entrepreneurHere at Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp., we take great pride in helping small businesses in all stages of their life cycles grow and thrive. However, because we’re led by a team of entrepreneurs, we have a special place in our hearts for fledgling innovative businesspeople.

That’s why we established the Entrepreneurial Growth Initiative (EGI), a program that sponsors business plan competitions at participating universities and gives prizes to the finalists.  Winners are given our Small Business Starter, valued at $599, which can help startup companies begin building and monitoring their business credit right away, an essential component of running a successful business.

One of the participating universities, University of California at Santa Barbara, is in the midst of hosting its 2014 New Venture Competition.  The competition began in November of 2013 and culminated in a final event May 22, 2014.  The competition was open to undergrad and graduate students of the university to introduce either new technology products or address an existing consumer need or problem in an efficient and inexpensive way.  Some of the other sponsors of the competition gave cash prizes to the winners at the end of the competition.

Meet the  six finalists of the competition:

  1. Bottle Branders, a company that helps small beer brewers market their products
  2. Cayuga Biotech, a company developing a “nanotherapeutic drug” to treat hemorrhages
  3. Echo developed an app that lets restaurant patrons pay over bluetooth
  4. Fluency Lighting Technologies developed an energy-efficient light source
  5. Salty Girl Seafood ships seafood directly to chefs in a sustainable way
  6. ShadowMaps invented a cloud-based software that bolsters the efficacy of GPS systems

We’re excited to see that the entrepreneurial spirit among young people is still alive and well– ultimately, that spirit is what’s going to help our economy continue to grow and flourish.  We’ll be publishing more stories about the other EGI business plan programs we participate in, so keep an eye out.  Maybe you’ll be inspired to enter one too!

Photo credit: Robert S. Donovan, Flickr