Updated March 26 at 12:27am

RI Business Plan Competition April 3 deadline approaches

The April 3 deadline to enter the Rhode Island Business Plan Competition, the largest community-supported business plan contest in New England with $27,000 in prizes, is nearing.

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RI Business Plan Competition April 3 deadline approaches

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PROVIDENCE — The April 3 deadline to enter the 2017 Rhode Island Business Plan Competition, the largest community-supported business plan contest in New England with $271,000 in prizes, is nearing.

And this year, in addition to the cash and services that winners will earn, all entrants are eligible for free services as well. Those completing an application will receive two months in a row of free co-working space at Sprout, a business support space in Providence’s Rising Sun Mills. Included in the benefit is free parking space as well as access to meeting space on the campus.

In addition, The Business Advisors Collaborative will give free advice on plans through the end of March. The 15-20 minute consultations will be done at Sprout, and are designed to help competition applicants make the most compelling case for their business idea. Contact Dave Lubelczyk at dave@theideaturbine.com or call (508) 259-9016 for information.

As a service to applicants, the Business Plan Competition has posted a checklist, designed to help contestants make the best impression with their plans.

The competition will award prizes comprising cash and in-kind services from 63 sponsors, the most in a single year since the competition first started awarding prizes in 2001, according to a press release. Sponsors include various public, private, nonprofit and educational institutions, along with six former competitors.

Applying online is a matter of completing a form, but having a well-developed plan is the most important component of the competition, according to the plan’s release. There are no right answers to the questions, but it does matter if there are incomplete answers or answers lacking credibility.

Applicants will be notified by April 10 if they have been chosen as a semi-finalist, and will then be asked to submit their full plan by April 18.

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