to not pass up this opportunity.”
“Miller Lite Tap the Future not only provides the financial insights necessary to help grow businesses, but it also puts entrepreneurs in front of people who are well respected and know what it takes to succeed,” added Steve Canal, MillerCoors community affairs. “Miller Lite’s commitment to help entrepreneurs succeed is inspired by Frederick Miller, who created the original light beer by following his passion, staying true to himself and his vision and against all odds, not giving up.”
Entrepreneurs can submit applications to be entered into the three-phase contest through MLTaptheFuture.com. Some 30 semi-finalists will be selected to compete in live pitch events in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Miami during the month of July. Daymond John and a panel of experts will select one business in each city to win $20,000 and advance to the national finals. Six national finalists will present before a panel of judges in Chicago this September, where one team will win the $200,000 grand prize.
What sets Tape The Future from other pitch events is that it is a business plan competition. So, entrepreneurs have to come prepared with their A+ game that goes beyond pitching an idea but being able to show on paper the viability of the business.
For a little bit of guidance, here are three things you should know about presenting a winning business plan.