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 May 4, 2017                                                                                                

StartRight! 2017 Women’s Business Plan Competition Open for Entries

Cash Prizes will be Awarded to Six MD-Based Business Owners

Rockville, MD, May 4, 2017 – Today, the Maryland Women’s Business Center (MWBC) and Rockville Economic Development, Inc. (REDI) announced their 14th annual StartRight! Women’s Business Plan Competition is open for entries. To qualify, the business must be at least 51% woman-owned, less than three years old, and located in Maryland. The application fee is $35, and complete business plans must be submitted electronically by Thursday, June 1, 2017 at 3 p.m. EST. 

StartRight! is a regional business plan competition that was established in 2004 by REDI to encourage women entrepreneurs to write their business plans, leading to stronger companies. In 2013, MWBC, an initiative of REDI, assumed responsibility for StartRight!

“When we invest in helping women entrepreneurs develop a business plan that will result in their long-term growth, stability, and financial independence, we are investing in our economic future,” said Kiesha Haughton, Managing Director of the Maryland Women’s Business Center.

The annual competition is supported with cash prizes provided by sponsors Shulman Rogers, Capital One, Maryland Department of Commerce, Snyder Cohn, Revere Bank, Crowe Communications, Intelligent Office and Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation.  In-kind sponsors include Allegra, Clark Concepts, Intelligent Office Bethesda and Women’s Business Report as seen on News Channel 8.

MWBC’s StartRight! Competition is often the stepping stone for entrepreneurs to receive more funding for their businesses. Case in point—in 2015, Dr. Madhvi Upender, founder of Awareables won second place in the StartRight! competition. Then, in 2016, Awareables received a $500,000 investment from Baltimore-based Abell Foundation.

“Our goal is to provide opportunities for women entrepreneurs to thrive. If we can play a role in them getting the initial boost they need to take their business to new heights, then we have been successful in accomplishing our goal,” added Haughton.

Additionally, StartRight! activities include a “Pick the Pitch” competition where the semi-finalists film their elevator pitches, which are posted on MWBC’s website for the public to vote on. The Pitch Prize is one year of complimentary office space from Intelligent Office Rockville & Washington, D.C. The StartRight! grand prize winner will also receive this complimentary service.

For StartRight! submission guidelines and to enter your plan, visit:

About Maryland Women’s Business Center

Maryland Women’s Business Center (MWBC) was established in 2010 as a program of the nonprofit Rockville Economic Development, Inc. (REDI) to help people throughout the region start and build successful women-owned enterprises that are positioned for long-term growth. MWBC conducts specialized training, offers individual business counseling, and provides unique resources.  Our special initiatives include a Childcare Business Development Program and StartRight! Women’s Business Plan Competition. Stay connected on FacebookInstagram ,LinkedIn, and Twitter.

About Rockville Economic Development, Inc.

Rockville Economic Development, Inc. (REDI) is a public-private partnership formed in 1997 by the City of Rockville, Maryland to strengthen and broaden the city’s economic base through business entrepreneurship, expansion, retention, and recruitment programs. REDI offers guidance and support to help businesses at all stages of growth launch, locate and expand in Rockville.  For more information, contact 301-315-8096 or visit