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Start Small - Helping Local Governments Make the Startup Process Easier for Entrepreneurs
Small Business Administration
Type of Challenge: Software and apps
Submission Start: 06/11/2015 12:00 AM ET
Submission End: 07/13/2015 11:59 PM ET
Note: This Competition is open only to the local governments of United States cities (referred to as municipalities and townships by the U.S. Census Bureau) or American Indian, Alaska Native, or Native Hawaiian communities, or their constituent agencies and subdivisions.
See more details regarding eligibility rules for participating in the competition under "Rules."
The SBA is seeking to support entrepreneurs who are navigating the requirements to start a business.Currently many of these requirements are in multiple locations and a streamlined approach could help entrepreneurs startup more easily. The Startup in a Day Competition – Start Small Model is designed to spur the development, implementation, and improvement of online tools that will let entrepreneurs learn about the business startup process in their area, including how to register and apply for all required local licenses and permits, in one day or less.
In order to maximize the success of this Competition, SBA will work with the National League of Cities (NLC), an advocacy organization representing thousands of municipalities, to establish a formal mechanism by which all Startup in a Day Competition winners will be able to collaborate and share best practices.
In conjunction with the Startup in a Day Competition, President Barack Obama is asking cities and Native American Communities across America to take a pledge to support entrepreneurs in their area by making it easier to start a business (for the text of this pledge, see sba.gov/startup). While it is not required to enter this Competition, all cities and Native American Communities are encouraged to take the pledge. As an additional encouragement, entries submitted by cities and Native American Communities that do take the pledge will receive five (5) bonus points during the evaluation process, as stipulated in Item 3: Part V below. Furthermore, all Startup in a Day Competition – Start Small Model winners will be required to take the pledge prior to receiving their prizes.
Cities: Anchorage, AK; Asheville, NC; Atlanta, GA; Austin, TX; Boise, ID; Boston, MA; Brookings, SD; Burlington, VT; Champaign, IL; Jackson, MI; Long Beach, CA; Memphis, TN; Milwaukee, WI; Oakland, CA; Peoria, IL; Riverside, CA; Rockland, ME; Rocky Mount, NC; Rutland, VT; Salt Lake City, UT; San Francisco, CA; Seattle, WA; St. Louis, MO; Washington, D.C; Wilmington, DE; Native American communities: Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe; Choctaw Nation.
PrizesStartup in a Day Competition - Start Small Model
Cash Prize Amount: $1,350,000
In total, SBA will award up to $1.35 million in prizes under this announcement. SBA will award up to $1.25 million and no more than 25 prizes of up to $50,000 each to cities that are selected as winners. Due to the use of additional funding sources with different constraints, SBA will also separately award no more than two (2) prizes of up to $50,000 each to winning entries submitted by Native American Communities.
PAYMENTS: Because the subject of this competition is not just the development of online tools to streamline the business startup process, but also the implementation and improvement of such tools, prizes will be disbursed in two payments. The first payment, equal to 80 percent of a winner’s total prize amount, will be disbursed once all initial requirements (i.e. taking the Startup in a Day pledge, etc.) have been met. The remaining 20 percent of the total prize amount will be disbursed after a winner submits a written assessment that includes, but is not limited to, the outcomes and outputs of its Startup in a Day activities as measured by the metrics outlined in its proposal, a summary of any lessons learned and best practices, and suggestions for any improvements to the design or implementation of similar competitions in the future. Winners must base this assessment on a period of live operation of their Startup in a Day web tools that is at least six (6) months and no more than twelve (12) months in length.
ASSESSMENT: Regardless of the length of the period of operation on which they are based, the written assessment must be submitted to SBA no later than 15 months after a winner receives its first prize payment. The written assessments, or portions thereof, may be made public. Further guidance regarding the format and means of submission of these assessments will be provided to winners prior to their acceptance of prizes.
ACH and SAM: All prizes will be paid via the Automated Clearing House (ACH) and winners will be required to create an account in the System for Award Management (SAM) in order to receive their prizes.
Eligibility Rules for Participating in the Competition: This Competition is open only to the local governments of United States cities (referred to as municipalities and townships by the U.S. Census Bureau) or American Indian, Alaska Native, or Native Hawaiian communities, or their constituent agencies and subdivisions.
No city or Native American Community may submit more than one entry to the Startup in a Day Competition – Start Small Model. However, cities and Native American Communities are allowed to apply to both the Startup in a Day Competition – Start Small Model and to the Startup in a Day Competition – Dream Big Model (see separate announcement). Cities and Native American Communities must submit a separate application for each competition. However, please note that a city or Native American Community cannot win a prize under both announcements. If a city or Native American Community is a finalist for both competitions, the city or Native American Community will be awarded the larger prize. No city or Native American Community that is currently suspended or debarred by the Federal government is eligible to take part in this Competition.
Priority Communities: An additional aim of this competition is to stimulate economic development in certain Priority Communities. For purposes of the Startup in a Day Competition – Start Small Model, Priority Communities are those cities that fall into one or more of the following categories (NOTE: Under the Startup in a Day Competition – Start Small Model, prizes for Native American Communities are being funded and scored separately and are not eligible for Priority Community consideration. However, both cities and Native American Communities are eligible for additional points for agreeing to the Startup in a Day Pledge. See Part V below for more details.):
- Rural/Non-Metropolitan: Cities having a population of less than 50,000. Please reference http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/index.html.
- High Poverty: Cities where 20 percent or more of residents are below the poverty level. Please reference http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/index.html.
- Veterans Economic Community: Being an official participant in the Veterans Economic Communities Initiative. To view the list of participating cities, please go to http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/20015/va-launches-campaign-increase-veterans-economic-potential/
- Promise Zone: Being officially designated as a Promise Zone. To view the list of designated Promise Zones and lead organizations, please go to www.hud.gov/promisezones.
- Briefly describe your city or Native American Community and its story (include applicable data from the most current source (i.e. U.S. Census Bureau’s ACS)). If your city qualifies as a Priority Community as defined in Item 1, also see Part IV below.
- Describe the demand for registering and obtaining permits, resources, etc. for small businesses in your city or Native American Community (include quantitative analysis).
- Describe the current process, including the problems/obstacles, an entrepreneur experiences while trying to register and obtain permits, resources, etc. as a small businesses in your city or Native American Community.
- Describe the solution that would solve the problems/obstacles described above, if awarded a prize.
- Outline the anticipated timeframe for implementing the solution described above.
- Describe the top five (5) metrics relevant to outputs and outcomes that would measure your city’s or Native American Community’s success in solving the stated problems/obstacles.
- Describe any additional resources that will need to be leveraged, including partnerships, to fully implement the proposed solution.
- State the Priority Community to be served.
- Briefly describe the Priority Community in your city (include applicable data from the most current sources (i.e., U.S. Census Bureau’s ACS)).
- Describe the demand from the Priority Community for registering small businesses and/or obtaining permits, resources, etc. in your city (include quantitative analysis).
- Length: No more than two (2) pages to answer Parts I-III. No more than one (1) page to answer Part IV and one (1) page to answer Part V.
- Spacing: 1.5 lines
- Paper Size: 8.5 x 11 with three-quarter (.75) inch margins on all sides
- Font and Font Size: Calibri, 11 point
Selection of Winners
Competition entries will be evaluated by a review committee that may be comprised of SBA officials, employees of other Federal agencies, and/or private sector experts. Winners will be selected based on the quality, clarity, completeness, and feasibility of their proposals in addressing the issues outlined in the "Rules" section of this Competition announcement. In addition, in order to achieve nationwide distribution of prizes for the purpose of assisting business startups across the entire United States, SBA may take into account contestants’ geographic locations and areas of service when selecting winners. For the announcement of winners, any travel or related expenses to attend an event will be the responsibility of the winner and may not be paid with prize funds.