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YOU COULD EARN MORE THAN $200K TO FUND YOUR BUSINESS.
Nearly four decades ago, we had a new idea we were passionate about: to brew a great tasting beer that was less filling than the rest. So we rolled up our sleeves and didn’t stop working until the recipe was perfected—ultimately creating a category known today as “light beer.” And now we’re on a mission to empower your passion, by providing the funding and resources needed to bring your vision to life—like business seminars, live pitch opportunities, access to moguls like Daymond John from ABC’s “Shark Tank” and more.
2015 Calendar
February 05 - April 10
Online Application Period
May 25
Semifinalists Announced
July - August
Live Pitch Events
September
National Finals
Competition Logistics

The competition takes place in three phases:

  1. Business Plan Submissions
    Open until April 10, 2015. (Click here to submit your application!) Each application will be judged and scored by a team of business experts at BMO Harris bank.
  2. Semifinals
    LIVE Pitch Events - The top 30 semifinalists as selected by our judges will participate in LIVE Pitch Events taking place in six cities across the U.S.: Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami and Philadelphia. One winning business team from each location will win $20K and advance to the National Finals.
  3. National Finals
    The top six winning businesses (one from each LIVE Pitch Event) will present before our national panel of judges as Miller Lite Tap the Future finalists. One will be named the grand prize winner and be awarded a $200K business development prize.
SEMIFINAL JUDGES PANEL
Daymond John

A young entrepreneur, industry pioneer, highly regarded marketing expert and a man who has surpassed new heights of commercial and financial success are just a few ways people have described Daymond John. Over the last 20 years, Daymond John (The Shark) has evolved from one of the most successful fashion icons of his generation to a highly sought after branding expert, author, consultant, and speaker in business and motivational genres.

Daymond's passions for music and fashion led him to create FUBU (“For Us By Us”), one of the most iconic fashion brands in recent years that created the untapped urban apparel space. Furthermore, Daymond grew up in the community of Hollis, Queens, which was an incubator for Hip Hop stars. More...

A young entrepreneur, industry pioneer, highly regarded marketing expert and a man who has surpassed new heights of commercial and financial success are just a few ways people have described Daymond John. Over the last 20 years, Daymond John (The Shark) has evolved from one of the most successful fashion icons of his generation to a highly sought after branding expert, author, consultant, and speaker in business and motivational genres.

Daymond's passions for music and fashion led him to create FUBU (“For Us By Us”), one of the most iconic fashion brands in recent years that created the untapped urban apparel space. Furthermore, Daymond grew up in the community of Hollis, Queens, which was an incubator for Hip Hop stars. With acts like RUN DMC, Salt-N-Peppa, and LL Cool J rapidly making names for themselves, Daymond was surrounded by people who gave him the inspiration to create a clothing line.

FUBU hit a tipping point when Daymond convinced Hollis native and Hip-Hop superstar, LL Cool J, to wear FUBU for a promotional campaign. This was the catalyst behind the Hip-Hop community supporting the new brand and instantly gave it credibility. FUBU soon had a contract with the New York City-based department store chain Macy's, and it began expanding its line to include jeans and outerwear. With the brand transcending into mainstream markets, at its peak FUBU recorded annual sales of $350 million, placing it in the same stratosphere as designer labels such as Donna Karan New York and Tommy Hilfiger.

In 2009, John joined the cast of the ABC entrepreneurial business show, Shark Tank, produced by acclaimed TV producer Mark Burnett. As one of the “Sharks,” Daymond and four other prominent executives listen to business pitches from everyday people hoping to launch their company or product to new heights. Investing his own money in every project, Daymond partners with the entrepreneurs helping turn their dreams into a reality. Millions of viewers tune into the show as Daymond demonstrates his marketing prowess and entrepreneurial insights, which have earned him his nickname as “The Shark." Follow Daymond John on Twitter @TheSharkDaymond.

Sulaiman "Su" Sanni and Ben Lamson

Su Sanni and Ben Lamson quit their jobs at a global software company to answer their original calling: help those who need it most. This is why Su and Ben created WeDidIt, a tech company that helps nonprofits raise money and reach new donors through web, mobile and analytics. Their mobile app allows nonprofits to accept donations while capturing the essential contact information they need to grow their supporter base and link with fundraising pages. Local organizations like New York City Coalition Against Hunger and large multi-nationals like Amnesty International use WeDidIt to raise money for the causes they're passionate about.

Check them out at http://wedid.it.

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TAP THE FUTURE NATIONAL JUDGES PANEL
Leslie J. Anderson Louis Barajas Joe Dwyer Mark Ferguson Bill Imada Barry Moltz Tennille Robinson Matthew Sapaula Juan Solana Dr. Igwe Udeh
Past Winners

2014 Grand Prize Winner

Bellhops | Chattanooga, TN
Cameron Doody, Matt Patterson, Trip Stanford and Steven Vlahos
www.getbellhops.com
Grand Prize — $200,000
Atlanta Live Pitch Event Winner — $20,000

A few years after college, these co-founders started thinking about how they could create a business that everyone loved. Thinking back to their college days, they remembered their friends’ parents who used to pay them above market to perform relatively easy moves each semester. With a passion for providing jobs for college students, Chattanooga-based moving company Bellhops was born. More...

2014 Grand Prize Winner

Bellhops | Chattanooga, TN
Cameron Doody, Matt Patterson, Trip Stanford and Steven Vlahos
www.getbellhops.com
Grand Prize — $200,000
Atlanta Live Pitch Event Winner — $20,000

A few years after college, these co-founders started thinking about how they could create a business that everyone loved. Thinking back to their college days, they remembered their friends’ parents who used to pay them above market to perform relatively easy moves each semester. With a passion for providing jobs for college students, Chattanooga-based moving company Bellhops was born. Their mission: to connect awesome people who need help with awesome people who want to work. Today, the startup provides affordable collegiate and small residential moving services to over 121 cities across the U.S.

Past Winners

2013 Grand Prize Winner

Swyft Media (formerly TextPride) | Kettering, OH
Sean O’Brien and Evan Wray
www.swyftmedia.com
Grand Prize — $250,000
Chicago Live Pitch Event Winner — $20,000
Fan Favorite — $10,000

With a shared passion for connecting via technology, Sean and Evan developed TextPride, an app that offers licensed emoji/emoticons for branded content. In 2014 they changed their company name to Swyft Media, and it was acquired for $27 million just one year after winning the grand prize. Now, in addition to their text apps and emoji, Swyft Media supplies a large collection of content including photo frames and filters for photo apps, and avatars and themes for online games. They have over 2 billion users across more than 35 apps and partner with over 300 brands. More...

2013 Grand Prize Winner

Swyft Media (formerly TextPride) | Kettering, OH
Sean O’Brien and Evan Wray
www.swyftmedia.com
Grand Prize — $250,000
Chicago Live Pitch Event Winner — $20,000
Fan Favorite — $10,000

With a shared passion for connecting via technology, Sean and Evan developed TextPride, an app that offers licensed emoji/emoticons for branded content. In 2014 they changed their company name to Swyft Media, and it was acquired for $27 million just one year after winning the grand prize. Now, in addition to their text apps and emoji, Swyft Media supplies a large collection of content including photo frames and filters for photo apps, and avatars and themes for online games. They have over 2 billion users across more than 35 apps and partner with over 300 brands. Partnering with over 300 of the top brands and distributing their content to over 2 billion users across more than 25 apps, Swyft Media brings users and the brands they love closer together.

Digital Press Kit
Click file to download
Press Shot Press Release Fact Sheet National Judges