Official Competition Rules
By submitting an application, all applicants to the Coast Works Competition consent to the following rules and guidelines:
Who Can Apply
The competition prioritizes new independent and locally-owned businesses that can be launched with less than $50,000 in financing. New products or services from an existing small, independent, and locally-owned business may be considered. Generally, non-profits are not eligible unless structured as a social enterprise to be substantially self-financed by operating revenue. The proposed new business or new products or services must have a significant operational presence in coastal communities within Pacific, Wahkiakum, Grays Harbor, Jefferson, or Clallam Counties.
Round 1: Apply to Compete
All entrants must submit a completed Coast Works Application summarizing their business idea (see “Submission Guidelines” below). The Coast Works Application requires contact and demographic information as well as a written response to a series of questions designed to produce a short summary of the business concept. The Coast Works Application must not exceed 5 pages. Any pages beyond the 5-page limit will not be considered.
The Coast Works Competition Committee will review the Coast Works Applications to determine who will advance to Round 2. Fifteen applicants will be selected as finalists to advance to Round 2. The Committee will strive to ensure a cohort of finalists that is geographically and ethnically diverse.
Round 2: Develop Your Business Case
Finalists will be required to participate in a 4-day business training in Forks (November), present their business concepts to the judging panel at a pitch event in Seattle (February) and attend an awards ceremony at a location on the Peninsula to be determined (March). All meals and lodging will be provided for these activities. See “Calendar” on the Coast Works website for details.
At the business training, finalists will participate in workshops and meet with Coast Works business advisers and mentors. Each finalist will be assigned to a Coast Works business adviser and develop an individualized plan for 10+ hours of in-depth one-on-one technical assistance focused on the development of their business case and the materials to be presented to the judging panel.
Finalists will be required to complete and submit the following Business Case Materials for review by the judging panel (see “Submission Guidelines” below):
1) A business case statement demonstrating validation of a clear and compelling value proposition, product-customer fit, market opportunity, and marketing strategies as well as other key elements of the business model.
2) A sustainability case statement showing measurable ways that business inputs, operations and outputs will contribute to conservation and sustainable use of local natural resources, keep business revenue within the local economy, and develop local business leadership and community self-determination.
3) A preliminary 12-month cash flow projection and breakeven analysis, including a description of how the prize money would be used and a narrative of underlying assumptions.
The Business Case Materials must not exceed 20 pages. Any pages beyond the 20-page limit will not be considered.
The Coast Works Competition Committee will appoint an independent panel of judges with deep local knowledge and expertise in entrepreneurship, business startups, business management, and sustainability.
Business Case Materials will be judged based on their feasibility and their potential for positive social and environmental impact. Feasibility will focus on (1) the extent to which contestants have validated a value proposition, a product-market fit, a sufficient market opportunity, realistic marketing strategies and other key elements of the business model, and (2) a preliminary cash flow and breakeven projection. Social and environmental impact will focus on an analysis of (1) how the business will contribute to conservation and sustainable use of local natural resources, (2) the extent to which the business revenue will stay within the local economy, and (3) how the business will contribute to the development of local business leadership and community self-determination. See “Judging” on the Coast Works website for the judging criteria.
The top scoring contestant will receive up to $10,000 in startup capital. The top second and third scoring contestants will each receive up to $5,000 in startup capital. The startup capital may not be used for general working capital. The startup capital may only be used for the purposes identified in the final submission and will be paid directly to the vendor(s) providing the approved goods or services.
The Coast Works Application is available on the website (see “Apply” on the Coast Works website for the link to download the application). Completed applications may be mailed to the Coast Works Competition Administrator, Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship, 220 Second Avenue South, #126, Seattle, WA 98104, or submitted by email to the Competition Administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org as a single PDF document including the contestant’s name in the file name (example: contestantname.pdf) and including “Coast Works Competition” in the subject line. The Coast Works Application must be received by the Coast Works Competition Administrator by the application deadline to be considered for the competition. No late submission will be accepted.
The Business Case Materials may be mailed to the Coast Works Competition Administrator, Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship, 220 Second Avenue South, #126, Seattle, WA 98104, or submitted by email to the Coast Works Competition Administrator at email@example.com as a single PDF document including the contestant’s name in the file name (example: contestantname.pdf) and including “Coast Works Competition” in the subject line. All Business Case Materials must be received by the Coast Works Competition Administrator by the competition deadline to be considered for the competition. No late submission will be accepted.
While the competition organizers and judges are bound by ethical considerations to keep information confidential, neither the organizers nor the judges will sign non-disclosure agreements with any of the participants as part of the competition process. The organizers reserve the right to use the following information about each business concept to publicize the competition:
- The name of the entrant and the name and location of the business.
- A brief description of the company provided as part of the Coast Works Application (subject to confidentiality of proprietary information).
- Any photographs taken during the competition.
Participation in this competition gives entrants no guarantees, expressed or implied, to any awards or to any potential or future funding. Copies of the Coast Works Application, the Business Case Materials or any other materials submitted to the competition will not be returned. Entrants agree that the competition organizers are not liable for any direct or indirect damages, including any loss of revenue that may or may not be related to business advice received in conjunction with the competition. The competition organizers reserve the right to disqualify, in their sole and absolute discretion, any participant from the competition at any time (before or after a judging round or the award of any prize) for any reason. Reasons for disqualification may include, but are not limited to, plagiarism and any other form of dishonesty, misappropriation or infringement of the intellectual property of others, and any failure to comply with these rules and regulations. Disqualified participants shall forfeit all prizes awarded to them.
Changes to the Competition, Rules or Organization
The competition organizers reserve the right to amend or change Coast Works or any part of the competition or these rules and guidelines at any time for any reason.
Mike Skinner, Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship, 220 Second Avenue South #126, Seattle, WA 98104, firstname.lastname@example.org, (206) 235-6029.