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b|launched 3.0 Launches 3rd Year Business Start Up Competition

BOISE, ID (October 31, 2013) – The Boise Young Professional’s b|launched 3.0 competition is gearing up for its 3rd year in January 2014 with a Meet the Mentors event on November 6, 5:30pm at the Water Cooler in downtown Boise. The competition kicks off on January 7th, 2014.  There are some additional elements this year including new mentors, a group of experienced advisors, a series of six workshops that cover all aspects of starting a business, expanding company ideas beyond the technology industry, a congruent b|launched Jr. program with students competing from four area high schools, and the potential to pitch for additional follow-on funding.

The b|launched 3.0 competition is a job creation and new business start-up initiative competition for young professionals. The program matches successful Boise entrepreneurs with approximately 30 talented, local, young professionals with the goal of creating at least two new start-up companies. Four teams comprised of two mentors and up to eight young professionals per team, diverse in skill and background, will be formed to compete for initial funding to start a business. A minimum of $20,000 will be awarded to the 1st place team and $10,000 to the 2nd place team when the finalists are announced in April.  All b|launched teams will have the opportunity to pitch for additional follow-on funding by the end of the year.

B|launched started in 2011, led by well-known, local business mentors, and resulted in the launch of four companies, including BeFree Village, CraySay, Follow & Fund, and ADvailable. The idea behind the b|launched program is to teach young professionals how to start companies and expand their knowledge base in the area of developing start-ups.  This year’s new mentors include Travis Hawkes, The Blue and Orange Store; Mick Wiskerchen, Entrepreneur; Jefferson Jewel, The Caprock Group; and David Gardner, Electrical Wholesale Supply.

Applications are due November 16, 2013 and can be found at www.boiseyp.org or www.blaunched.com  The program is backed by presenting sponsors Perkins Coie, St. Luke’s and Eide Bailly and supporting sponsor Drake Cooper.

Since the completion of the second series, b|launched has trained over 100 young professionals in the art of creating start-ups. "This unique program created by the Boise Young Professionals is doing exactly what it originally set out to do; providing young professionals with the critical tools they need to start companies and help our community create jobs," said entrepreneur and advisor Faisal Shah.

 “Of all the things that the Chamber does, b|launched is one of the programs of which we are most proud. This competition to launch two start-ups per series creates real commerce for our region and ensures that Boise’s entrepreneurial spirit will live on through another generation,” said Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Bill Connors.

Who:               Boise Young Professionals & the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce

What:              B|launched Meet the Mentors Event

When:             Wednesday, November 6, 2013  |  5:30-6:30 p.m.

Where:           Water Cooler

                        1405 W. Idaho Street

                        Boise, ID 83702

Media:            Members of the media are invited to attend. The mentors are available to answer questions from media during the times outlined above. Direct questions to cmerritt@boisechamber.org or (208) 472-5221.