Setting the Stage for Your Startup’s Success Story

Take your business invention from inception to commercialization by participating in the Innovation Awards contest – the most lucrative business plan competition and capital acceleration opportunity in Florida. If your company has a product or service that can demonstrate leverage opportunities and create pathways to robust local job creation, you may have what it takes to compete for cash prizes ranging from $5,000 to $100,000.

During the two-day event on April 12 and 13, 2017, at the Hilton Pensacola Beach, experts will select companies to showcase their products and services before an audience of entrepreneurs, industry leaders, and potential investors and strategic partners.

From those companies, finalists will be selected to present before a live panel of judges competing for the top cash prizes. This year the contest has more opportunities to win by providing various cash award opportunities, including at least two prizes for pre- and post-revenue businesses, a veteran-owned business, and an entrepreneurial college or university student.

Pre-Revenue

Pre-Revenue

Get the visibility and capital your startup needs. Innovation Coast is funding at least two cash prizes: $20,000 for first place and $15,000 for second place.

Post-Revenue

Post-Revenue

Scaling up can be one of the most challenging parts of building a business. UWF’s Office for Economic Development and Engagement is funding two cash prizes: $100,000 for first place and $50,000 for second place.

Veteran

Veteran

The insights and skills veterans gain while serving our country can make an impact in the business world. To recognize these heroes, Innovation Coast is funding a $10,000 cash prize for a veteran-owned business.

Student

Student

To recognize the source of talent that resides in classrooms across the region, Innovation Coast is funding a $5,000 cash prize to an entrepreneurial community college or university student.

Pre- and Post-Revenue category winners must move to, expand to, or already be headquartered in one of the following Florida counties: Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Bay, Gulf, Wakulla or Franklin.

Event Details

SAVE THE DATE:

April 12 & 13, 2017

Hilton Pensacola Beach Gulf Front
12 Via De Luna Dr
Pensacola Beach, FL 32561

At the 2017 Innovation Awards, 12 exhibiting finalists will compete to win more than $200,000 in prizes. Get tickets now to be a part of this exciting 2-day event on Pensacola Beach.

Get your tickets for the 2017 Innovation Awards

Frequently Asked Questions

The Innovation Awards is the most lucrative business plan competition and capital acceleration opportunity in Florida with cash prizes ranging from $5,000 to $100,000.
The two-day event will take place on April 12 and 13, 2017, at the Hilton Pensacola Beach.
The contest includes various award category opportunities for pre- and post-revenue businesses, a veteran-owned business and an entrepreneurial community college or university student.
The different cash prize opportunities are: $5,000 for community college or university student; $10,000 for veteran-owned business; at least $20,000 for first place and $15,000 for second place for a business that qualifies for the pre-revenue business category; and $100,000 for first place and $50,000 for second place for a business that qualifies for the post-revenue business category.
An entrepreneurial venture without a financial track record, usually in business less than three years. Also known as a seed or development stage company, with no prior sales. The purist form of a startup. Winners must move to, expand to, or already be headquartered in one of the following Florida counties: Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Bay, Gulf, Wakulla or Franklin.
An established business concern with a track record of financial history, including demonstrable sales of products or services. Winners must move to, expand to, or already be headquartered in one of the following Florida counties: Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Bay, Gulf, Wakulla or Franklin.
For this category, students must be a currently enrolled full-time undergraduate or graduate student in a two- or four-year accredited college or university. In addition, applicants must demonstrate a strong interest in entrepreneurship, innovation, and/or technology.
For this category, individuals must have received an honorable discharge, be a National Guardsmen or Reservists, or be active duty within one year of separation. In addition, applicants must demonstrate a strong interest in entrepreneurship, innovation, and/or technology.
Any company that has a product or service that can demonstrate leverage opportunities and create pathways to robust local job creation.
The registration fee is $50 to community college or university students, and veterans; $125 for pre-revenue businesses; and $250 for general post-revenue businesses.
Is paying the entry fee a hardship? Email info@innovationcoast.com and explain your situation. You may qualify for assistance.
Registration will open on October 3, 2016, through February 28, 2017.
Companies will be judged on their final submitted business plans, including but not limited to the following sections: executive summary, mission statement, description of product/service, description of novelty of product/service, market analysis, management summary, marketing plan, and financial plan (including cash flow statement and revenue projections).
The Innovation Awards is a catalyst for business growth. Not only can you win a cash prize, ranging from $5,000 to $100,000, that generates an influx of seed capital, but you will be connecting with potential investors and networking with peers at the event.
Yes, your company can apply. If your company is chosen as the winner, your company has 90 days to relocate or expand to one of eight counties, including Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Bay, Franklin, Gulf or Wakulla.
No, there are no relocation requirements for veteran and student prize winners.
Innovation Coast and the Office of Economic Development and Engagement (OEDE) at the University of West Florida are funding the 2017 Innovation Awards as part of their commitment to fostering economic development and engagement across the region. OEDE is providing $150,000 to fund the first and second prizes in the post-revenue category, while Innovation Coast and other sponsors will be funding at least $50,000 for prizes in other categories.
Yes, companies who were finalists, exhibiting finalists and winners are eligible to apply for 2017 Innovation Awards competition.

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