After receiving hundreds of inquiries and about 30 completed entries, organizers of the SIUE Metro East Start Up Challenge have selected fifteen entrepreneurs based in Southwestern Illinois to move into the second round of their first regional business plan competition.

Metro East SBDC Director and challenge coordinator Patrick McKeehan says he was surprised at how difficult it was to select the semifinalists.


Click Here for McKeehan Comments

The remaining competitors have until March 31st to submit their business plans and financial statements. Then the panel of judges will select as many as five finalists to who will pitch their business concept to the panel on April 28th. The judges will then select a winner who will win $10,000 and possibly a start-up office space in University Park at SIUE.

(Copyright WBGZ Radio /