Ten talented entrepreneurs have advanced to the final round of the MillerCoors Urban Entrepreneurs Series (MUES) Business Plan Competition, which has awarded nearly two million dollars in grants since 1999. The diverse group of entrepreneurs will present their business plan to a panel of nationally renowned judges in Chicago for a chance to win part of the $150,000 prize pool.
For the first time, consumers will have the chance to vote for their favorite urban entrepreneur through the Consumer’s Choice Award; the fan-favorite finalist will win a business development grant of $10,000. Consumers cast their votes once per day via Facebook at Facebook.com/MillerCoorsUES from January 29 to February 11.
“As a leading innovator in the beer industry, we’re proud to recognize and reward fresh and creative business ideas. The MUES program has helped increase economic opportunities and resources for dynamic businesses across the country," said Larry Waters, senior director of community commerce and partnerships at MillerCoors. “This year, we’re adding to the excitement by opening it up to consumers and asking them to vote for their favorite idea.”
The following entrepreneurs advanced to the final round out of hundreds of submissions:
- Santiago Halty - Senda Athletics: A U.S.-based company making fair trade sports balls and equipment with designs and styles inspired by athletes from around the world.
- Whitney and Brent Herrington – Elevenup Shoes: A specialty women’s shoe company focusing exclusively on plus size consumers by providing shoe sizes 11 and up.
- Felix Lloyd and Jordan Bookey – Zoobean, LLC: A search resource that will empower parents with a new way to search, recommend and buy the best books for children by curating and cataloging the highest quality children’s books and e-books.
- Lauren Miller and Jason Brien- Excelegrade: A company that developed online software that replaces paper-based tests in K-12 classrooms with assessments on tablets, smart phones, and laptops.
- David Mitchell – Wesley Mitchell Chapel: A Texas-based funeral home that will celebrate the life of the departed and bolster support systems for those who must live without them.
- Gabriel Munoz and Raul Duran - Hispanic Employee Recruiting Online: An innovative online platform that will unite companies seeking to build a diverse workforce with quality, bilingual candidates in the Midwest.
- Tinia Pina - Re-Nuble, Inc.: A social enterprise providing local, organic recycling services for major food waste generators using innovative and clean technology.
- Carlton Reeves – Reeves Technologies LLC: Creators of Tabit, a point-of-sales (POS) system that promotes a positive dining experience by connecting consumers and restaurants.
- Tia Robinson – Vertical Edge: An apparel company that provides fashionable fitness wear for traditional and alternative fitness enthusiasts.
- Ben Silbert and Mac Tichner – Bar & Club Stats: Creators of a custom iPod or iPhone ID scanner that provides real-time demographic information about bars, nightclubs and arenas.
MillerCoors will announce this year’s winners in March and will award a $50,000 business grant to the top contestant and $25,000 grants to four runners-up. Consumers who vote at the MUES Consumer’s Choice Award must be age 21 and older. All votes should be submitted at www.Facebook.com/MillerCoorsUES by Monday, February 11, 2012, at 9:00 p.m. (CST).
The MUES program was designed to help urban entrepreneurs grow their business and offers a set of unique resources for business owners to craft successful business plans and gain insights from experts. Resources are available via online and mobile platforms, allowing entrepreneurs to access videos and other business resources while on the go. MUES supporters include the National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP), the Atlanta Business League, the Chicago Urban League, the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Dallas, the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and additional local chambers and chapters of the Urban League.
For more information on the MUES Business Plan Competition and helpful business resources, visit www.MillerCoorsMUES.com.
Overview of MillerCoors
Built on a foundation of great beer brands and nearly 300 years of brewing heritage, MillerCoors continues the commitment of its founders to brew the highest quality beers. MillerCoors is the second-largest beer company in the United States, capturing nearly 30 percent of beer sales in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Led by two of the best-selling beers in the industry, MillerCoors has a broad portfolio of brands across every major industry segment. The portfolio is led by the company’s premium light brands: Coors Light, Miller Lite and Miller64. Coors Light, the World’s Most Refreshing Beer, offers consumers refreshment as cold as the Rockies. Miller Lite established the American light beer category in 1975, offering beer drinkers a light beer that tastes like beer should. Miller64 is 64 calories of crisp, light taste that complements a balanced lifestyle. MillerCoors brews premium beers Coors Banquet and Miller Genuine Draft, and economy brands Miller High Life and Keystone Light. Tenth and Blake Beer Company, MillerCoors craft and import division, imports Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Pilsner Urquell and Grolsch and features craft brews from the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company, Blue Moon Brewing Company and the Blitz-Weinhard Brewing Company. MillerCoors operates eight major breweries in the U.S., as well as the Leinenkugel’s craft brewery in Chippewa Falls, Wisc. and two microbreweries, the Tenth Street Brewery in Milwaukee and the Blue Moon Brewing Company at Coors Field in Denver. MillerCoors vision is to create the best beer company in America through great people changing the way America enjoys beer. MillerCoors builds its brands the right way through brewing quality, responsible marketing and sustainable environmental and community impact. MillerCoors is a joint venture of SABMiller plc and Molson Coors Brewing Company. Learn more at MillerCoors.com, at facebook.com/MillerCoors or on Twitter through @MillerCoors.