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Posted: April 18, 2017 Jump-Start Downtown Business Competition Launches

Downtown Eau Claire, Inc. (DECI) is hosting the 13th Annual Jump-Start Downtown Business Competition. “Jump-Start Downtown” is a business plan 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.

Over the past 12 years, DECI has awarded over $70,000 in prizes, and has seen 33 participants open their doors downtown. “It’s very exciting to see the continuing interest in our downtown and the many great business plans we receive each year. The new businesses really make a huge impact,” said Mike Schatz, the Executive Director of Downtown Eau Claire, Inc.

Deadline: To participate, the following must be submitted to DECI by September 1, 2017:

Eligibility: Participants must be 18 years of age or older and interested in starting a business in Downtown Eau Claire or relocating a business to Downtown Eau Claire. Participants cannot enter a business already located downtown at the time of entry into the competition. The proposed business must open within 12 months of the competition.

New this year is our expanded prize packages to help prize winners open a new business in Downtown Eau Claire or to relocate an existing business to the heart of the city!

Grand Prize: $5,000 in start-up capital, Brand Development Strategy Session with JB Systems, $500 Advertising Credit with The Leader-Telegram, and DECI Media Package!

Honorable Mention: $1,000 in start-up capital, SpinVision Virtual Tour Combo Package, and DECI Media Package!

Innovative Idea Prize: $1,000 scholarship to the Entrepreneurial Training Program and DECI Media Package!

Application and guidelines can be found online at Individuals looking to submit business plans or who have questions about the competition can contact Ray French by phone at (715) 839-4914 or by email at

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