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Sunday, April 22,2012

Business group looks to spark more entrepreneurship

By Stephanie Stark

The Athens County Economic Development Council, also dubbed Athens Business Remixed, has launched a campaign to promote entrepreneurship and creativity in the county.

The campaign was announced Friday evening in conjunction with Startup Weekend, an intense 54-hour event at Ohio University where teams competed in creating web or mobile applications for credible startup businesses.

The Remixed campaign awards business grants and cash rewards to local entrepreneurs, writers, photographers and artists from Athens.

The first competition awards a $10,000 grant to a business idea "that is most persuasive, most efficacious, and best presented" to launch in Athens in 2013.

It also grants a cash award to the top three winners of a "story telling and spirit competition." The competition awards $3,000 for first place, $1,250 for second place and $750 for third place to residents or students who tell "the best Athens County story" by photograph, blog or video online.

The competition aims to produce at least one new business starting up or relocating to Athens County, and "hundreds of new pieces of online content about the true spirit of Athens County," according to the news release.

"The goal is to attract businesses to Athens County and to do so by telling the story of Athens County, and who better to tell it than those of us who love it here and live here?" asked Todd Shelton, director of Athens Business Remixed, in a press release.

The campaign was announced at the start of the OU Innovation Center's annual Startup Weekend, where students and community members gathered to hear from entrepreneurs and startup businesses, and experimented with creating prototypes for business ideas. The competition ended Sunday with final presentations and team awards.

The finalists will be judged by a panel of local business leaders and other economic development stakeholders. More information about the contest is available at


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