Click here for a story and photos about the 2015 Kenneth A. Freirich Business Plan Competition.
Think BIG. Enter the competition!
Think for a moment. Think big about any new business you’d like to launch or any social problem you’d like to address.
What would you do?
2015-16 Competition Schedule
Friday, February 19
Business Plans Due
Friday, February 26
Friday, April 1
Final Business Plans Due
Friday, April 8
The Kenneth A. Freirich Business Plan Competition is here to help. Last year we awarded $60,000 to Skidmore students to encourage them follow their dreams and we expect to award about the same amount this year. Through a series of business-plan workshops this fall, we’ll help you develop your idea into a plan that’s ready to be presented in the competition’s first round in February. Those who are chosen to go on to the second round will work with an assigned mentor who will shepherd you through to the final presentations in April. In the process, you’ll learn valuable skills that will last you for a lifetime.
The name of the competition suggests we’re interested only in for-profit businesses but that emphatically is not the case. This year we’re giving winners in our social entrepreneurship category the same awards that we’re making to for-profits. Whatever your major, we hope you’ll take advantage of this fantastic opportunity.
More than 250 students and 150 businesses have entered the competition since Freirich ’90 established it in 2011 as a way to encourage Skidmore students to follow their passions with a transformational entrepreneurial experience. Encouraging students to explore new interests and capabilities they otherwise might not find, the competition has grown into one of the best-funded in the Northeast.
"There's nothing more rewarding than watching these amazingly talented and creative Skidmore students take on the biggest challenges of their lives and succeed," says Freirich, who started his own publishing business in 1988 as a Skidmore sophomore. Today, Freirich is the president of Health Monitor Network, a thriving entrepreneurial company that has grown five-fold over the last decade.
Returning to Skidmore in 2010 as the College's first "Entrepreneur in Residence," Freirich issued an "Entrepreneurship/Creativity Challenge" to the student body. Inspired by the impressive talent, creativity, and effort that went into the student presentations, he decided to take things to the next level: launching a business plan competition to foster entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity among Skidmore students.
"When you challenge yourself beyond your confidence level, that's when you really grow and learn. When you start to succeed and hit one home run, that's when you see that the possibilities are endless."