When five of New York State’s leading startup companies gather in Syracuse in January, Eric Mower + Associates will be there to help one new venture turn its entrepreneurial dream into reality. EMA has announced it is creating and sponsoring the Market Ready Award as part of Startup Labs Syracuse, the region’s largest business competition launched by the CenterState CEO. The award—a suite of branding and marketing services from EMA valued at $50,000—will be given to the company that demonstrates it is most ready for launch.
“Launching a startup business requires a network of resources and support, including access to capital; smart advisors; good timing; and the right branding and marketing strategy,” said Eric Mower, chairman and chief executive officer at EMA. “This is why we developed the Market Ready Award. The award recipient will become our newest client and will have access to an experienced team of professionals, who have themselves navigated the uncertain waters of starting new businesses.”
Led by EMA Insight—the agency’s integrated research, insights, strategy, planning and analytics practice— the Market Ready Award winner will select the most appropriate consumer, market, and brand discovery and strategy products EMA offers based on the winner’s most pressing marketing needs.
Selection criteria for the Market Ready Award recipient will include: a compelling product or service backed by a sound business plan; readiness to launch the new business within 8-12 months; demonstrated ability to attract the capital required to compete in-market; and a management and advisory team that is receptive to strategic, creative, and innovative marketing ideas.
Syracuse is the first U.S. city to host Startup Labs. Only five other cities worldwide have launched the intense competition, including Istanbul; Taipei, Taiwan; Mexico City; Rio de Janeiro; and New Delhi. The goal of the competition is to support Central New York’s entrepreneurs and accelerate their ideas to the marketplace. The program succeeds the very successful Creative Core Emerging Business Competition.
“Attracting a national organization like Startup Labs to Syracuse speaks to the quality of entrepreneurial talent here,” said Robert Simpson, president, CenterState CEO. “This region is rightly being recognized as an emerging market, ripe for venture capital investment. It is a tremendous opportunity for our region’s emerging companies.”
The competition opens Sept. 18. Two rounds of judging will narrow the competitive field to five finalists that will participate in the Startup Labs Syracuse five-day boot camp and 22-day program, culminating in a live pitch. Teams will compete for two prizes: $150,000 cash and the Market Ready Award. The winners will be announced at CenterState CEO’s annual meeting in early 2013.
Early stage or seed stage companies can now begin applying to be a part of the first Startup Labs Syracuse. For more information, visit www.syracuse.startuplabs.org.