Changes To Improve The Second I.D.E.A. Wichita Falls

I.D.E.A. Wichita Falls 2011 is about to start.

This is the second year for the business plan competition. Newschannel 6 Lindsey Rogers found out several changes have been made this year to improve potential new business in Wichita Falls.

Starting a new business is not easy.

"What entrepreneur have to have is passion for their idea and preserver," Director of the Lalani Center at MSU Jeff Stambaugh said.

But sometimes even that is not enough.

So, to help Texomans get the training, mentoring and cash needed to make their dreams come to life, I.D.E.A. Wichita Falls was formed.

It's a competition designed to help aspiring entrepreneurs but also our community.

That's because it's bringing in outside people.

"The businesses you and I deal with daily would not be the kind of businesses we're trying to start. The reason why is clear, economic development," Stambaugh said.

The contest first started last year and one of the biggest challenges was to get 75 percent of the business revenue from outside Wichita, Archer and Clay counties.

While this is still an important focus, organizers decided to change that requirement to only 50 percent this year.

The business must also create new jobs.

"We learned a lot from mistakes of others. We spent a long time talking about how others structured their business plan competition. I thought we did a good job the first time around and the minor changes are evidence of our learning," Stambaugh said.

There's also some incentive for last year's contestants to enter again, the prize money has increased to $30,000.

"I expect some will come back with entirely different ideas or significant changes in their plan because entrepreneurship is synonymous with learning. If you try on thing and it didn't work, scrap that and build on what did work."

The first orientation session for I.D.E.A. Wichita Falls will be Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Dillard College of Business in room 189.

For more details on the competition click here.

Lindsey Rogers, Newschannel 6