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Subject: Great concept?  $75,000 prize available, with March 17, 2014 preproposal deadline

The National Forest Foundation established the Barrett Foundation Business Concept Challenge to encourage and reward innovative market-based solutions to natural resource issues affecting National Forests and Grasslands and to cultivate a new generation of entrepreneurial natural resource and business leaders. The Challenge offers an interactive learning experience for interdisciplinary teams, as well as an opportunity to develop and launch new business ventures to address natural resource issues. The Challenge provides a unique opportunity to develop and implement investable ideas with tangible benefits for National Forests and Grasslands.

The objectives of the Barrett Foundation Business Concept Challenge are:
• To develop and launch market-based solutions that satisfy multiple goals of forest health, sustainable use, and economic development, including job creation
• To stimulate creative thinking to address problems and identify opportunities that benefit the National Forests and Grasslands
• To educate students and their partners about the practical steps necessary to design and implement market-based solutions to natural resource challenges
• To prepare students to work with interdisciplinary partners in response to complex natural resource challenges.

The Barrett Foundation Business Concept Challenge offers a $75,000 cash award to the winning submission and a $25,000 cash award to the first runner-up in the final stage of the competition. Through a multi-step evaluation process, each team participating in the Challenge develops and articulates a market-based strategy and measurable objectives for addressing a natural resource issue affecting the U.S. National Forests and Grasslands. The business concept must reflect real opportunities and address financial, operational, and organizational aspects of implementation. The finalist teams will make presentations to a judging panel of diverse national experts and receive feedback on the feasibility of their projects; winning teams will be introduced to venture capital professionals to explore opportunities to fund implementation of their concepts.

The Challenge is open to teams that include at least two currently enrolled undergraduate, graduate, or post-doctoral students in nationally accredited colleges and universities. Participation is not limited to students; thus, teams may include recent graduates and others interested in pursuing an innovative idea to fruition. Teams should be interdisciplinary, and may include members from different educational institutions. Each individual may participate in only one team. Teams may but are not required to work with an academic or business advisor to guide the team in its development of the project and provide team members with access to information and peer support. Business ideas developed for the Challenge should be new and not substantially financed by others.

For information, visit

NOTE:  Teams wishing to participate in this competition must submit an online preproposal by 8:00 AM MDT on March 17, 2014. 

Barrett Foundation Business Concept Challenge, National Forest Foundation <>
Wednesday, March 05, 2014

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