KALAMAZOO – Southwest Michigan First is now accepting applications for its third annual Makers’ Mart competition where the winners get $2,500 in cash plus $2,500 in legal, marketing and accounting services.

Catalyst University is scheduled for January 26, 2017, at Wings Event Center in Kalamazoo. Makers’ Mart competition finalists will have the opportunity to present their products or services on stage at the event to compete. The Makers’ Mart competition is sponsored by the WMU Haworth College of Business.

“We are excited to welcome our region’s entrepreneurs to participate in this year’s Makers’ Mart competition,” said Ron Kitchens, CEO of Southwest Michigan First. “The event promises to bring added excitement to the selection process as we plan to bring our finalists live on stage to present their story and product to the anticipated 2,500 attendees at Catalyst University.”

Eligibility requirements are as follows:

  • Must sell an existing product or service for consumer purchase.
  • Must be a company owned and operated in Southwest Michigan.
  • Must have annual sales of $500,000 or less.
  • Must be available to pitch their product on Monday, October 24, 2016 at Southwest Michigan First, 241 East Michigan Avenue, Kalamazoo, MI 49007.
  • Must be available to attend Catalyst University rehearsal in Kalamazoo, MI on January 25, 2017.
  • Must go onstage to give the live presentation (no surrogates allowed) at Catalyst University in Kalamazoo, MI on January 26, 2017.
  • Must display/sell products or services at Catalyst University.
  • Past applicants are allowed, including previous Makers’ Mart ­finalists. Previous winners are also permitted to submit a new product for consideration.

Applications may be submitted now through Monday, October 3, 2016 at http://www.catalystuniversity.me/recognition/#makersMart.