Business

SSC Enterprise Center reveals competition finalists

SALEM – The Salem State College Enterprise Center on Monday announced the three finalists in its 2010 North of Boston Business Plan competition.Three companies were named, including an online local advertising business, a vendor of environmentally responsible household products and a solar energy company.”They are indicative of the breadth and high quality of the plans submitted,” said Christine Sullivan, executive director of the Enterprise Center.Finalists will present their plans before the panel of 19 judges and the public at the finale, in the Central Campus Recital Hall at Salem State next Monday, April 12 starting at 3 p.m.The finalists are:u EcoCentric Resources TOPIA, a Salem-based online sales company of environmentally responsible, non-toxic household products made with authentic natural ingredients, including “chlorine-free” baby diapers and baby wipes directly to consumers. Contact Lane Nielsen at 617-510-0274 or see the company Web site at www.cocentricresources.comu Local Ginger, a Newburyport-based marketing communication channel, is designed to help local merchants reach likely customers through email and SMS technologies. To contact Arik Keller, call 978-387-3738 or go online to the company Web site at www.localginger.com.u Solar Sheds, a company based in Peabody that develops and markets energy conversion products for the solar photovoltaic industry. Contact Frank Harrington at 978-335-7724 or email him at fharrington-@alumni.uml.edu.All finalists are startups and emerging businesses less than three years old. To qualify for the competition each business has committed to locating on the North Shore or Merrimack Valley and must grow to at least five full-time employees or full-time equivalent employees within two years.First prize in the North of Boston Business Plan Competition is $5,000. Second and third place plans will receive $3,000 and $2,000 respectively.The April 12 event and reception that follows offers free public admission. Anyone planning to attend should RSVP by visiting www.enterprisectr.org/bpc/ or emailing sgibney@enterprisectr.org.The competition judges interviewed semi-finalists on March 31 and selected the finalists that day. On April 12, each finalist will present his or her plan for 15 minutes followed by 10 minutes of questioning from the judges. After the presentations the judges will confer and the winner will be announced that evening.Corporate sponsors of the competition include platinum sponsor Eastern Bank, gold sponsor Danversbank, silver sponsor Apredica, Burns & Levinson, LLP, Differential Proteomics, North Shore Bank, North Shore Technology Council, Salem Five and The Salem News.Co-sponsors include 128 Innovation Capital Group, Amesbury Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Bertolon School of Business at Salem State College, Beverly Chamber of Commerce, Cape Ann Business Incubator, Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce, Creative Economy Association of the North Shore, Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce, Greater Lowell Chamber of Commerce, Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce, Homebased Businesswomen’s Network, Ipswich Chamber of Commerce, Lynn Area Chamber of Commerce, Marblehead Chamber of Commerce, Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce, Merrimack Valley Economic Development Council, Inc., North Shore Chamber of Commerce, Peabody Area Chamber of Commerce, Salem Chamber of Commerce, Salem State Alumni Association, Small Business Development Center at Salem State College.The Enterprise Center is a non-profit business incubator and a virtual center for entrepreneurs at every stage of business development. Opened in 1998, the Enterprise offers office space for start-up and established companies and provides free programs designed to help small business owners and employees improve their business skills.The Enterprise Center is active in initiatives to attract growth businesses and to grow the creative economy on the North Shore. Contact the center at www.enterprisectr.org

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