Friends-turned-business partners have until August 1st to submit their ideas to the Miller Lite Tap the FutureTM business plan competition and compete for a portion of the $400,000 prize pool. Teams of entrepreneurs 21 and older can submit their application through www.MLTaptheFuture.com. Competitors that advance in the competition will have a chance to pitch and receive advice from some of the sharpest business minds in the country, including Daymond John, also known as “The Shark” from ABC’s “Shark Tank,” and other inspirational entrepreneurs.
“Many of today’s greatest companies were started by a group of friends with a good idea, which is what Miller Time is all about: great times with good friends,” said Steve Canal, MillerCoors manager of community commerce and partnerships. “Miller Lite Tap the Future will provide the tools and funds to help bring those ideas to life. It’s an exciting program that celebrates great friends coming together to create great businesses.”
Business partners will compete in a three-phased contest:
1. Teams of entrepreneurs can submit their business information through www.MLTaptheFuture.com until August 1st.
2. Twenty-five semifinalists will be selected to compete in live pitch events in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia and Phoenix. John and a panel of expert judges will select one business in each city to win $20,000 and advance to the national finals.
3. The top five winners from each market will present before a national panel of judges as Miller Lite Tap the Future finalists. One team will win the grand prize: a $250,000 business development grant.
Additionally, consumers can vote online for their favorite semifinalist team. The five teams with the most fan votes will be awarded $10,000 each.
Sitting alongside “The Shark” will be other inspirational entrepreneurs who all started successful businesses with close friends. The group of inspirational judges includes Aaron Firestein and Raaja Nemani, co-founders of BucketFeet which produces shoes designed by artists from around the world; Lance Rios, founder of Hispanic communication platform Being Latino; Roberto Torres, Luis Montanez and Chris Findeisen, creators of made-in-America apparel brand Black & Denim; Sulaiman Sanni and Ben Lamson, creators of the crowd-funding website WeDidIt; and Marve Frazier, CEO of premier destination website for African American popular culture and entertainment Bossip.com and Chief Creative Officer of Moguldom Media Group.
Miller Lite has also aligned with community partners that focus on entrepreneurship and technical resources, including the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Milwaukee Urban League, Chicago Urban League, Urban League of Greater Dallas and North Central Texas, the Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the National Association for Asian American Professionals.