Judges include successful entrepreneurs, business people, and investors.

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA-Brevard Workforce, the area authority on workforce development, invites the public to an event to showcase work from the Brevard Workforce StartUp Quest entrepreneurial program.  The program will culminate in a Business Plan and Investor Pitch Competition, taking place at the Space Coast Convention Center at the Holiday Inn Cocoa on July 11, 2013.

Startup Quest is a program made possible by a grant from the US Department of Labor’s Workforce Innovation Fund.  The grant’s purpose is to provide innovative entrepreneurial training to unemployed and underemployed degreed individuals in 8 workforce regions around the state.  The program provides 8 weeks of curriculum in addition to participation in a simulated technology startup exercise.  Participants are teamed together with an experienced entrepreneur mentor to form simulated startup companies and create commercialization plans for existing technology Intellectual Property (IP) from universities and NASA labs.  In Brevard, 82 participants making up 11 teams have worked for 9 weeks to create business plans and investor pitches around their technology.

“Startup Quest is an opportunity to stimulate the economy and the imaginations of  potential entrepreneurs, ” explained participant Robert J. Green.  “By exposing participants to innovative technologies created and patented by public research funds, Startup Quest educates and fosters the entrepreneurial spirit.  The historical impact of Startup Quest demonstrates its impact to the community by creating companies and jobs.  I am proud to be a team mentor and am confident that this current cohort will go forward to bring new products to market.”

On July 11, these teams will have the opportunity to showcase what they’ve created at a competition event.  Ten judges, all successful entrepreneurs, business people, and investors, will evaluate the plans and pitches based on criteria such as market research and value proposition.

Winning team members will be awarded cash prizes, furnished by the Florida High Tech Corridor council, with the possibility of additional funding from NASA.

“We are so excited to see the progress of these budding entrepreneurs, ” said program director Erica Lemp. “This event is the culmination of nine weeks of hard work, team building, and self discovery for our participants.  We at Brevard Workforce feel privileged to be able to bring a variety of entrepreneurial training opportunities to Brevard County citizens.”

The public is invited to attend this exciting event.  Tickets are $18 and include heavy hors’ d’oeuvres.  The event is expected to fill up quickly, individuals can register at