Challenge entries due Monday night — here’s your survival guide

If you haven’t submitted your Miami Herald Business Plan Challenge entry yet, you are probably in good company. Last year, 90 percent of the entries came in on the last day; most in the last possible hour.

So put the coffee pot on — you still have plenty of time. We welcome high school entrepreneurs in our contest, too — there is a track just for you.

Entries are due at 11:59 p.m. Monday. Here’s a survival guide:

Your business plan entry can be up to three pages, and you are allowed one extra supplemental page for charts, photos or diagrams. Tip: Be brief — just the highlights — and make every word count. Include a company description, the problem you are solving in the market and why your product or service is better than the competition. Ttell us about the market opportunity, how you will make money, your marketing strategy and your team. Last but not least, include your financial strategy: What will your startup costs be? How will you fund your venture? What are your three-year projections? You can use your supplemental page for a financial chart if you wish. Find the complete contest rules and read about the judges — investors, advisors, serial entrepreneurs and finance specialists — on

Email your entry to: for the Community Track, open to all of South Florida; for the FIU Track, open to students and alumni of that university; and for grades 9-12.

You should get an automatic response after you enter. If you don’t or you have questions about whether your entry was received,

Good luck!

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