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Innovation & Startups

The easiest $5000 you will ever win, says Luke Skurman

Luke Skurman knows from first-hand experience that a little bit of seed funding can go a long way.

College Prowler was launched when Skurman won two business plan competitions. It went on to become the first company in the country to successfully publish national college surveys for students, by students.

With that in mind, Skurman rounded up five friends and threw a barbecue fundraiser this summer. About 840 showed up in Shadyside to eat, mingle and drink IC Light. $5000 was raised for Business Bout, a contest that hopes to help other aspiring entrepreneurs in the region.

"We want to foster young professionals to stay in Pittsburgh," explains Skurman. "We're trying to prove to the Pittsburgh community that there are awesome people in Pittsburgh with awesome ideas."

Business Bout asks for a simple, two-page submission highlighting yourself and your idea. The key is to come up with an idea that will be self-sustaining, Skurman adds. If the company is already up and running, it must be less than one year old and have earned less than $100,000 in revenue; it also must have fewer than three employees.

And it must be operating in Pittsburgh.

Skurman and his five partners--three came to the region by choice and three are boomerangers--will judge the submissions. All are exemplary young professionals who want to give back to Pittsburgh in a larger way. If the contest is a success, Business Bout will partner with a corporate sponsor next year and expand the contest.

"We all got a good footing here and want to help get the next generation ahead," Skurman says. "We will all leverage our personal networks. We really want the business to work and create new jobs and be an added benefit to our region."

Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Luke Skurman, Business Bout

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