Sunday, July 22 2012 14:33
NH tech startups in need of seed capital: here's a homegrown $100k competition with an August 13th deadline!
The newly minted "TechOut New Hampshire" Startup Competition was announced earlier this month, with an application deadline coming right up.
Earlier this year, a group of angel investors came together with the NH High Tech Council and the abiHub of Manchester to build the "TechOut" program. To quote liberally from the abiHub's website:
TechOut is a unique startup competition, perfect for technology based businesses that were formed less than two years ago, have raised less than $250,000 in funding, and have less than $500,000 in revenue. To us, that’s a startup!
TechOut provides cash awards of $100,000 annually to three winners. First prize is $50,000, second prize is $30,000, and third prize is $20,000. The first two prizes are awarded based on the decisions of an esteemed group of judges with exceptional business experience. Third prize will be crowed sourced at an annual event, with the audience voting in real time for the third prize winner out of a group of Finalists in the competition.
The majority of our judges are members in the Entrepreneurs Foundation of New Hampshire (EFNH). All contestants are encouraged to do well by doing good, contributing founders shares to EFNH. By contributing to EFNH, entrepreneurs can tap into the incredible background and network of other EFNH members, all of whom know the challenges and rewards of entrepreneurship. Donations to EFNH are strictly voluntary and have no weighting in the judges’ decisions.
Cash awards are in the form of convertible debt in the company. Companies applying for the competition must agree to the terms of the investment in order to enter. In general, the terms of the debt are investor friendly. There are no personal guarantees required. The debt general converts to equity at 20% discount at the next priced round of investment, with a cap of no more than a $2 million valuation.
The award money is coming from a group of 20 New Hampshire accredited investors. Together they have formed a small fund specifically for the TechOut prize pool. The investors view this as an opportunity to both stimulate the entrepreneurial ecosystem and build a portfolio of exciting investments in high tech companies, albeit in small capital investments! All of the investors are excited about the opportunity to share their experiences with other entrepreneurs, either as an informal advisor, mentor or Board member.
Companies don’t have to be from New Hampshire to enter. In fact, we think having this competition gives companies one more reason to start in or move to New Hampshire. But, our judges will only evaluate a New Hampshire connection as 5% of the weighting in their decision. We’d rather build a regional ecosystem, including our friends down south in Massachusetts, rather than set ourselves up as competition. We appreciate that the flow of knowledge and ideas has no borders.
Learn more and get ready for the September 20th TechOut Competition event as well!
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