Do you have the next big idea?
The Ballston Business Improvement District wants to hear about it. And with hard work and maybe a little luck, you could end up pitching your idea to Ted Leonsis, the owner of the Washington Capitals and a nationally renowned entrepreneur and investor.
The Ballston BID, as it's called, will begin accepting applications for its LaunchPad initiative on Friday. Submissions will be accepted through April 19.
"We're definitely excited about it," said Tina Leone, the BID's chief executive. "This is what we hoped to accomplish, to bring together the business community. People have really stepped up to be a part of this and support the program.
"We expect to see some great plans and hear some great ideas."
Participants will have to fill out an application, provide a 500-word summary of their idea, a five-page plan for the concept and answer a series of questions.
A panel of judges will announce 10 finalists in May. Those 10 will work with area mentors to further develop and refine their ideas and business plans.
"These are people who are industry experts or have started up their own company and been through the process themselves," Leone said.
"They'll be working on their plans, and using lean startup principles to test their ideas and see if they're going to work."
In October, those participants will be judged and narrowed down to three. And those three will go before Leonsis in November.
Leonsis and fellow entrepreneurs Steve Case and Donn Davis have raised $450 million for their Revolution Growth fund. The first $50 million has been invested in AddThis, FedBid, Resonate Networks and Echo360.
"We want to help," he said at the time. "We think there are great entrepreneurs walking among us."
The LaunchPad challenge is open to anyone in the greater Washington area. The challenge is part of a broader initiative designed to enhance the Ballston area.