What's a TREP and what is the TREPathon?
Who can enter the competition?
How can I get involved by sponsoring Young Entrepreneurs directly or by sponsoring the Trepathon?
Potential sponsors, check out how to get involved here. Individuals, businesses and other organizations can also sponsor young entrepreneurs in bulk by prepaying or ‘paying forward’ for blocks of 10 entry fee’s ($50 x 10 = $500 entrant sponsorship blocks) so that new entrants into the competition can enter and already have their entrance fee paid for / sponsored by you!
What if I don't have an idea?
Brainstorm. Start with S.I.T.E. = Strengths + Interests + Talents + Enthusiasms.
Now dig deep and think about what IMPACT you’d really like to make in your family, your neighborhood and community, your town and state, your country and the world.
What would you like to make money doing? How would you like to help and serve others? What would be fun and exciting? What is needed around you right now that you could help provide? How would you like to make the world a better a better place for future generations? What problem would you like to solve? What change would you like to see? What are you uniquely qualified to do? Find the something that you are excited about it and make a short video about it!
How is the competition structured?
Starting on World Entrepreneurs Day, 8/21/15 we will have open registration for 60 days. We will kick-off the 60 days with a World Entrepreneurs Day Celebration and Launch Party at the OKC Entrepreneurial Leadership Center at 4917 N. Portland Ave. OKC, OK 73112.
Following the 60 days of open registration for the competition, our independent judges will select the top 10 finalists to come to Oklahoma City for the final leg of the competition. The top 10 will be announced on October 21st, 2015 and selected participants will then be able to participate in the ‘Dolphin Tank’ where experts from many aspects of business formation, creation and growth will invest in them and their ideas, with the judges selecting the final winners.
That event is scheduled for Saturday, November 21st, 90 days from the 8/21 Kick-off. During the final 30 days of the competition, most of the focus will be on helping the top 10 raise even more money for their business ideas.
Do I have to qualify to be in the top 10 to participate in the crowdfunding aspect of Trepathon.com?
No. All qualified entrants into the competition can raise money for their idea, subject to the site terms, on TREPATHON.COM.
Who is running this event?
TrepEDU.com and TREPATHON co-founders, Jay Wright and Tim Wolf. You can find out more about us in our bios here.
How much cash will be won or raised by the winners?
That’s all going to be determined by # of entrants in the competition, outside sponsorship participation, and efforts by individual participants to raise money for their ideas. We anticipate and intend that the top prizes will range from $5,000 to $30,000 or more, including funds raised prior to the final competition on Trepathon.com. No guarantees of specific winnings should be construed or implied, because those things are totally dependent on the above factors, that can only be determined during the event itself.
(potential sponsors, check out how to get involved here - link)
What if I don't win?
First off, there is truly no such thing as ‘failure’ if you don’t give up. Success happens because of your willingness to TRY (to do or be something you feel inspired or uniquely qualified to do or be). Oftentimes, when we try, we ‘fail’ a few times or a lot of times. But trying ALL OVER AGAIN with RENEWED ENTHUSIASM is the #1 cause of EVENTUAL SUCCESS. If you have an idea or can come up with one, I think you should TRY this competition. Don’t you? How cool will it be to meet and become friends with hundreds of other young TREPs and entrepreneurial leaders while learning tons about how to win as a TREP and in life?
How can participants raise money BEFORE the event?
That’s one of the more exciting aspects of the TREPATHON! From the time you are fully entered in the competition after 8/21, one of the major things you can focus on is raising money for your entry fee (only $50) + the travel costs to the Dolphin Tank if you are a top 10 qualifier + for YOUR ENTREPRENEURIAL ENDEAVOR! This pre-event, crowdfunding element will take place on our website, Trepathon.com. And like most crowdfunding sites, we only take a nominal processing fee (7.5% of funds raised) for things like website maintenance and credit card processing fees before turning over net raised funds you raised at the end of the competition.
Why only 26 and under?
That’s just what this competition is about - Young Entrepreneurs Success = YES! No one is saying a 35 or 75 year-old Trep is any less awesome, but this competition is simply geared toward younger people. We believe when people start THINKING like an entrepreneur and are willing to START TRYING to reach their goals as a trep at younger ages and stages in life, they are more likely to find something that works for them and live a much more fulfilled life and make a larger impact on the world than anyone else. Here’s to YOU, entrepreneurs of all ages! Yet, this competition is still for 26 and under!* The sole exception to this is parents / designated guardians of those participants under 16, who are welcome to be involved at every stage.
How to participants under age 16 enter?
That’s a good question. They must have written permission from a parent or designated guardian. They must also have a travel, transportation and event host that is a parent or designated guardian. This parent/guardian must also sign as many disclaimers and releases of legal liability forms that we can get our hands on. The under 16 competitor must also have this person with them at all times during the event and competition in OKC. This parent/designated guardian is fully, 100% responsible for their under-16 participant in every way, and can also help them pitch their ideas and answer questions and all other facets of the competition. This other designated person can be any age.
How will the winners be determined?
We reserve the right to modify criteria at any time before or during the competition. These are the initial top 10 criteria going into the competition. No algorithmic quantification of factors for winning criteria (other than funds raised) will be provided.
- funds raised during the competition
- other competition participants interest in supporting your idea at the event
- entry video and subsequent pitch-type presentations
- strength and uniqueness of the entrepreneurial idea
- passion, excitement and authenticity of the entrepreneur
- impact on the marketplace and the world of the realized idea
- growth, evolution and improvement of the idea and the trep during competition
- marketability and viability path of the idea / business
- potential investor interest in the idea
- steps taken to raise funds and launch business from initial video to competition
Who is going to judge the competition?
We will not be releasing a list of names prior to the competition. This is to keep people from trying to bribe the judges in advance… just kidding. But, there will be impartial judges from the local community and some from out of state. These people are experts in all area’s of start-ups, entrepreneurialism, business, government, education, technology, marketing, bio-things, etc. etc. etc. Some of these people will be speakers and mentors to treps during the competition. There will semi-finalists selected during the live event in OKC… and time provided to refine ideas and pitches. There will be teams formed to help the semi-finalists work out details, launch campaigns, raise money, develop marketing and market strategies, etc. to turn the idea into a real business. There will be mentors and respected experts in most every field an idea could be categorized under on-site during the competition on 8/21 & 8/22.
Why would I NOT do this?
We have no idea unless you are over 26 and don't have a kid. If you have ANY IDEA in your mind you want to pursue, there is NO REASON that you should not do this. Where there's a will, there is a way. This is a way!
Do I need to hire professional help for my video or graphics to be successful in the competition?
Hecks no! Start where you stand. What’s available to you now to make a short video? Fancy videos are not excluded but they won’t help anyone win the competition. As simple as turning an old iPhone around and recording ~ Who You Are ~ What Your Idea is About ~ Why Are You Fired Up About It? is basically what we are looking for. If you want graphics and all that, that is fine. There are no rules except it cannot be longer than 90 seconds and the idea needs to somehow be good for other people, you know - solve a problem, etc. Consolidate that excitement about your idea and get started on your 60-90 second entry video.
Why is the finalist competition in Oklahoma City and not Silicon Valley or something?
Don’t knock OKC unless you’ve been there! It’s a pretty awesome place that treps are thriving in. There is a unique culture of cooperation between local government, bigger corporate businesses and startups and entrepreneurial leaders that is coming together to benefit the whole community and state. It’s also beautiful with tons of things to do and a trip worth taking for your whole crew! The entry fee and two tickets to the event would certainly not be only $50 TOTAL in most other places!
OKC is consistently #1 or in the top 5 cities to launch a new business!
Also, some of the smartest minds working to help treps and startups across the world know the importance of an open mind about where the innovation of the future will rise up from. Check out Steve Case’s take on things.
I'm in! What's next?
Seriously, getting started could NOT BE EASIER. We have gotten rid of as many barriers to entry as possible so that you can get some life changing entrepreneurial experience under your belt - or put yourself in a position to grow a business you already have started!
HERE’S WHAT TO DO… We have 3 simple steps TO BE ENTERED into the competition, to get tickets to the live event, and be able to start raising STARTUP FUNDS before the selection of the finalists for the competition in OKC.
These can be done in pretty much any order… and the short application is the easiest step, so we might as well start there...
- Fill out our super short, online application.
- Create a 60-90 second YouTube video about your idea.
- Get your TREPATHON entry fee Sponsored or otherwise paid for. It’s only $50 and that EVEN COVERS TWO TICKETS TO THE EVENT IN OKC!
You can get more details at http://trepathon.com/get-started
How can I get my $50 signup fee sponsored by friends, family, business owners, or other sponsors?
Put your email in right here and we will send you resources on how to do this! You are still going to need to make a video and fill out the short online application, so go ahead and start the application here after you enter your email. We’ll shoot you some awesome resources to do this!
After I complete the 3 steps to enter the competition, then what?
As soon as you submit the online application part, gotten the $50 in and uploaded the link for your 60-90 second YouTube video. We will be giving you access to some incredible material on how to start raising some funds and refining your idea / pitch and putting together the pieces of your entrepreneurial puzzle. We will also give you your own live page where you can start raising money. Everything starts for you when you sign up and complete the first three steps! Then you have 60 days to raise as much money as you can on TREPATHON.COM and be building out your business or idea! Then on Oct 21st, we will announce the TOP 10 qualifiers. Funds raised can be used to get to OKC for the finalist competition and to start building your own business!