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Ask the Expert: Resources for startups — mark your calendars

October 06. 2013 4:16PM

I've been coordinating the "Ask-the-Expert" series since it began in 2007. I thought I'd step out from behind the scenes this month and use the column to direct you to three amazing resources available for startups here in New Hampshire.

The Launch Series: A Boot Camp for Startups – Oct. 16, 2013-June 18, 2014

The first resource is a seminar series beginning on Wednesday, Oct. 16 at the abi Innovation Hub, located at 844 Elm St. The Launch Series will run on the third Wednesday of each month at noontime for nine months.

Topics will include: Crowdfunding – What is it?; Making Legal Tax Decisions; Effective Intellectual Property Considerations; Attracting Talent through Stock Options; and Selecting the Best Business Partner.

This is an opportunity for you to access knowledgeable experts and advance your own understanding of numerous business related topics. Presenters will be: Matthew Benson, attorney at Cook Little Rosenblatt & Manson, PLLC; Peter Lachance, CPA and partner at Howe, Riley, Howe PLLC; and Daniel Bourque, attorney at Bourque and Associates, Intellectual Property Attorneys, P.A.

There is no charge to attend but seating is limited and registration is required. Contact me at or to learn more about the abi Innovation Hub, visit

NH StartUp Challenge – March through June

Another great opportunity for startups is the NH StartUp Challenge. This is a statewide business plan competition coordinated by the Manchester Young Professionals Network (MYPN), New Hampshire's first and largest young professional networking organization. Over the past five years, $210,000 in cash and in-kind services has been awarded to the winners.

The competition typically runs from March through June of each year, with a series of events narrowing down the finalists. This competition is open to any Granite State resident with an idea. You can find more information at

Tech Out NH – Application process begins in the summer

Last, but certainly not least is Tech Out. This is New Hampshire's largest startup competition, providing half a million dollars in financing to be used over five consecutive years. The second annual event was held last month in Nashua. Tech Out is an innovative effort to fund and grow startup technology businesses.

In the most recent event, six finalists pitched their businesses and made the case for why they deserved to win a piece of the $100,000 in cash equity that is provided by 20 accredited investors. First, second and third place winners were awarded $50,000, $30,000 and $20,000. The third-place winner was selected in real time by the audience.

The Tech Out event is coordinated by the abi Hub in collaboration with the NH High Tech Council. Visit to see who pitched and who won this year's competition and how you can apply next year.

Both the MYPN StartUp Challenge and the Tech Out competitions are a great way to raise capital for your business. In addition, both contests are heavily promoted through traditional media as well as through websites, social media channels and newsletters. This provides an excellent way to get your name in front of diverse people, including potential clients, partners, investors or advisors.

Check websites for other opportunities

The Launch Series, NH StartUp Challenge and Tech Out are just three of the many opportunities available to Startups here in New Hampshire. Be sure to check out the websites of the organizations referenced in this article to see what else might be a good fit for your company. If you'd like to receive updates on the above and/or learn more about the abi Innovation Hub, send me an email at

Michele Petersen is chief operating officer at the abi Innovation Hub, an organization located in Manchester that serves the startup community. She oversees general business operations and provides connections and resources to resident businesses. The Queen City native is also the founder of DreamCatchers NH, an organization that offers social and personal growth opportunities for kids with disabilities. She can be reached at or 629-9511.

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