Media Startup Carbondale Wins $5,000 in Regions Bank Business Plan Competition | SIU

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The O’Dells The South

A Carbondale startup that wants to make Southern Illinois a hub for producing online content, movies, TV, podcasts and other media is the winner of the 2021 Business Plan Competition. Regions Bank.

Brand Advocacy Group, a tenant of Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s business incubator, was announced as the winner of the $5,000 top prize at an innovation and entrepreneurship showcase event on Thursday. at the IUS.

Company founder Nathan Colombo of Carbondale said the honor lends credibility to the company.

“There have been a lot of people questioning my motives in this work because they don’t understand it,” Colombo said. “I think it’s a step forward to help these people understand it.”

Colombo said the company’s goal is to produce small-scale media projects for a variety of clients and causes while adapting facilities and technology to world-class facilities. The aim is to attract national and global production activities.

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He said the prize money will help fund the next stage of development of studios and production facilities.

“This work has always been underpinned by this idea of ​​reshaping Carbondale and the southern Illinois economy through the media industry.”

A total of 16 entities submitted business plans for the competition, vying for $10,000 in business funding from Regions Bank through the SIU Foundation.

The SIU Research Park, Business Incubator, and Illinois Small Business Development Center at SIU have partnered to offer the competition. The submissions, which were reviewed by a panel of external judges, ranged from technology-driven innovations to traditional business concepts and product development ideas.

“The business plan competition brought up a lot of new and interesting ideas,” said Greg Bouhl, director of entrepreneurship and business development at the university’s Office of Economic and Regional Development. “We’re all excited to see people taking these business ideas and plans and starting new businesses right here in Southern Illinois.”

Andrew Croxell received the second place prize of $3,000 for his business plan for Hot Hut Outdoors, a camping tent designed to combat condensation and moisture buildup.

The $2,000 prize was awarded to Yong Gao and Rong Jiang’s company Energao, a company developing energy storage technology that could help homeowners and communities build mini-grid and grid energy systems. resilient and self-sufficient microgrids.

Bouhl said that all start-ups that entered the competition benefited from their participation.

“There’s a lot of experience in writing a business plan and putting your ideas in writing. Being able to do that and then get feedback from the judges is helpful in being able to launch businesses or take their projects to the next level,” he said.

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