The Jump-Start Award

Jump-Start Downtown" is a business competition for entrepreneurs interested in opening a business in Downtown Eau Claire.

This competition is open to any type of business - from hi-tech
office services to specialty gift shops.


“Jump-Start Downtown” is a business competition for people 18 years of age or older who are interested in starting a business or relocating one to the downtown area before September of 2018. Any type of business is eligible, from hi-tech offices to gift shops. Businesses entered cannot be already located downtown at the time of entry into the competition.


The deadline for submitting your application and business plan is Friday, September 1, 2017.

The Awards

The Jim Mishefske Award

$5,000 cash award for start-up capital

  • A two hour creative marketing/brand development session with JB Systems, plus one year of free website hosting, and a $250 credit towards a branding/website project ($680 value).
  • $500 advertising credit and strategy session with the Leader-Telegram ad associated publications (print or online).
  • DECI Media Package

Honorable Mention

$1,000 cash award for start-up capital

  • Spin Vision package including a Google Tour, Facebook 360, & Custom SpinVision Virtual Tour Combo ($500 value).
  • DECI Media Package

Innovation Idea Prize

  • $1,000 scholarship to attend the Entrepreneurial Training Program with the Small Business Development Center.
  • DECI Media Package

The influence of one man.
Meet Jim Mishefske.

Jim Mishefske was a well known local in the Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls areas. He taught entrepreneurship and economic development classes at the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at UW-EC, where he also advised clients on growing their small businesses. In addition, he helmed UW-Eau Claire’s Small Business Development Center, providing assistance to countless people as they worked towards their dream of running a business. He was always looking for a new way to challenge himself and did so with a positive “can do” attitude. It’s in memory of Jim and his passion and love of helping small business that we dedicate the Jump Start awards...


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