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What is StartupErie?

Our local nonprofit is made up of entrepreneurs in Erie, PA who had to build their businesses the hard way. From the ground, up. As we built our organizations in the early days, it would have been great to have someone offer more than just "advice". That's why we built StartupErie. We want to provide actual cash to startup businesses in their beginning stages of growth.

  • Are we going to fund any Tom, Dick, or Harry who comes up with a business? No way! How are we going to determine who wins this money, you ask? Easy: Hold a business plan competition that is judged by a panel of Erie's business leaders (and also your votes).
  • Can anyone enter the business plan competition? As long as you have a business plan, then yes! 
  • Just where do we think we're going to get the money to give away? Simple: we're throwing a massive party in downtown Erie, of course! All of the party's net proceeds will be handed over to the business who wins the competition.  

We've certainly encountered other groups who offer funding to new companies - but the requirements make it so hard to attain the money that it's not worth pursuing until your third, fourth or fifth year down the line. Sometimes these firms want only tech companies. Sometimes you have to be around for three years just to qualify. Sometimes, it's not a simple cash infusion at all, but rather, a low-interest loan. Not here. The only requirement is that you have an actual business plan. That's it. 

What about the businesses & entrepreneurs who don't make it that far? Typically, they give up and go back to that day-job they dislike so very much. We don't want to hear that story any more.