Cool idea could be worth cool million
Got a great idea? You could just win a million bucks to turn that idea into reality. For aspiring entrepreneurs or business owners all over the world - as well as for the un- or underemployed who are anxious about their future but have a brilliant idea - there's some good news coming out of Singapore. A new, first-of-its-kind international business plan competition, sponsored by Preston & Walker Pte Ltd., will award $1,000,000 US to help bring that bright idea to fruition. Preston & Walker is looking for the next big thing - whether it's an inspired invention, a way to create more jobs, or some other means to improve the world. The operative word here is "world," for even though the funding is in US dollars, the idea must be applicable on a global scale.
"The Preston & Walker Business Plan Competition (PWBPC) is the first international competition platform that spans over 130 countries to find the next big idea - an idea that is worth one million dollars," says Gareth Walker, who is the company's founder. "Everyone has a chance to win, as long as he or she has an idea that is big enough for the whole world."
Mr. Walker says that the PWBPC was inspired by TV reality shows such as "The Secret Millionaire" and "Dragons' Den" (the British equivalent of the US hit "Shark Tank"), but it combines the best of those series. The big difference is that this contest isn't reality TV; it's reality. The sponsors of the contest have set aside the amount to invest in worthwhile projects to improve the planet. "Our aim really is to look for the next big thing - whether it is an idea to generate more jobs, to change the way the game is played in a specific industry, to create a more socially responsible world - or even just to inspire us to learn more about ourselves," says Mr. Walker. "If it's the next big thing to you, it may really be the next big thing." And unlike the various reality TV contests that are restricted to a single country or region, the PWBPC is the first real, money-involved business competition to go worldwide.
Participants in the contest will "pre-sell" their ideas by submitting their business plan, which will be judged by a team of anonymous millionaire judges. The contest sponsors request that only serious participants apply, and they hope that the small registration fee of $1.99 will separate the serious from the frivolous. The judges will select the idea they're interested in and will contact participants to find out more. For those who are selected, the judges will consider investing a maximum of US $1,000,000 of seed funding, as well as offer help in development of the ideas, serving as mentors to jumpstart the business. Deadline for submissions is December 31, 2011, and winners will be announced on January 31, 2012.
According to Preston & Walker, the contest is right in sync with their corporate strategy, which is based on three principles. Those principles include right management, or finding passionate people with the right skills, drive, and attitude; right business model, one that is commercially sustainable, scalable, and profitable; and right value, meaning that an idea, product, or service must solve a need or provide massive value to its market. "In today's global economy, with so much at stake, it's more important than ever to make sure all of our investments meet these criteria," says Mr. Walker. "The world needs ideas that meet these criteria. We know those ideas are out there, but we also know that it takes serious money to develop a good idea. That's why we're willing to award a million dollars to help someone do just that."
The Preston & Walker competition couldn't come at a better time. The trend in upscale business competitions, combined with a recent increase in investments into emerging markets and technological startups, have created a perfect environment to launch a competition such as this. The PWBPC also fits right in with Global Entrepreneurship Week (which actually extends for more than a week), which kicks off November 11, and is celebrated in more than 20 countries all over the globe. Because of the worldwide economic situation, the judges of the Preston & Walker contest will be particularly on the lookout for ideas that create jobs, turn liabilities into assets, provide social entrepreneurship, or help the people of the world improve their lives and wealth.
"Everyone has an idea," says Mr. Walker, "but will it survive and stand out as the one worth a million dollars? There's only one way to find out." He adds, "The successful cases you see on 'The Secret Millionaire' and 'Dragons' Den' can happen to you too, if you are willing to give it a shot. If you have an idea and you think it can really work, here's a chance to find out. After all, an idea in your head is worth nothing until you put it to the test. It's better to have tried than to spend your life regretting that you didn't."
Not to mention that the world may thank you someday - which could end up being worth far more than a million bucks.
For more information, including rules and regulations and registration fees, see the competition Web site: http://prestonwalker.com/bpc
An international investment firm headquartered in Singapore, Preston & Walker works with talented teams to develop and invest in businesses with significant potential for growth. The projects they typically fund are those that provide freedom and value to the greater global community through education, automation, or systemization.
Preston & Walker Pte Ltd
29 Duku Road
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