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Using Awards and Contests to Finance your Business

Raise Capital with Awards and Contests from The Startup Garage

Throughout history, businesses have been born and thrived through competitions and awards. Most famous is perhaps the yearly international Nobel Prizes that recognize advances in culture and science to the amount of $1.46 million dollars. There is also NASA’s Centennial Challenges that gives out awards up to $2 million during technology competitions. Although time consuming, these types of recognition prizes are great sources of free income and capital if you can put in the work.

A large majority of business plan competitions are found at Business Schools and are only open to students, or alumni members. However, with some investigation on your part, there are still many contests that are open to the best winner. Research your industry and state competitions, and be sure to prepare your business plan.


  • Government Challenges is an online platform created by the U.S. General Services Administration to tackle pressing challenges in the nation while promoting innovation.
  • The New York Times has a constantly updated list of business competitions on their website.
  • BizPlanCompetitions keeps tabs on “the most promising, legitimate entrepreneurship contests and business plan competitions occurring anywhere in the United States, and soon in Canada too. [They] catalog them, map them, put them on a calendar, and blog about them.”


Whether you have a question about Awards and Contests used to Finance Your Business, or you’d like to discuss our business plan writing services, feel free to contact us for a free consultation!