Deadline for ‘The Big Sell’ entrepreneurship competition extended to March 26

Aspiring entrepreneurs desiring to test their start-up business idea by entering The Big Sell Entrepreneurs in Action competition have more time to prepare.

The application deadline for the first-time competition has been extended to March 26.

Developed by Purdue University Calumet and its Center for Entrepreneurship Success in cooperation with the Hammond Development Corporation, the competition provides a dream opportunity, according to Center for Entrepreneurship Success Director Dushan Nikolovski, for 50 entrepreneurs to pitch their idea to audience members and a panel of judges for an opportunity to win cash prizes and services.

“The Big Sell entrepreneurship competition has received a lot of interest locally and nationally,” Nikolovski said. “We have extended our deadline date in an effort to host the most successful, first-ever event and to better partner with our volunteers and providers.”

Prospective entrepreneurs can apply for the competition on line at: After March 26, applications will be evaluated, and the 50 finalists will be notified and invited to make a two-minute presentation. Three winners will share more than $30,000 in cash and prizes.

Ideas will be judged on innovation and feasibility, commercial potential and economic impact, marketability likelihood and related financial demands, as well as presentation credibility.

“Starting a business is one of life’s most exciting times,” Nikolovski said. “It appeals to the young and old, professional and novice, male and female, and the rich and not to so rich. All of those individuals comprise a new entrepreneurial movement intent on improving their quality of life by becoming independent, self-reliant and financially successful.”

Also sponsoring the competition are the Hammond Innovation Center; The Idea Factory; Palo Alto Software; Radisson Hotel at Star Plaza; attorney Scott Yahne; attorney Peter J. Shakula; and certified public accountants Tim Anderson, Shawn Lazarian and Anna Sheets.

“Our goal is to incubate business ideas to promote regional economic development,” Nikolovski said.

Other information is available by emailing or contacting the Center for Entrepreneurship Success at 219/989-3159 or 800/HI-PURDUE, ext. 3159.