Businesses are built on dreams, and we want to celebrate the people chasing theirs. That’s why we created Miller Lite Tap the Future: a competition that lets entrepreneurs pitch for a chance to earn more than $200K to fund their business. In the process, we offer business seminars, live pitch opportunities, access to business moguls like Daymond John from ABC’s “Shark Tank” and more.
2015 Calendar
February 5 - April 10
Online Application Period
Semifinalists Announced
Live Pitch Events
National Finals

Chicago- based Edovo, is the grand prize winner of the Miller Lite Tap the Future program taking $200K home for their business. This innovative business provides a self-driven educational and vocational platform for correctional facilities. Congratulations to Brian Hill and the Edovo team. Cheers!

Tap the Future Wraps-Up Live Pitch Tour

The Miller Lite Tap the Future tour, an entrepreneurial competition far from the ordinary, recently wrapped at the end of the summer. As the second-phase of the national business plan competition, not only were the contestants on their game but attendees as well. Hosted by lifestyle expert, Kenny Burns, of Revolt TV, the tour was full of laughs and unexpected surprises for the audience.

5 Tips for Starting a Small Business in College

It started as a class assignment: Write a business plan for a company you’d actually like to start. Leigh Ann Tona, then a senior at the University of Delaware, dreamed up I Don’t Give a Fork — a food truck that’s all about forkless fare. Learn from her success on what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.

Co-Founder of CommongroundMGS Talks Navigating a Career in Advertising and Marketing

Ahmad Islam talks with Black Enterprise about his 20 years of experience in marketing and advertising and how to stand out from the competition. He offers helpful tips on the lessons he’s learned throughout his career.

5 Questions You Should Ask Before Creating an App for Your Small Business

Kuty Shalev, is the founder of Clevertech a New York-based firm that designs and deploys strategic software for start-ups. She explains that when launching a successful app, execution is everything. Before you delve into development, ask yourself where you’re truly ready to guide developers as they bring your idea to life.

5 Finance Tips All Business Owners Should Follow

As a business owner it is important to keep your finances in order. LessAccounting founder Allan Branch offers tips on how to stay successful owning a business.

5 Steps for Building Your Dream Team

Hiring the right people is essential to any business. Through trial and error, LogicPrep, an education company has been able to improve hiring practices and therefore better service its clients by bringing in quality talent, avoiding high turnover and not having to let people go often.

7 Apps that Help Increase Productivity of Startups & Entrepreneurs

Being an entrepreneur requires heavy amounts of time and dedication. We all know that in its early stages a business takes a lot of monitoring in order to stay afloat. From keeping up with potential and current clients, to making sure employees are on the right track and responding to loads of emails, new and old entrepreneurs find themselves working long hours to ensure the success of their business. Your Story has compiled a list of mobile apps that help increase productivity for your average on-the-go entrepreneur.

From Startups to Successful Businesses

The goal of every entrepreneur is to grow their startup into a successful business. However, research has suggested that nearly 90% of all startups fail within their first year of launching. Exactly what is it that these startups are doing wrong? This article of INC. highlights tips from eight successful entrepreneurs who turned their startups into successful businesses.

5 Marketing Strategies that will Separate you from the Rest

Connecting with customers in a unique and creative way is key for the success of any start-up. A big part of business is selling the business. This article of INC. provides 5 marketing strategies that will help you stand out. From understanding the resources available to you, to making your business visible online, this article provides you with tips on how to effectively market your business.

If at first you don’t succeed try and try again

Founder of Flat out of Heels, Dawn Dickenson does it again. After pitching her business in eight different competitions, including the Miller Lite Tap the Future on the spot contest in 2014, she finally hit the jackpot. This article of The Network Journal highlights her journey to winning a whopping $25,000 grant for her business.

Tips on how to be a Successful Entrepreneur

Being a successful entrepreneur takes more than coming up with great ideas, having extreme dedication and working long-hours. It involves persistence, creativity, and taking risks. In this article of SUCCESS, 9 entrepreneurs share their insights on becoming successful.

Daymond John on When to Take Advice

Many entrepreneurs seek mentors who can offer sound advice on starting a business. On the other hand, entrepreneurs often get unsolicited advice from people who have ideas or opinions that they think can help your business. Some advice is helpful, other advice can lead to mistakes or getting off track from your ultimate goals. In this post on The Power Journal, Daymond John shares the system he developed for deciding when to take advice from others. Follow Daymond on Twitter at @TheSharkDaymond.

Congratulations to Daymond John, White House Entrepreneurship Ambassador

Miller Lite Tap the Future congratulates our fantastic judge and spokesperson, Daymond John from ABC’s Shark Tank on being one of nine entrepreneurs named presidential ambassadors for global entrepreneurship by the White House. This will be another opportunity for Daymond to support and encourage entrepreneurship. We wish him all the best on this new initiative – and don’t worry. He will still be at the 2015 Live Pitch Events in July. Follow Daymond on Twitter at @TheSharkDaymond. Cheers!

Why Monotype Bought 2013 Tap the Future Winner Swyft Media

Miller Lite Tap the Future looks for entrepreneurs with passion and original ideas. That’s just what we got with 2013 winners Swyft Media (then known as TextPride). They took something they were passionate about, came up with a creative business idea and executed the idea successfully, building a business around the popularity and usefulness of emoji and partnering them with brands. This article on Co.Design explains why a historic type company like Monotype Image Holdings found Swyft Media so valuable.

Quotes on Having Passion as an Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. It requires overcoming all sorts of obstacles and exhibiting perseverance, vision and conviction. Search Engine Journal compiled quotes from 25 successful entrepreneurs that provide inspiration, motivation and encouragement to keep going!

Tips for Financial Stability as an Entrepreneur

To be an entrepreneur is to take a risk. There are no guarantees that a startup will stay afloat, grow or remain profitable. For those that do, the rewards can be great. But for some, a failed business can ruin their personal finances. This article from Inc. shares great advice on how to keep your personal finances stabilized on the road to entrepreneurial success.

Your Image vs. Your Brand's Image

When trying to build a brand, sometimes entrepreneurs blur the line between their own image and the image of the brand they’re building. It’s important to be clear at all times on what your brand should be communicating to the public and to do it authentically. In this article, Tap the Future judge Daymond John shares some tips on how to identify whether your personal image aligns with your brand, and tips on how to handle your brand’s image if not. Follow Daymond on Twitter at @TheSharkDaymond.

Learning From Your Mistakes

Each level of growing a business requires doing new things and learning new things. Making mistakes are to be expected as part of the process. This article from Success argues that successful people are the ones who learn from those mistakes and never go back to the old way of doing things. Achievers are able to pinpoint the habits that cause those mistakes and change their behaviors so that they can move forward, closer to success.

Go Out There and Sell

A big part of business is selling the business. It’s what leads to more customers and more growth. In this article on Daymond John’s website, the Tap the Future judge writes that one of the biggest mistakes he sees entrepreneurs making is spending too much time trying to perfect their product or raise more capital, without actually testing it on the market. He encourages entrepreneurs to spend more time engaging with consumers and making sales. For Daymond, this is the only way to see if your product is truly sound. Follow Daymond on Twitter at @TheSharkDaymond.

The Compelling Case for Giving Employees More Freedom

2014 Miller Lite Tap the Future winners, Bellhops, grew their company from 2,000 to 10,000 employees in just one year. For them, a large part of that growth was because of its impeccable customer service, which was a result of establishing an autonomous workforce. Using Bellhops as an example, this article in Inc. Magazine argues that allowing employees more autonomy makes them happier and more productive. It shares five principles from Bellhops that can help in case you want to incorporate more autonomy for employees in your business.

2013 Tap the Future Winner Swyft Media

Evan Wray and Sean O’Brien teamed up in 2012 to start their company Swyft Media (formerly known as Text Pride), an app that offers licensed emoji/emoticons for branded content. Since then, not only did the duo win the grand prize in the very first Miller Lite Tap the Future competition, they went on to build a million dollar company, partnering with over 300 brands and was recently acquired by Monotype Image Holdings for $27 million. Swyft Media has proven to be an originator and innovator and we can’t wait to see what they do next. This article on WSJ goes in more detail about their work.

Tap the Future at SXSW

Miller Lite is a proud sponsor of the 2015 SXSW Music, Film and Interactive conference, where some of the most original and innovative entrepreneurs convene. If you’ll be there, be sure to stop by our booth in the Austin Convention Center on the 1st floor NW corner where you can talk to us about Tap the Future, apply on the spot and practice your pitch in our video booth. See you in Austin!

Daymond John Talks Shark Tank, Pitching and Entrepreneurship

As a successful entrepreneur and investor, Daymond John knows a thing or two about running a business. In this article, Daymond John talks with Inc. Magazine about being flexible when establishing your market, the value of listening to all your employees, what makes a successful “Shark Tank” pitch and how he found inspiration to start his clothing line FUBU. Follow Daymond on Twitter at @TheSharkDaymond.

The Best Way to Manage Time Wasters

Time is valuable and, for entrepreneurs, time wasters can come in many different forms. Is that meeting really necessary? Can that task be delegated? This article in Inc. Magazine lists some of the best tips for managing your time so that you’re more productive and less prone to burnout as a business owner.

5 Books for the Entrepreneurs in Your Life

As a successful entrepreneur, Daymond John is often asked what books he would recommend to aspiring entrepreneurs. In this article, he shares a list of five of his favorite books that can be helpful to both new entrepreneurs and seasoned business titans. Follow Daymond on twitter at @TheSharkDaymond.

5 Powerful Habits that Drive Every Great Leader to Success

Part of being a great leader is motivating others. This article in Inc. magazine shares some powerful habits that make a big difference in creating success for leaders and the organizations they work for. This advice can be especially helpful for business owners as they hire and lead new teams of employees.

Calling all Entrepreneurs!

Miller Lite Tap the Future is back and we are looking for original business ideas and passionate business owners. This year, in addition to business teams, we are also accepting “solopreneurs” to the program. Participants will have the opportunity to pitch their business live in front of Daymond John from ABC’s Shark Tank and compete for the grand prize of over $200K. Interested? Applications are being accepted now until Friday, April 10, 2015. Good luck!

The Importance of Mentors

Mentors in life and in business can help you navigate your way to success. In this article, Daymond John shares the mentors who changed his life and helped him throughout his career. He notes that startups that have helpful mentors and learn from startup thought leaders tend to raise seven-times more money. If you don’t have a mentor, it could be a good idea to consider in growing the success of your business. Follow Daymond John on Twitter @TheSharkDaymond

65 Quotes that Dare You to do Great Things

Launching a business, growing a business or striving to do anything great requires taking a risk and putting in work. The road to success stretches you and requires you to keep yourself motivated. Inc. magazine compiled 65 motivational quotes that inspire you to have faith in yourself and dare you to do great things.

Be a "Go-Giver", Not a Go-Getter

Networking is par for the course for many entrepreneurs. Daymond John is often approached by business owners looking to discuss their business with him. In this article, he offers the advice that being a “go-giver” will give you better results than being a go-getter. By that he means, rather than asking for something from them, approach people by sharing what you can offer them.

Three Ways to Get Ahead

Miller Lite Tap the Future judge Daymond John knows a thing or two about being successful. In this video, he shares three tips to keep in mind when trying to get ahead. He advises that you should watch what you say on social media, keep your appearance in mind and learn from everyone you meet.

How to Fix a Bad First Impression

As the saying goes, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression.” But what if something goes awry in your first meeting? Maybe you forget to bring business cards or you’re so nervous that your words aren’t coming together. This article from Inc. Magazine gives nine tips on how to turn things around if you think you’ve made a bad first impression.

'Shark Tank' as a Startup

Miller Lite Tap the Future judge Daymond John is widely known as one of investors on ABC’s Shark Tank. Though the show is a huge success now, but it didn’t start out that way. In this article, Daymond explores Shark Tank as a startup. He talks about how the show was on the verge of being cancelled and how they had to re-evaluate and make small, gradual changes to gain a following.

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Leaving Your Job for a Startup

Most entrepreneurs don’t succeed on their own. As startups continue to grow, the CEO needs a team to support and execute business tasks. For people who come from a large corporate background, jumping into the startup world can be a bit of a shock, as they are faced with working in a less predictable environment with fewer resources. If you are thinking of leaving a corporate job for a startup, this article form Inc. magazine lists some things to consider.

2014 Grand Prize Winner Bellhops in the News

Chattanooga-based moving company Bellhops came out on top in the 2014 Miller Lite Tap the Future competition. Nooga.com talked with the co-founders of Bellhops about their experience in the competition and how they plan to use their winnings.

Were You Born to be an Entrepreneur?

Through entrepreneurs come from various backgrounds and have different stories, many of them share similar personality traits. This article from Inc. magazine lists 10 signs shared by people born with the entrepreneurial spirit. Read on to see if you fit the bill.

Do What You Love

Following your passion can lead you to a successful business doing what you love. On his website, Miller Lite Tap the Future judge Daymond John shares his thoughts on why it’s important to find something you’re passionate about when pursuing your next venture. He writes, “If you’re an entrepreneur who’s not sure what your next business should be, ask yourself ‘what do I love enough to do for free?’ You won’t regret it.”

7 Things Successful Founders Want You to Know About Startups

Most entrepreneurs don’t start out on top. They all had different paths to success. This Inc. magazine article shares some of the failures, successes and lessons of seven founders who are now at the top. Read on to see what they have to share on building a successful startup.

Congratulations to 2014 Miller Lite Tap the Future Winner – BELLHOPS!

Chattanooga startup Bellhops is the grand prize winner of the Miller Lite Tap the Future program, earning $200K to go towards their business. This moving company uses college students to provide collegiate and small residential moving services to 121 cities across the U.S. This team also won the Atlanta Live Pitch Event, where they took home an additional $20K. Congrats and continued success to Stephen Vlahos, Cameron Doody and the Bellhops team. Cheers!

Meet Los Angeles Live Pitch Event Winner - Enso Ink

Enso Ink launched in Albany, Oregon in 2011 and specializes in developing lotions and balms to care for and improve the appearance of tattoos. This team won the Live Pitch Event in Los Angeles and went on to the national finals, where they presented their business to our panel of judges for a chance at winning the $200K grand prize. Check out this article where they talk about their experience in the Tap the Future competition.

Fastest Growing Small Business Industries

Looking to explore some new business ideas? This article from Inc. magazine points out the five fastest growing industries for the small business market. If you are an investor or entrepreneur looking to start or grow a new business, this might be a good place to start.

Hold On to Your Equity

Miller Lite Tap the Future judge Daymond John is regularly pitched business ideas from entrepreneurs looking for funding. In this article, Daymond argues that sometimes business owners sell themselves short by being too willing to give up a significant portion of equity in exchange for an investment. He gives several different options where business owners can obtain funding without having to give up equity in their company.

Meet Miami Live Pitch Event Winner – Million Dollar Scholar

Chicago team Million Dollar Scholar lit up the stage at the Miller Lite Tap the Future Live Pitch Event in Miami and earned $20K for their business. Million Dollar Scholar, an online platform that helps students secure financial aid for college, will go up against four other teams of finalists for a chance at winning the $200K Tap the Future grand prize.

Meet Atlanta Live Pitch Event Winner - Bellhops

Chattanooga startup Bellhops is a moving company that uses college students to provide collegiate and small residential moving, serving 121 cities across the U.S. This business won the Miller Lite Tap the Future Live Pitch in Atlanta, winning $20K for their company. Later this month, they will present before our national judging panel where they have a chance to win $200K to go towards their business. Check out this article where Bellhops talks about the growth of their business and their experience in the competition so far.

Get Your Business "Unstuck" with Barry Moltz

If you feel like your business could use a little boost, then Miller Lite Tap the Future judge Barry Moltz has just the advice for you. Moltz has discovered the formula to get stuck business owners unstuck and marching forward by applying simple, strategic steps to facilitate change. In this podcast, Barry talks about the hard knocks he’s had, lessons he’s learned as a successful entrepreneur and tips on how to get your business “unstuck.”

Three Ways to Supercharge your VC pitch

For entrepreneurs looking for investments, pitching to venture capitalists is par for the course. This article from Inc. magazine shares three surefire ways to supercharge your pitch so that you stand out from the pack and increase your chances of getting funding.

What are the Judges Looking For?

Miller Lite Tap the Future just finished its second year of Live Pitch Events, where semifinalists presented their business plans before an audience and our panel of judges, including Daymond John from ABC’s “Shark Tank.” This article from Success magazine talks with Daymond John and a few other Live Pitch Event judges to find out what they look for in a good business pitch.

Business and Branding Tips from Daymond John

Miller Lite Tap the Future judge Daymond John began his foray into entrepreneurship when he co-founded the clothing line FUBU with friends. In this article, John talks about turning FUBU into an international brand, his experience as a Tap the Future judge, his role as a “Shark” on ABC’s Shark Tank and some of the secrets to his success.

Making Lemonade out of Lemons

Miller Lite Tap the Future judge Daymond John from ABC’s “Shark Tank”, has had a number of successes, but also a number of failures. He explains, “if you aren’t making mistakes, you aren’t making moves.” Check out the video clip as Daymond shares the lessons he’s learned in business and how to turn failures into successes.

Get Connected

The Internet makes it possible to reach potential customers locally or globally. Are you connected? Miller Lite Tap the Future judge Barry Moltz shares a few ideas on the best ways to stay connected with customers and start a conversation with new ones.

100 Questions Every Entrepreneur Should Ask

How do entrepreneurs continually produce fresh ideas and improve the vision for their companies? By asking the right questions. Inc. Magazine compiled a list of questions that entrepreneurs, CEOs, business authors and bloggers have asked themselves to keep new ideas flowing. Check out the link below to read the questions you should consider when thinking about the future of your business.

Seven Deadly Sins of Pitching

Semifinalists in the Miller Lite Tap the Future competition need to prepare to present to our panel of judges in the Live Pitch Events. Inc. Magazine describes the seven deadly sins of sales pitching and tips on how to correct them.

10 Business Tips from "The Shark"

What does Miller Lite Tap the Future judge Daymond John from ABC's "Shark Tank" think are the traits of a great entrepreneur? Read the article below to find out.

Social Media Mistakes

Is your company missing a solid social media strategy? Are you talking to the wrong people on Twitter or using the same message across channels? Miller Lite Tap the Future judge Barry Moltz highlights these and other mistakes you should avoid when utilizing social media for your business.

What do You Think is Most Important for Running a Great Business?

Running a great business requires more than a great idea. It requires financial literacy and guidance. Read on to see what Miller Lite Tap the Future judge Daymond John from ABC's "Shark Tank" thinks is one of the most important aspects of building a small business.

Ace Your Presentation

The Miller Lite Tap the Future competition includes a Live Pitch Event, where semifinalists present their ideas to business expert judges, including Daymond John from ABC's "Shark Tank." Inc. magazine shares how you can ace your presentation Shark Tank style.

Let's Talk Business with Barry Moltz

Are you crazy about entrepreneurship? If so, check out Miller Lite Tap the Future judge Barry Moltz' internet radio show "Business Insanity Talk Radio - All the Craziness of Small Business." Listen in and join the discussion with other originators and passionate entrepreneurs. The show airs every Friday at 9 a.m. CST.