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      2019 North of Boston Business Plan Competition             Finalists Selected

Three businesses have been chosen as finalists in the 2019 North of Boston Business Plan Competition.  The purpose of the competition is to identify and support new or expanding businesses that want to grow on the North Shore.  The Three Finalists are:

 Covalent Bonds – Salisbury, MA
Covalent Bonds measures marketing and media for the life science industry. We have developed a measurement system (ACTsights™), that provides simple and actionable reports on marketing impact and budget optimization for the C-suite. We also offer data-led marketing strategy and optimization services.

Extreme Gloucester Fishing – Gloucester,  MA
Extreme Gloucester Fishing Commercial Fishing Training Center, LLC is a Commercial Fisherman Training Center, we are dedicated to providing professional instruction to the next generation of Aspiring Wild Caught Sustainable Seafood Harvesters. Innovative classroom curriculum and hands on training of all harvesting practices will be our educational focus.

 Woven Royal – Peabody, MA
Woven Royal is the creator of the Afrona, a stylish and easy to put on hat that prevents curly and voluminous hair from ever going flat, even after sleep. The Afrona lifts the hair up as opposed to flattening it down allowing users to Stand Their Crown and protect and preserve their curls. Now users can keep their natural look and embrace their inner royalty.

Cash awards of $10,000 first prize, $3,000 second prize and $2,000 third prize will be awarded to the finalists.  Equally valued is the advice and feedback participants receive from the judges, who include early stage investors, venture capitalists, bankers and other experts. On November 13, 2019, the judges will interview the six semifinalists and choose the three finalists.  The final presentations to determine the first, second and third place winners, will be held on Friday, December 6th in Marsh Hall on the Salem State University central campus from 1:00 PM – 4:30 PM.  The public is invited to attend.



The Business Plan Program & Competition is back again this year!

The North of Boston Business Plan Program & Competition is being offered again in 2019 because we understand the importance of a business plan and recognize the value in getting business ideas vetted to improve business plans. As a result, we have continued the Program and will be offering Pre-Competition Business Plan Workshops and PITCH Panels:

  • Business Plan WorkshopsLearn about the key elements of a business plan. Workshop will be offered from April to September. For more information and to Register click here.
  • PITCH Panels: Interested businesses can apply to “pitch” their business idea to a panel of coaches, before entering the formal competition. If eligible, this PITCH Panel opportunity means business owners can try out their idea, get feedback from coaches and improve their overall plan before entering the Competition.  PITCH Panels will be offered In May, June, July and September 2019. To be considered for a PITCH Panel fill out the PITCH PANEL APPLICATION and follow the instruction.

Both of the above optional opportunities will better prepare applicants for the Competition. Please keep checking our website for additional dates added for both Business Plan Workshops and PITCH Panels.

We look forward to collectively awarding three promising businesses $15,000* to help implement their business plan.  However, the Program’s educational components and support will assist ALL businesses that participate. That is the goal of the Enterprise Center –  to help businesses start and grow on the North Shore to create jobs in our region.

*The Business Plan Competition Awards: $10,000 for the 1st place, $3,000 for 2nd place and $2,000 for 3rd place.

Competition Overview

Participants that meet the Eligibility Requirements must submit a 5-part Application that is reviewed by an expert judging panel and evaluated according to established Judging Criteria.  All Business Plan submissions are due on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 by 5 PM. No exceptions will be allowed.    Six semi-finalists are selected to present their plan in person to the judges. Three finalists will go on to present their plan publicly at the Friday, December 6, 2019 Grand Finale at which the judges determine the first, second and third place winners.

All participants receive written comments on their submission; the semi-finalists and finalists have the option of working with a presentation coach to fine-tune their plan for the judges.

2019 Business Plan Competition Key Dates:

  • Wednesday, October 16, 2019 by 5 PM: All Business Plan Submissions are due. No exceptions.
  • Friday, November 1, 2019: Semi-finalists announced.
  • November 6-8 and November 18 -20, 2019: Semi-finalists and Finalists will receive guidance and feedback on how to best present their Business Plan.
  • Friday, November 15, 2019: Finalists announced.
  • Friday, December 6, 2019 / 1:00 PM – 4:30 PM: Business Plan Competition Finale. Competition Finalists will present their Business Plans and compete for prize money before a panel of judges in a public forum.

To enter the 2019 Business Plan Competition you must:

  • Meet the Eligibility Requirements including having a business that is located in or have solid plans to relocate to one of 30 cities and towns that make up the North Shore. View Eligible Business Locations
  • Submit a 5-part Application, which includes:
    1) Entry Form
    2) 3-5 page Executive Summary
    3) 1-3 pages of financial data and assumptions, including anticipated profitability (revenues minus expenses) and projected capital investment needs for three years.(Details will be provided on the Application.)
    4) 1-minute video presentation
    5) Electronic acceptance of Participation Agreement

(All 5 of the above components are included on the Application)

Detailed descriptions of the Business Plan Competition elements are shown below.

General Submission Guidelines:

  • Applicants may use their own cover page with company logo, tag line, etc.
  • Please use a font size between 10 and 12 point.
  • The Enterprise Center recommends that you use one of the following font styles: Times New Roman, Arial, Helvetica, or Garamond.
  • Margins should be no less than .75 inches, not including header and footer.
  • Please number all pages, including the first page.
  • Please include your business concept name as a header or footer on all the pages.
  • Applicants must submit their entry in a PDF format.

1.) 2019 Business Plan Application:

  • Applicants must complete all required fields of the Application.
  • All 2019 North of Boston Business Plan Competition Applications are due on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 by 5 PM: No exceptions.

2.) The Executive Summary:
The Executive Summary should pique the reader’s interest. It cannot be longer than five pages and must include the following elements:

  • A summary of the business concept.
  • A description of the overall product or service being offered and the need it addresses.
  • A short statement about the competitive advantages of the business.
  • An analysis of the overall market or industry including:
    • The specific market segment addressed by the product/service and approximate size.
    • Critical factors that have an impact on the industry, e.g., government regulations, approvals, or licensing requirements.
  • A brief description of the competition.
  • Revenue/business model (how the business will generate revenue); and the management team, including relevant experience.

3) Financial Documents:
Financials are to be captured on two documents that are included in and required for the application:

  1. Application Cashflow Worksheet
  2. Financial Notations Page

If you would like assistance writing a business plan and cash flow financials, please contact Noreen Hazelton at (978) 542-7576 or and she will help you make an appointment with a Massachusetts Small Business Development Center (MSBDC) Counselor. To learn more about the MSBDC visit their website,

4) Video:
Your video presentation can be no longer than one minute and should give the judges a sense of what your company is and you as an entrepreneur.  You may splice the video together, use a mix of photos or videos, or simply speak into the camera.

5) Participation Agreement:
All principals must read the participation agreement, check off the box at the end of the Application that acknowledges that you have read it, and print the name of EACH principal who is entering the competition.

Questions? Please contact Noreen Hazelton at (978) 542-7576 or

To learn more about the 2019 Business Plan Program & Competition components, visit the following pages:



On December 4, 2018,  the Enterprise Center at Salem State University announced the winners of the 2018 North of Boston Business Plan Competition.  Paw Mobility Rehabilitation & Wellness of Beverly, MA won the grand prize of $10,000.  VeriGuide, LLC of Salem, MA came in second winning $6000 and The Artful Life Counseling Center & Studio, LLC took home the third prize of $4000. The Enterprise Center is a business growth center for entrepreneurs at every stage of business development.
It has been a journey for each of these three businesses and their owners.  They entered the Competition on October 16, 2018 along with other businesses.  They were selected as semi-finalists on November 1, 2018 and then competed to be finalists.  Today they made their winning presentations to an audience of judges, bankers, investors, and business people.


Paw Mobility Animal Rehabilitation & Wellness improves quality of life and function in pets, getting them back to doing what they love to do.  They work with pets in the North Shore who are injured, just had surgery, are older, are overweight, and those who need conditioning.  A unique service they will be offering is the use of an underwater treadmill, which can expedite improvements.

Jennifer Lyons, the founder and owner of Paw Mobility Animal Rehabilitation & Wellness commented that: “I cannot thank enough of all the support that I have received through the Enterprise Center and the numerous workshops that have assisted me in creating a great business plan that ultimately won the competition.  Even after winning the competition, I do plan to continue using the resources at Enterprise Center to continue building my business and to help it grow.”


The second place prize of $6,000 was awarded to VeriGuide, LLC of Salem, MA. The company developed a safety based mobile app that connects students on overnight school trips to their Chaperone and Group Leaders via their cell phones. The app uses Geo-Location, messaging and voice communication so the chaperones can locate missing/lost students thus allowing for a better, safer and more secure travel experience.


The third place prize of $4,000 was awarded to The Artful Life Counseling Center & Studio, LLC of Beverly, MA which offers an alternative to traditional mental health counseling for individuals of all ages in the surrounding communities of the North Shore.  Their team of trained and licensed expressive arts therapists use creative and interactive counseling techniques, grounded in the latest psychotherapy research, to help children, adolescents and adults create a more positive, healthier and fulfilling life.

The purpose of the Competition is to identify and support businesses who want to grow and expand on the North Shore and thereby build the region’s economy. A special thank you to the sponsors of the 2018 North of Boston Business Plan Competition: Beverly Bank, First Ipswich Bank, Salem Five Charitable Foundation, the Hall Company, and North Shore Alliance for Economic Development.