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Crowder College and Neosho Chamber Announce Business Competition

Two Neosho organizations are helping local entrepreneurs bring their ideas to life.
NEOSHO, MO.--- "We're wanting to assist them in getting a business up and running," said Russ Hopper, Maret Center Executive. 

Directors at Crowder College's Maret Center are hoping to help people with new alternative energy and technology ideas flourish.

"We would like it to be an innovation that is evolutionary or revolutionary. Other than that, you don't have to have a product, you don't have to have a prototype, you don't even have to have a company, we're going to help you with that," said Hopper. 

Inventors will get the chance to win a $2,500 prize and the opportunity to learn essential business practices during an entrepreneur bootcamp.

"This bootcamp will be focused very specifically on solving the big problems of getting a innovative technology to market," said Hopper. 

The Neosho Chamber of Commerce is also teaming up with the facility. Chamber directors say the competition will help generate more local economic development. 

"80% to 85% of employment comes from small business. Every business that was started, no matter what it is today, they were started by an individual," said Gib Garrow, Neosho Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President. 

While the competition is open to anyone from anywhere, the goal is that as people work on their projects inside the Maret Center, they'll want to setup their business in the Four State area.

"You don't have to be from Neosho or Newton County. You may come across the state border to be considered, it just needs to be in that field," said Garrow. 

"We want to work with Neosho, we want to work with Newton County, we want to work with the Four States to see if we can get more economic development going on regionally based on high tech innovative start up," said Hopper. 

The competition officially kicks off tomorrow during the Neosho Chamber Luncheon at Camp Crowder. Organizers will also hold an information meeting the evening of October 3rd at the Maret Center. Anyone interested will have until December 20th to submit their ideas to Crowder's Maret Center. 
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