Alan Hall: Money offered to entrepreneurs, no strings attached

Published: Monday, Feb. 4 2013 3:46 p.m. MST

www.growam.com/competition

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Money has been called both the root of all evil and the thing that makes the world go ’round.

Love it or hate it, an entrepreneurial business can’t live without it.

I’ve mentioned my initiative Grow America in the past — the program I’ve launched with partners to provide resources for entrepreneurs. We’ve been running these programs for the past year in Utah, and we’re ready to advance nationwide.

As I’ve mentioned before, America’s risk-taking entrepreneurs strengthen our economy by serving as our most efficient and powerful supplier of jobs. Over the past 30 years, in fact, entrepreneurs who followed their dreams and invited others to help them are responsible for the creation of 40 million American jobs. This is one of the primary reasons I’m giving away much of the money I’ve made through the years. I’m giving back, and I’m giving a significant piece of this money to the next generation of passionate entrepreneurs, to empower them to do and build things beyond our dreams.

In my view, this is what money is for: to sustain and improve people’s lives. I have profound faith in the entrepreneurs of this country, and I believe they will undoubtedly outdo earlier generations of brave business builders if we can allow them to thrive.

So today I’m pleased to invite you to take advantage of all of the first-class funding, marketing, mentoring and networking resources available through Grow America, because I cannot sleep until I’ve done everything in my power to put Americans back to work. With my team, I’ve also engaged a number of large corporations who are excited about this initiative.

We will put Americans back to work by supporting the people who have the ability to create jobs: passionate and optimistic entrepreneurs. If you’re reading, I hope you’re one of them. If you’re not an entrepreneur, please take this invitation as an opportunity to share the news with an entrepreneurial friend. Grow America provides the following resources free of charge to entrepreneurs:

Money: Compete for no-strings-attached cash awards in dynamic online business competitions.

Marketing: Vet your ideas and products with the crowd in a vibrant online community of people who are actively seeking to support the next big thing.

Mentoring: Learn practical lessons and get advice from the brightest minds in the business world.

Networking: Collaborate with like-minded leaders and find potential partners who can help you take your business to the next level.

Are you ready to get growing? Whether you are starting a new business, planning to expand or are still looking for ideas and inspiration, I invite you to visit GrowAm.com and to join us in creating the new businesses and the new jobs our economy needs. I also invite you to consider entering our first 2013 business competition, which we are conducting entirely online. Here are the details:

The Innovative Product Competition began Jan. 28 and ends Feb. 26, 2013. It is open to entrepreneurs over age 18 who have an innovative product to sell (or at least an idea for an innovative product). Once you enter your product in the competition, share it with your family, friends and community. Every vote and share will help to get you closer to winning a portion of the $35,000 prize ($20,000 will go to first place, $10,000 to second place and $5,000 for third). There will be other surprise awards and interim opportunities as well. We will name the top 50 participants as finalists, which should be tremendously helpful in advancing your ideas among funding sources of every kind. Expert judges will judge the finalists, and Grow America will award the cash on Feb. 26 to the winners. So bring your most innovative products and product ideas forward at Grow America and let the competition begin.

To review or enter the competition, go here. Do you have more questions? As always you can reach me here, via my personal website at www.AlanEHall.com, or via @AskAlanEHall. You can reach Grow America on Twitter at @GrowAmerica as well.

Alan E. Hall is a co-founding managing director of Mercato Partners, a regionally focused growth capital investment firm. He founded Grow Utah Ventures, is the founder of MarketStar Corp. and is chairman of the Utah Technology Council.

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