SPARK Chicago, a new incubation competition, will help create three new businesses in partnership with Startup Weekend. SPARK invites applicants who have a web-based or mobile application idea to apply to its inaugural program, which entails six days of intense incubation.
The first three days will be a normal Startup Weekend competition and the top three teams will continue for an extended competion and incubation period. Then the teams will present the final companies to a panel of Angels and VC’s on Wednesday evening for a second competition. You can see the full schedule here. Ideas from all industries are accepted. Spark is the primary sponsor of Chicago Startup Weekend #4.
The winners will receive over $100,000 of donated business services and mentorship from leading entrepreneurs. All 60 participants have the chance to pitch live in front of angel and venture capital investors who will judge the competition. The final winner will receive a large cash grant up to $15,000.
“We want to give these companies every fighting chance for success,” says Maliha Mustafa, co-founder of SPARK. “We’ve lined up leading service providers, including legal, programming, development, and creative teams to provide their expertise.” Local Startup Weekend organizer Mark Bertrand adds, “We’re excited to partner with SPARK because it takes our mission a step further by enabling the startups to further build out their infrastructure, positioning them to be viable businesses well after the contest.”
Applications are being reviewed as they are received and are accepted until July 1st. You can apply to attend here on the Spark Chicago website. Applying and participating is free. The competition will be held from July 22 to July 27. Participants will form teams, decide on an idea and business model, and build a working prototype. Final pitches and judging take place Wednesday, July 27th at Merchandise Mart. SPARK Chicago invites the public to attend.
For more information visit www.sparkchi.com.