Jump-Start Downtown Business Competition

Jump-Start Downtown is a business competition for entrepreneurs over 18 years old who are interested in opening a business in or relocating a business to Downtown Eau Claire (view downtown boundaries) during between 2022-2024. Any type of business is eligible, from high-tech offices to gift shops.

2023 Awards

4 Winners have been selected by a panel of judges using the evaluation criteria described on the application linked below.  Awards will be presented on January10, 2024 at Forage in downtown Eau Claire. The event will run from 12 pm to 1:30.  Pre-registration is required.

Grand Prize: $5,000 in Start-up Capital (Sponsored by Royal Credit Union), Downtown Eau Claire, Inc. Membership (good for 1 year), & a 3-Month Flex Membership at CoLab ($330 Value)

Runner-Up: $2,500 in Start-up Capital, Downtown Eau Claire, Inc. Membership (good for 1 year), & a 3-Month Flex Membership at CoLab ($330 Value)

Innovative Idea Prize: $1,000 in Start-up Capital & Downtown Eau Claire, Inc Membership (good for 1 year)

Honorable Mention: $750 in Start-Up Capital & Downtown Eau Claire, Inc Membership (good for 1 year)


How To Apply

Applications are now open for 2023! In order to be considered, applicants must download the form linked below, fill it out, and email it to downtown@eauclairewi.gov along with a business plan that includes:

  • Executive Summary
  • Business Description
  • Competition/Market Analysis
  • Marketing Plan
  • Management Plan
  • Financial Plan
  • Viability Analysis


Applications for the 2023 cycle are due on December 1, 2023. If you need help, consider working on your business plan and finances with free local entrepreneurial resources such as:



If you are interested in celebrating the 2023 Jump-Start Downtown Business Award Winners on Wednesday, January 10th, please register here: 

Jump-Start Award Luncheon Registration