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Attention Young Entrepreneurs: Here's a Contest Just for You

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Looking to land a little media attention and possibly rub elbows with dignitaries? Young entrepreneurs, here's your chance.
Empact at Courage in Action at Georgetown University

Today, Princeton, N.J.-based Empact -- a company focused on supporting young founders through culture and community -- kicks off the application process for its Empact Showcase, an annual program highlighting the power of entrepreneurs and the important role companies they play in their communities. In 2012, 360 companies made the cut and Empact is aiming to highlight 500 this year.

"We are looking to celebrate the many faces of entrepreneurship and the impact they have in our economy," says co-founder Sheena Lindahl.

To qualify for the program, companies must be based in the U.S. and be able to show 2012 revenues of at least $100,000 (for nonprofits, operating budget). Founders must also be 35 or younger as of August 3, 2013, which also happens to be the deadline for application submissions.

After the cutoff date, Empact reaches out to its team of judges made up of high-level entrepreneurs including the founder and CEO of USA Network Kay Koplovitz, CEO of online retailer Zappos Tony Hsieh and founder of video rental company Redbox Mike Delazzer to select honorees from various categories, like "Most Disruptive" and "Top Female Founder."

Attention Young Entrepreneurs: Here's a Contest Just for You

Empact co-founders Michael Simmons, Sheena Lindahl and Sarah Green.

And though Empact plans to spotlight 500 companies this year, just 100 companies will get featured on the coveted Empact100 list, which the judges will also help select. While revenue is the number-one factor taken into consideration, Empact looks at other aspects, like number of employees, social impact, growth over the last year and how innovative the startup is to determine the list.

What's more, will narrow down the list even further and separately highlight the rising stars that pique our interest. Look for that list in early September.

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All young entrepreneurs who have been admitted into the Empact Showcase program will have the opportunity to attend a three-day event at the U.N. this fall. And those who were contenders for different categories will find out who among them are winners. Attendees can further expect to network to their delight, as well as sit in on topical discussions about concepts like personal development and social impact.

After the event, young entrepreneurs may also have the chance to participate in Empact's speaking program where they can share personal insights and inspirational stories. This year will be the first time Empact held the event at the U.N., with the previous location being at the White House.

For a better idea of what the organization is looking for, consider that past Empact100 honorees who included founders from companies across a gamut of industries -- from retail to software to health care -- with the majority coming from consumer goods and marketing. Last year, the honorees included: Shoeboxed, a business that streamlines accounting by creating virtual receipts; Miss O and Friends, a site that focuses on the tween girl demographic and iOS-device repair startup iCracked.

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Think you have what it takes to make the Empact100 list? Go to Empact Showcase for more information and to apply. Also, Young Entrepreneur will be tracking the Empact100 list and Showcase event, so stay tuned.

How would your startup standout on the Empact100 list? Let us know in the comments below.

Andrea Huspeni

Written By

Andrea Huspeni is the former special projects director at and the founder of This Dog's Life.