(GWINNETT- METRO ATLANTA) April 1, 2016 – Gwinnett Chamber Economic Development and Partnership Gwinnett, in collaboration with The University of Georgia Small Business Development Center (SBDC), launched its sixth annual Amazing Entrepreneur Contest today. The competition, which recognizes the best business plan summary in two categories – Established Business and Pre-Venture – will award more than $25,000 in cash and prizes to Gwinnett County start-ups.

“Partnership Gwinnett puts on this contest to help start-ups with their business plans and to introduce them to the many great resources in the region,” stated Mark Farmer, Director of Entrepreneurship for Gwinnett Chamber Economic Development and Partnership Gwinnett. “We’re looking forward to once again connecting with many of our County’s new entrepreneurs.”

The contest’s Established Business category is open to Gwinnett companies with a current business license that have been in operation for up to 36 months. The Pre-Venture category is open to Gwinnett residents who have a business idea, but are not yet in operation.

In addition to the $5,000 cash award, the Grand Prize winner will receive consultation with Arnall Golden Gregory ($3,000 value), start-up consulting with Sterling Rose Consulting, a one-year Gwinnett Chamber membership ($500 minimum value), passes to attend the Chamber’s Small Business Summit ($120 value), a scholarship to the SBDC Grow Smart program ($985 value), and a Brand Identity Design, including logo and printed material design, from Von Lea Creative Group, Inc. ($2,000 value), among other prizes.

The winner of the Pre-Venture category will receive start-up consulting with Sterling Rose Consulting, a scholarship to the SBDC Start Smart program ($495 value), Brand Identify Design, including logo and printed material design, from Von Lea Creative Group, Inc. ($1,300 value), and accounting services from John Dillard, CPA ($300 value), and more.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the source of job creation for hard-working people in this community,” stated Gwinnett County Commission Chairman Charlotte Nash. “The Amazing Entrepreneur Contest provides the support that start-ups need and encourages small business development throughout our community.”

The University of Georgia SBDC has partnered with Gwinnett Chamber Economic Development and Partnership Gwinnett to host this contest since its inception in 2010. New this year, all finalists in both categories will receive a three hour hands-on workshop with “Pitch Master Chan” at PowerSlide on how to prepare their content and oral presentation for delivery to the Selection Committee ($3,000 value).

“The Amazing Entrepreneur Contest is such an impactful way of celebrating Gwinnett’s small business community and offering essential business development resources at the same time,” said Mark Butler, Area Director at The University of Georgia SBDC. “We are pleased to be a partner of this awards program for the sixth cycle and look forward to seeing all the great nominees for this year.”

The 2016 Amazing Entrepreneur Contest platinum sponsors are Jackson Electric Membership Corporation (Jackson EMC) and LAN Systems. Gold sponsors are Houston & Sandy Bass. Silver sponsors are Creative Contacting, Metro Atlanta Chamber, Gwinnett Angels, and Moore Stephens Tiller Inc. Bronze sponsors are Business Plans & MORE, Inc. and Sterling Rose.

“I am so inspired by the success of the Amazing Entrepreneur Contest and its role in fostering successful businesses,” said Mary Hester, CEO, LAN Systems. “Just in its sixth year, the contest continues to attract more and more new and start-up businesses, both which contribute to the growth and economic stability of Gwinnett County.”

Applications will be accepted now through July 8, 2016. Winners will be announced during the Gwinnett Chamber’s Pinnacle Small Business Awards ceremony on October 18. For full contest rules and details on the Amazing Entrepreneur Contest, please visit www.amazingentrepreneurcontest.com.

For more information on Gwinnett Chamber Economic Development’s small business and entrepreneurial efforts, please visit www.gwinnettentrepreneur.com. To receive updates and reminders on Gwinnett Chamber Economic Development’s small business and entrepreneurial efforts, click here.