In March 2020, the Avalon Park Group created the Entrepreneur Fund to support and empower local entrepreneurs and business owners in a rapidly changing business climate. Business owners who are looking to present a new business, spin off from another business or grow an existing small business are invited to apply for an award from the fund.
In its first year, the initial fund was over $1,000,000. After reviewing 153 submissions, 28 finalists were awarded in a combination of cash investments, business loans, office space in the Avalon Innovation Center, professional consulting services and memberships to The 5th Floor coworking space.
“We personalize award packages for all finalists,” said President and CEO of Avalon Park Group, Beat Kahli. “While not all of the requests are fully funded, we want to offer support for these passionate individuals.”
While the jury of international experts review proposals and business plans, they also make suggestions for next steps in the selected projects to ensure their success.
All industries and all businesses at various stages of growth are encouraged to apply. Interested applicants can email firstname.lastname@example.org to submit their proposal or get more information.
There was one presentation that truly stood out among the rest. Two young men, Zak Umansky and Nikolay Azhmyakov, presented an idea called AvalonGo. The proposal that they presented was simply an ask to bring this healthy amenity to the community and any revenue that was generated would go directly back to the community. The jury was impressed with the community spirit and professional effort spent to make this ask on behalf of their community and they were immediately awarded their request above and beyond what was allotted for the fund. “I was inspired by these young men, who grew up in this community, wanting to use their entrepreneur minds to selflessly give back, so I immediately honored their request and we are working with them to get the AvalonGo bike share program running as soon as possible,” said Kahli.
The international team of experts convened over the past month to watch presentations, review business plans and make suggestions for next steps. “We are very grateful for the time and expertise the jury provided over the past several months in reviewing the multitude of business plans received,” said Beat Kahli. “Special acknowledgement should particularly go to the Singapore team, Andreas Derzsi and Ravi Kumar, who spent more than 24 hours on the clock as they watched presentations in the middle of their night, and then had to continue their days.”