Entrepreneur Quest Begins Tonight

    GRAND RAPIDS — The fourth annual Great Lakes Entrepreneur Quest will start working in the Grand Rapids community tonight with a training session at Grand Valley State University.

    Tonight, at 6 p.m. on the Grand Rapids DeVos campus of GVSU, one of the first three 2003 Quest training sessions will kick off with an explanation of the new Quest format and executive summary requirements.

    The training sessions, including one tomorrow at Michigan State University, officially launch the 2003-04 competition, which will offer existing and potential Michigan entrepreneurs year-long educational opportunities, networking and two separate business plan competitions with total prize awards exceeding $175,000.

    Founded in 2000, the Great Lakes Entrepreneur Quest is a non-profit 501(c) 3 educational program designed to accelerate the formation of high growth companies across Michigan and is open to anyone who lives, works or attends school in Michigan.

    Teams can enter one of the competitions and compete with other entrepreneurs for prizes including financial awards and professional services vital to early stage businesses.

    This year’s Quest will be held over two seasons, a fall cycle and a spring cycle, and includes two paths for the educational sessions and the business plan competition. For early stage entrepreneurs, the GLEQ now offers a New Business Ideas path to be held in both the spring and fall cycles. For more advanced companies, the GLEQ is offering an Emerging Companies path, which includes semifinals in the fall cycle and spring cycle.

    Both paths include multiple training sessions provided in Michigan’s east, west and north regions during the course of the Quest. The deadline for fall registration is noon, Thursday, Nov. 13.

    “We spent considerable time over the summer surveying past Quest participants, asking them how we could increase the value of the program to all involved. We have begun to implement an 18-24 month plan to make significant enhancements to the structure of the Quest. Once the implementation is complete, we will have something to offer all Michigan entrepreneurs, regardless of their experience level or stage of business development,” said Dave Brenner, chair of GLEQ and managing partner of Idea Works.

    “Along with the competition, there will be yearlong opportunities for mentoring, coaching and training to help someone take the first steps to becoming a successful entrepreneur or take an existing company to the next level.”

    For more information visit www.gleq.org           

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