BELLEFONTE — Two winners of the annual SpringBoard Startup Challenge in Bellefonte have been awarded a combined $3,000 in prizes to execute a marketing plan that will help to “spring” their business into action.
Each year, SpringBoard, Bellefonte’s downtown coworking and community space, awards monetary prizes to individuals that present a captivating and attainable marketing plan that will leverage their new business. Entries are then reviewed by a panel of judges, made up of Downtown Bellefonte Inc. board and committee members as well as local marketing professionals. Aspiring entrepreneurs, solopreneurs or business owners that have been in business for under three years, local to Centre County communities, are eligible to apply.
SpringBoard is part of an economic development initiative by Downtown Bellefonte Inc. which aims to attract and retain businesses in downtown Bellefonte and make the community a great place to live, visit and do business.
“Through the SpringBoard Startup Challenge, DBI has created an opportunity to bring new businesses to downtown Bellefonte, fostering a positive economic environment,” said Jennilyn Schuster, Downtown Bellefonte Inc.’s Main Street Manager. “There is a newfound energy that radiates through the community in support of their success. Customized coaching sessions and resources provide a solid foundation focused on creating a successful platform for these new businesses.”
Prize winners for 2021 are:
–Spring Creek Picnics is a pop-up picnic business serving Talleyrand Park in Bellefonte designed to increase tourism to the community and attract new visitors to patronize locally owned Bellefonte restaurants.
Judges for the SpringBoard Startup Challenge found that owner Renea Nichols’ excelled in the application in sharing a vision for the startup that not only would help the business grow; but would also highlight Bellefonte’s unique assets like Talleyrand Park as a whole and drive traffic to the downtown area by residents and visitors alike.
–Good Will Goddess Books sells gently used books of all genres and for all ages, as well as unique curios and vintage items. Book-related merchandise such as T-shirts, stickers, bookends, and other book-lover swag. Through the business, owner Kate Walker hopes to reduce waste and offer reasonably priced to people in Centre County and especially in Bellefonte.
Currently, Good Will Goddess Books has pop-up locations in Belle Mercantile, The Plaza Antiques and Titan Market, all in Bellefonte.
Walker’s marketing plan detailed efforts to improve the business’ website and social media presence, as well as to host special events and activities to spread the word about the business.
The first place prize was $2,000 to execute the described marketing plan + a 6 month SpringBoard full-time membership; the second prize $1,000 to execute the marketing plan and a six-month SpringBoard part-time coworking membership.
In addition, both winners received coaching from representatives from Bellefonte-based agencies, Hello Social Co. and 3twenty9 Design and prizes from local businesses.