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EDF Partners with Advocare to Award $17,500 to Local Entrepreneurs

The Oxford-Lafayette County Economic Development Foundation (EDF) announced recently a partnership with AdvoCare Corp. to present the first-ever AdvoCare Entrepreneur Challenge. The Challenge targets entrepreneurs in North Mississippi and is the first of its kind for AdvoCare and the EDF.
AEC large logoThe AdvoCare Entrepreneur Challenge is a business plan/pitch competition presented by AdvoCare and the EDF. This rigorous competition is designed to encourage and inspire entrepreneurs in North Mississippi and develop business plan submissions from an idea into a reality. The competitors will commit to a nine month process that will put them before experienced business coaches who will act as advisers and guides toward additional assistance. These coaching sessions will prepare the competitors for the three Pitch Nights/Elimination rounds where they will be required to showcase their business plans to a group of North Mississippi business leaders in a “Pitch night” environment. The winners will be announced at the Oxford-Lafayette County Chamber and EDF Annual Meeting in June of 2015.
In addition to the vast array of business advice and coaching during the process, the top three winning business pitches will receive from AdvoCare:
The AdvoCare Entrepreneur Challenge Trophy and cash prizes:

  • 1st place: $10,000
  • 2nd place: $5,000
  • 3rd place: $2,500

In addition, winning business plans will receive benefits including but not limited to:
Incubator Space
Professional Assistance (Legal/Accounting)
Access to local and regional Angel networks and other sources of funding
Exposure and publicity
“AdvoCare is the purest form of the Free Enterprise System and America is the greatest place on earth to pursue your dreams. Entrepreneurs create jobs, create freedom for themselves and others. We are excited to have this opportunity to share our success by encouraging and supporting your entrepreneurial dreams and pursuits” said AdvoCare President/CEO Richard Wright.
Beginning in September, the businesses will meet with the Entrepreneurial Alliance and make their first pitch. From this pitch they will be instructed to tap into local resources and report back the following month. This will continue through December, when the Entrepreneurial Alliance will begin to prep the entrepreneurs for the first “Pitch night”. In January, the first “Pitch night” event will be held. This event will determine which businesses will move on in the competition and which businesses will require more work. There will be another “Pitch night” in March and the Final Pitch night event in May that will determine the ultimate winners of the AdvoCare Prize. The intervening months of February and April will be spent reviewing the results of the previous month’s Pitch night and offering advice for each of the progressing businesses.
Applicants may apply online at ­­­­www.oxfordms.com/advocare-challenge. All applications must be submitted to later than Monday, September 15, 2014.
To learn more about the AdvoCare Entrepreneur Challenge, please contact Jon Maynard at the Economic Development Foundation at (662) 234-4651 or jon@oxfordms.com.
What is the Economic Development Foundation?
The mission of the Oxford-Lafayette County Economic Development Foundation (EDF) is to be a leader in creating opportunities for responsible economic investment, thereby raising the per capita income for all citizens of Lafayette County. In support of this effort, the Foundation works to: create jobs through the recruitment of new business and industry while working to support local business expansion; be a responsible vehicle to preserve a positive business environment and create a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in Lafayette County and throughout the region; promote and facilitate technology transfer at the University of Mississippi into the community; and support broad-based community efforts which improve the quality of life in Lafayette County and yield economic benefits.

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