WENATCHEE — A $10,000 cash award and access to all sorts of expert professional advice are part of the pitch inviting business startups and small businesses looking to expand to participate in the second annual Supernova Business Launch Competition.

Hosted by the NCW Economic Development District, the contest is open to entrepreneurs in Chelan, Douglas, Okanogan and Ferry counties and the Colville Reservation. Applications, which center around a business plan that will be reviewed by a panel of professional judges, are due June 1.

Between now and then, all those interested in vying for the top prize are invited to participate in a six-week Business Bootcamp, offered through a partnership with Wenatchee Valley College’s Center for Entrepreneurship. The classes and workshops, which start in March, will help applicants polish their business plans and provide an overview of operational necessities like QuickBooks, social media, marketing and creating the perfect elevator pitch.

Bonus points are given to applicants whose business ideas help create jobs for underemployed residents, including those facing employment barriers, such as veterans, minorities, justice-involved individuals, those with disabilities and individuals who have not graduated from high school.

The list of 16 semi-finalists will be announced in mid-June. The winner will be selected at the Aug. 19 Supernova main event.

Last year’s debut competition, which adapted to provide online classes and workshops because of the pandemic, had 30 applicants. The winner was Tonasket Tire, owned by Chance Stucker. The other three finalists included Yeti Chocolates, Burch Mountain BBQ and Pateros Brewster Community Resource Center Commercial Kitchen Project.

“Investing in small businesses is also investing in the communities we love,” NCW Economic Development District Executive Director Alyce Brown said. “Making sure these emerging small businesses can be resilient, pivot and overcome obstacles through strong businesses plans, classes and partnership development is just one way for the NCWEDD to increase small business vitality in our region.”

For details on the competition, go to supernovablc.com.

Nevonne McDaniels: 664-7151