3rd Minnow Tank Business Plan Competition Business Plan Deadline Approaching

Northeastern Montana - Great Northern Development Corporation (GNDC) and the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) are excited to announce the commencement of the 3rd Minnow Tank Business Plan Competition. This transformative initiative is set to unfold across the seven-county region of Northeastern Montana, including Valley, Garfield, McCone, Richland, Roosevelt, Sheridan and Daniels.

Fostering Economic Development:

The Minnow Tank Competition aims to unite communities with a common goal of economic development by attracting new entrepreneurs and supporting existing businesses. Through the generous sponsorships of local businesses and chambers of commerce, GNDC will award two prize packages of $5,000 each, one to a startup and one to an existing business.

Showcasing Entrepreneurial Potential:

This competition provides a unique platform for startups and expanding businesses to showcase their potential, with the opportunity to win one of two $5,000 cash awards. The vision is to strengthen and support the existing businesses that form the backbone of local communities.

Educational Initiatives:

To empower entrepreneurs, SBDC Director Quincy Walter has organized free business plan development classes in each of the seven counties. These classes cover crucial topics such as Business Plan Basics, Marketing, and Small Business Financials. Entrepreneurs planning to compete in the Minnow Tank Business Plan competition are strongly encouraged to attend these classes.

Key Dates and Events:

Business Plan Submission Deadline: March 13, 5 p.m.

Minnow Tank Finale: May 3

Application Guidelines and Procedures:

Business plan submissions for Minnow Tank are due to GNDC by 5 p.m. on March 13. Visit http://www.gndc.org for official application guidelines and procedures.

Minnow Tank Finale:

The culminating event will be held on May 3, where 14 finalists will present their business plans live to a panel of judges, and the audience, who will also be able to vote as well. Support your favorite entrepreneur by attending the Minnow Tank Finale; tickets will be available by calling GNDC.

Join the Minnow Tank Competition:

New or existing businesses interested in applying for Minnow Tank or those with questions about the events are encouraged to contact Quincy Walter at (406)-653-2590 ext. 203 or visit https://gndc.org/minnow-tank/

About Great Northern Development Corporation (GNDC):

GNDC is the economic development leader in Northeastern Montana, committed to fostering entrepreneurship and supporting businesses in Northeastern Montana.

2024 Minnow Tank Guidlines

Guidelines and Application Procedures to Enter Minnow Tank Promotion: This is a two-phase contest.

Phase 1 — Business Plan Submission (March 13, 2024)

In the first phase, all applicants are asked to provide a business plan using LivePlan (for access to LivePlan contact Quincy Walter at [email protected] or (406-653-2590 ext. 203)).

You business plan must be no longer than 20 pages consisting of:

1. Executive Summary

2. Company Summary

3. Products/Services Summary

4. Market Analysis Summary

5. Strategies and Implementation Summary

6. Management Summary

7. Financial Plan (including three years of projections as well as cash flow)

8. A community impact summary stating:

a. How your business will enhance Northeastern Montana

b. Why your business stands out

Phase II – Minnow Tank Live Pitch

Finalists will be notified by Wednesday, March 27, 2024, by 5 p.m. Finalists will be asked to present their concept and plan in front of a panel of judges in a live presentation format with a question and answer period lasting at the most 10 minutes. Visual aids such as products and digital presentations will be allowed. Finalists MUST make arrangements before the competition to use these items. The Live event will occur on May 3, starting at 5 p.m. Winners will be announced that evening following the live pitch. In the event of a tie, winners will split the prize.


1. This promotion is open to all legal U.S. residents 18 or older at the time of entry.

2. Proposed businesses can be independent operations or franchised.

3. The applicant must be an existing business or is going to start a business in Garfield, Valley, McCone, Richland, Roosevelt, Sheridan, or Daniels counties.

How to Enter:

1. All business concept submissions must be emailed, delivered, or postmarked to the Great Northern Development Corporation by 5 p.m. on March 13, 2024. Send to [email protected] or 233 Cascade Street, Wolf Point MT 59201.


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