Deadline to enter Tarleton State University’s annual business plan competition to win a portion of $55,000 in cash and professional services is just around the corner.

Sponsored in part by Tarleton’s College of Business Administration and Small Business Development Center (SBDC), the competition—Entrepreneurs of Erath (EoErath)—is open to all startup and existing businesses as well as Tarleton students, regardless of their major, who write the best business plan.

A final orientation takes place at 2 p.m. Monday, Feb. 6, in Room 172 of the College of Business Administration, and executive summaries are due by 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10. Contestants are encouraged to attend the orientation to learn more.

To be eligible for the competition, entrepreneurs must expect to create at least three new jobs in Erath County and agree to headquarter and operate within the county for at least two years. Existing businesses must be less than a year old and prove net revenue of less than $75,000 to compete.

The top three finalists will receive cash prizes of $5,000, $2,500 and $1,000, respectively, and a share of professional finance, marketing, web design, legal, human resource and engineering services—valued at more than $45,000—to develop their businesses.

In addition to the executive summary—which provides a snapshot of the business—the competition consists of two more rounds: a formal business plan and a pitch before contest judges.

First-round results will be announced Feb. 24, and a Tarleton student will be assigned to contestants who advance to the second round to help with business plan development.

Round-two’s formal business plans are due March 24, and finalists will be announced March 31.

Finalists advancing to round three of EoErath will pitch their business plans April 14 and 15to contest judges, followed by a question-and-answer session.

Contest winners will be announced April 21 at an awards luncheon.

In addition to Tarleton’s College of Business Administration and SBDC, sponsors are Stephenville Economic Development Foundation (STEDCO), Stephenville Economic Development Center, Dublin Economic Development Center, Stephenville Chamber of Commerce and the city of Stephenville.

For additional contest information or an EoErath application visit:  http://www.eoerath.com

For more information on Tarleton’s SBDC visit: http://tsusbdc.com or call Randy Burch at 817-573-7681.