2014 Market Ready Award Announced

Eric Mower + Associates will present its Market Ready Award at the second annual Startup Labs Syracuse, the region’s largest business competition launched by CenterState CEO. The award—a suite of branding and marketing services from EMA valued at $50,000—will be given to the company that demonstrates it is most ready for launch.

EMA created the Market Ready Award for the inaugural Startup Labs competition earlier this year, presenting it to Ithaca-based software startup Rosie. Since winning the award in April, Rosie—an online shopping platform that tracks items that customers buy most and alerts them when they are running low and need to restock—has launched in two supermarkets, expanding its presence to eight locations. Additionally, Rosie has hired nine employees, and more than 3,000 users have signed up for the service.

“Eric Mower + Associates’ commitment to the Market Ready Award is an investment in the future—for the winning company, the community and the agency,” said Greg Loh, managing partner of Public Relations + Public Affairs at EMA. “We’re wowed at the success that our first-year winner, Rosie, is already experiencing and look forward to helping the company continue to grow.”

The 2013 Startup Labs program and the return of the Market Ready Award were announced at a press conference on Oct. 10. Over the next few months, startup companies can apply to the Startup Labs Syracuse program. Three teams will be selected for an intense 22-day program. During that time, they will work with mentors and prepare to pitch their business plans at Demo Day before a live audience and panel of judges. The program’s top company and a winner of the Market Ready Award will be announced at CenterState CEO’s Annual Meeting, in April.

Selection criteria for the Market Ready Award recipient includes: a compelling product or service backed by a sound business plan; readiness to launch the new business within 8-12 months; demonstrated ability to attract the capital required to compete in-market; and a management and advisory team that is receptive to strategic, creative, and innovative marketing ideas.

The goal of Startup Labs is to support the region’s entrepreneurs and accelerate their ideas to the marketplace. Throughout the competition, teams are supported by a network of local mentors to help them develop their business plans, providing a unique advantage to all teams.

“This competition is a tremendous opportunity for our region’s emerging companies,” said Robert Simpson, president of CenterState CEO. “In addition to providing some of the financial resources necessary for success, time and mentoring are among the greatest investments we make in these early-stage companies. This program successfully pairs these companies with experts positioned to help them grow their ideas into viable business ventures.”

Syracuse is the first U.S. city to host Startup Labs. Only five other cities worldwide have launched the intense competition, including Istanbul; Taipei, Taiwan; Mexico City; Rio de Janeiro; and New Delhi. The goal of the competition is to support Central New York’s entrepreneurs and accelerate their ideas to the marketplace. The program succeeds the very successful Creative Core Emerging Business Competition.

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