IRVINE, Calif., Dec. 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Entrepreneur® magazine and Canon USA announce today the winners of the Project Grow Challenge, giving away $50,000 in prize money to help small-business owners realize their goals for growth.
Earlier in the year, Entrepreneur called on small-business owners to share how they would use up to $25,000 to work toward expanding their businesses, increasing productivity and reaching ambitious goals for their companies. The tremendous response from across the country confirmed the passion, determination and innovative spirit held by entrepreneurs everywhere.
The grand prize winner taking home $25,000 is Steve Kaufman, CEO of Quikiks. Catharine Arnston, CEO and founder of ENERGYbits, receives $15,000 as the first runner-up; and Jessica Castelli, CEO and founder of Bizzydoo.com, receives $10,000 as second runner-up. All three entrepreneurs will be awarded the prize money from Canon USA at GrowthCon in Long Beach, Calif. taking place on Dec. 15, 2015.
"The three winners crafted compelling master plans on how to take their small businesses to the next level," said Ray Hennessey, editorial director of Entrepreneur.com. "Their visions for driving more awareness and increasing productivity were inspiring. We are happy to help fuel their journeys and look forward to seeing what they can accomplish next."
Steve Kaufman designed Quikiks shoes, which can be put on without bending over or using hands, with his son's struggle with a scoliosis brace in mind. He will use his $25,000 grand prize to invest in product improvements, reach out to healthcare providers and enlist them as resellers at tradeshows.
Catharine Arnston, the first runner-up and winner of the $15,000 prize, built her company ENERGYbits around the health benefits of algae. She hopes to expand the reach of her plant-based nutrition solution by repackaging her products across retail channels to a wider audience.
The second runner-up, Jessica Castelli, connects businesses offering kid-centered activities with parents through her company Bizzydoo.com. With the $10,000 contest prize money, Castelli plans to launch a second service, Partyzig.com. She'll also use the money to promote her services with social media monitoring, pay-per-click advertising and trade shows.
"Canon is a proud supporter of entrepreneurial activities and the small business community at large," said Yuichi Ishizuka, president and COO, Canon U.S.A., Inc. "We hope that the recipients expand each business to the best of their abilities, and maintain a positive outlook as they continue to grow and achieve their goals."
Learn more about each of the winners of the Project Grow Challenge in the January issue of Entrepreneur magazine, on newsstands December 22.
About Entrepreneur Media Inc.
For nearly 40 years, Entrepreneur Media Inc. has been serving the entrepreneurial community providing comprehensive coverage of business and personal success through original content and events. Entrepreneur magazine, Entrepreneur.com, and publishing imprint Entrepreneur Press provide solutions, information, inspiration and education read by millions of entrepreneurs and small business owners worldwide.
To learn more, visit entrepreneur.com.
About Canon U.S.A., Inc.
Canon U.S.A., Inc., is a leading provider of consumer, business-to-business, and industrial digital imaging solutions to the United States and to Latin America and the Caribbean (excluding Mexico) markets. With approximately $31 billion in global revenue, its parent company, Canon Inc., ranks third overall in U.S. patents granted in 2014† and is one of Fortune Magazine's World's Most Admired Companies in 2015. In 2014, Canon U.S.A. has received the PCMag.com Readers' Choice Award for Service and Reliability in the digital camera and printer categories for the 11th consecutive year. Canon U.S.A. is committed to the highest level of customer satisfaction and loyalty, providing 100 percent U.S.-based consumer service and support for all of the products it distributes. Canon U.S.A. is dedicated to its Kyosei philosophy of social and environmental responsibility. In 2014, the Canon Americas Headquarters secured LEED® Gold certification, a recognition for the design, construction, operations and maintenance of high-performance green buildings. To keep apprised of the latest news from Canon U.S.A., sign up for the Company's RSS news feed by visiting www.usa.canon.com/rss and follow us on Twitter @CanonUSA. For media inquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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SOURCE Entrepreneur Magazine