Millrace Kitchen is hosting a business plan competition with proud partners and sponsors Rhode Island Small Business Development Center, Pilotworks Providence, and Dean Bank as a friendly and competitive way to get people to think about new solutions to problems and ideas for the food sector. The competition calls for those with brand new food business ideas, plans for solutions to problems in food systems, and early stage food businesses in operation less than 3 years. Entrants do not have to have an existing food business to participate.
Rhode Island is known as a “foodie” state and home to so many wonderful eateries and establishments. Millrace supports and wants to continue to cultivate a culture of local food entrepreneurs here in Rhode Island. Millrace wants to spark creativity and innovation and inspire folks to dream up new ideas.
About the Competition
Millrace Kitchen is looking for individuals or teams to submit their traditionally formatted food business plans which will be reviewed by a professional committee. There are two categories for the competition, under 18 (youth category) and 18 and over (adult) category that will be judged and awarded separately. Entrants must own the original content/idea or be the owner of the existing business, or get written permission from the owner of business to submit on behalf of the business.
The top 3 finalists from both adult and youth categories will be asked to come to Millrace Kitchen, Woonsocket and make their presentation at an event where the winners will be selected. We are looking for small food businesses that can be started in Rhode Island and address the changing culture of food and businesses today. We also have an emphasis on solving problems that are occurring within today’s local food economy, including reducing waste, getting to market, transportation, and more.
June 21st: Submission Deadline
June 26th: Presentation and Awards Ceremony
Business Plan Example Topics
- Problem Solving – Think about the problems that small food business owners encounter each and every day. Examples of issues that small food businesses encounter are limited resources and transportation from getting product to customers, process chain management (buying and producing in smaller quantities), getting shelf space in markets, and exposing customers to new cultural foods.
- Innovative Ideas
- Profitable, realistic, and fresh new food business ideas that can work here in this tiny food state!
18 and over (Adult category) – Individuals or small groups are encouraged to participate in our competition. If submitting as a group, the members of the group must work for one business as co-owners or employees. If employees are submitting on behalf of a business, the owner of the existing business must provide written permission to submit on the behalf of the business. For every team there should be a lead individual who will be considered the point of contact and recipient of award if chosen. Submissions to adult category over cannot enter youth category.
18 and under (Youth category) – Youth and youth groups (all members must be 18 or under) are also encouraged to participate in our start-up food business challenge. This is a great way for young business-minded students and culinary individuals to dig deeper into the planning and research processes involved in starting a business.
Rules and Regulations
- Multiple different submissions will be accepted for one team or individual.
- Only complete and traditionally formatted (Microsoft Word or PDF) will be accepted. See for example.
- Each business plan that will be submitted must be or relate to food businesses; products, services, solutions, productions, etc.
- Each business plan must be for start-ups or early stage food businesses in operation less than 3 years.
- Every entry will be judged and scored on a pre-set rubric for originality, feasibility, applicability for small food businesses, and solutions based.
- All submissions must be original work.
- Existing food businesses may submit a plan for new business ideas.
- Confidentiality: The contents of these plans will not be posted publicly, sold or used to benefit any member or affiliates of the Millrace Kitchen business plan competition team. Only business plan competition staff and judges will have access to the business plans submitted.
- Participants may not try to discuss their plans with judges for unfair advantages. If done, participant disqualifies themselves from the competition.
- Top three finalists from each category will be asked to present to a group of judges. The presentation may include video, poster boards, samples, or any other materials that will help in relaying the business and its model to spectators.