$30K up for grabs. Entrepreneurs wanted.

The difference between successful entrepreneurs and everyone else isn’t that the former have all the good ideas. The difference is they act on those ideas.

If you have an idea for a business, don’t give up an opportunity to pitch it.

Friday, Feb. 14, is the deadline to apply for LaunchPad, a business plan competition sponsored and organized by Gorham Savings Bank. Up for grabs is $30,000, which will be given to the entrepreneur with the best and most well-articulated idea.

An independent panel of judges will review all submitted business ideas and select up to 20 semifinalists. Those semifinalists will be featured on the LaunchPad website, where the community will vote for the top five finalists. Those finalists will pitch their idea in front of a panel of judges at a live LaunchPad competition on April 10. The winner will be announced at the live competition and awarded $30,000.

The three LaunchPad judges will be Paul Ferguson, president of the University of Maine; Craig Denekas, president of the Libra Foundation; and Michelle Neujahr, a business coach and director of the entrepreneurship center at Southern Maine Community College.

This is the second year for LaunchPad. Pika Energy, a Westbrook-based company producing residential-scale wind turbines, won last year’s inaugural competition. It used the funds to move out of a basement and into a commercial facility.

To submit a business idea, visit the LaunchPad website.

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Whit Richardson

About Whit Richardson

Whit Richardson is Business Editor at the Bangor Daily News. He blogs about Maine business, entrepreneurs and the economy.