Erath County entrepreneurs have the chance to net some extra cash and prizes when Tarleton State University’s College of Business kicks off its biannual business plan competition beginning with an orientation session Thursday, Jan. 17.  

The competition — Entrepreneurs of Erath — is open to all startup and existing businesses, as well as Tarleton students, regardless of their majors. 

A total of $50,000 in cash and prizes is up for grabs. 

The competition is sponsored by Tarleton’s College of Business and the university’s Small Business Development Center, the Stephenville Economic Development Center, Dublin Economic Development Center, Stephenville Chamber of Commerce and the city of Stephenville. 

The top three finalists will receive cash prizes of $5,000, $2,000 and $1,000, respectively. In addition to cash prizes, the winners will receive a prize package worth more than $42,000 featuring professional consultation in accounting and finance, marketing, webpage design, legal, human resources, engineering, and membership in the Stephenville Chamber of Commerce. 

“The Entrepreneur of Erath has a history of producing high-impact companies,” said Tarleton SDBC Director Randy Burch. “The contribution from SEDA and Dublin EDC has made this year’s competition possible, and we are excited to find the next successful entrepreneur.”

To be eligible, entrepreneurs must expect to create at least three news jobs in Erath County and agree to headquarter and operate primarily within the county for at least two years. Existing businesses must be less than a year old and prove net revenue of less than $100,000 to compete.

The competition consists of three rounds: the executive summary, business plan and pitch before the judges. 

The executive summary, a brief snapshot of the business, is due Feb. 6. First-round results will be announced Feb. 8.