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Sowing the Seeds

These business plan competition winners show they've got what it takes to make their startup ideas bloom.

By Nichole L. Torres

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Start a business. start a business. Start a business. As a reader of Entrepreneur, you hear that phrase often. And for the participants of the first annual 2004 SEED Business Plan Competition in Santa Barbara, California, this past February, it seemed to be the chant in the air.

SEED, short for Spirit of Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development, is the brainchild of David Newton, founder and president of TechKnowledge Point Corp. His Santa Barbara firm helps small businesses and startups find research and business contacts to help them grow their ventures and brings academic research to the business community. (TechKnowledge Point also compiled Entrepreneur's 2004 college rankings) The competition is part of an overall strategy that encourages bringing together business ideas and people who have the research, capital, connections and general know-how to get a startup off the ground.

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