It All Starts With An Idea

HULC FAQs

The Program

Hands Up Lake County is a small business competition that encourages and nurtures the entrepreneurial spirit in the community. Selected participants will fine-tune their business ideas and business plans and receive training and follow-up support. Fourteen small businesses and one alternate will be selected in the Established Business category and 5 businesses will be selected in the Start up Business category. They will vie in a “mini-competition” from which 8 businesses and 1 alternate will be selected to advance to a final competition and a chance to win cash awards. The 2022 Hands Up Lake County competition will award $100,000 in cash prizes.

Applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Be 18 years of age or older.
  • The business or business idea must meet State of California small business definition.
    • (d) (1) (A) “Small business” means an independently owned and operated business that is not dominant in its field of operation, the principal office of which is located in California, the officers of which are domiciled in California, and which, together with affiliates, has 100 or fewer employees, and average annual gross receipts of ten million dollars ($10,000,000) or less over the previous three years, or is a manufacturer, as defined in subdivision (c), with 100 or fewer employees. Commencing January 1, 2019, the average annual gross receipts threshold shall be fifteen million dollars ($15,000,000).
  • Must be a resident of Lake County.
  • Applications for either a startup business or existing business will be accepted.
    • You can join the competition even if you don’t have a registered business yet. We welcome all applicants with a business idea which can grow successfully in Lake County.
    • We welcome applicants who are doing business in Lake County, either with storefront or online.
  • Must submit an online application by the deadline. Incomplete applications may be disqualified.
  • If approved to proceed, must participate in a 1-day training.
  • If approved to proceed to mini-competition, must participate in the competition to be considered for the final competition.
  • Mini and final competitions will be in person – no virtual presentations will be possible.
  • We will observe any federal, state or local requirements that may be in place during all phases of the competition.
  • If selected as a finalist, must attend all follow-up training and comply with presentation criteria and other requirements including dress rehearsal.
  • If selected as an alternate, must attend all phases of the competition and be willing to step into the competition on short notice.
  • All applicants must sign a Training and Media Waiver and Hold Harmless Agreement.
  • Cannabis related businesses are not eligible to apply (due to Federal laws).
  • Prior applicants and alternates in the 2020 or 2021 business competitions may re-apply in 2022. Finalist in either competition are not eligible to apply.
  • Other criteria as announced.

If you have any questions, Email through our Contact form or Contact Olga Steele at 916-849-8170 should you have any unanswered questions.

There are four key stages in the competition: the application submittal; the application review & selection of 12 businesses and 2 alternates; the mini competition; and the final competition.

  • Application submittal & review: In this stage, 12 applicants and 2 alternates will be selected to advance to the 1-day workshop and mini-competition. The 1Team 1Dream Board of Directors, or a committee thereof, will evaluate all applications submitted and select the top 12 (including 2 alternates). The general criteria for this phase is:
    • The basics:
      • Late applications will not be accepted. Must submit application online by June 30, 2022.
      • Complete the application. Incomplete applications may be rejected.
    • The business concept/plan should address:
      • mission and values
      • financials – income, expenses, projections
      • market – product, customer base, outreach, competition
      • long-range goals – income, growth potential
      • business management –how will the business resources be managed to meet objectives
      • viability and sustainability – how will the business weather economic ups and downs
  • The Mini Competition: In this stage, 12 applicants will present their business plan to a set of judges. The names of the judges will not be revealed until the day of the competition. The judges are business savvy, unbiased individuals who own or have owned businesses. They volunteer their time and follow instructions and specific criteria provided by the 1Team1Dream Board of Directors. The selection process is overseen by a member of the Board of Directors.
  • The Final Competition: In this stage, 6 finalists selected in the mini-competition will pitch their business plan to a new set of judges. The names of the judges will not be revealed until the day of the competition. The judges are business savvy, unbiased individuals who own or have owned businesses. They volunteer their time and follow instructions and specific criteria provided by the 1Team1Dream Board of Directors. The selection process is overseen by a member of the Board of Directors.

If you have any questions, Email through our Contact form or Contact Olga Steele at 916-849-8170 should you have any unanswered questions.

READ FAQs

How It Works

Send your application from March 1 to June 30.

19 semifinalists and 1 alternate will be chosen in July.

Semifinalists must attend the 1-day Enterpreneur's workshop on August 27 (Saturday).

8 finalists and 1 alternate will be chosen during the mini competition on September 24 (Saturday).

Finalists will join the final workshop with Pitch Lab in October.

Final competition will be on November 5 (Saturday). This gala event will be at Soper Reese Theatre.

The competition provides a unique experience for the participants.

They have the opportunity to get funding for their business ideas.

They get invaluable feedback on their business plan.

They get the exposure to the right audience and expand their network.

They learn more and acquire new talent and skillset.

Cash Prizes

The participants of the competition have the chance to win cash prizes, which he or she can use to jumpstart his business plan.

$25,000

1st Place Prize

$20,000

2nd Place Prize

$15,000

3rd Place Prize

$10,000

4th Place Prize

$5,000

5th Place Prize

$10,000

New award category: Best Startup Business

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What are the eligibility requirements?
A. All Lake County residents who are 18 years or older who have an idea for a start-up business or who own an established small Lake County business are eligible to apply.

Q. Are there any restrictions I should be aware of?
A. Due to the Federal cannabis laws, we are not accepting cannabis-related business ideas.

Q. Does the business have to be a storefront in Lake County?
A. Not necessarily. The owner must be a resident doing business in the County either online or in a storefront.

Q. Is there an application fee or charge to participate?
A. No. You are, however, required to attend the 1-day training & follow-up competitions.

Q. How do I apply for the Hand Up Lake County opportunity?
A. Online applications are only accepted. Fillable applications are on the website at www.1team1dream.net

Q. When can I apply?
A. From March 1 – June 30, 2022. No late applications will be accepted.

Q. What is the process of the competition?
A. There are 4 phases of the competition:

In Phase 1, applications received by the deadline will be reviewed. Fourteen (14) applicants plus one (1) alternate will be selected for the Established Business category. Five (5) applicants will be selected for the Startup Business category. Nineteen (19) semifinalists and one (1) alternate will proceed to Phase 2.

Phase 2 is mandatory 1-day training. All selected participants must attend the training to proceed with the program. The date and venue for the training will be provided to them.

Phase 3 will be the mini competition. During the mini competition, the 20 participants will present their business ideas to a panel of judges. Eight (8) finalists and one (1) alternate will be chosen to proceed to the final phase. The date and venue for the mini competition will be provided to them.

Phase 4 is the final leg of the competition. The eight (8) finalists and one (1) alternate will be required to attend a final workshop to refine their business plan presentation. There will be a gala night, which will host the final competition. All eight (8) finalists will have to pitch their business ideas to a carefully selected group of judges. The date and venue for the gala night will be provided to them.

Q. Will there be follow-up training prior to the final competition?
A. Yes. The eight (8) finalists will receive 1:1 training according to their specific needs. Dates TBD.

Q. If I applied last year, can I re-apply this year?
A. Yes, you may re-apply. Any small business can apply, except the winners of the previous years.

Q. Do all eight (8)finalists receive a cash award?
A. Yes. This 2022 cash prizes are as follows:

Established Businesses

1st Prize $25,000
2nd Prize $20,000
3rd Prize $15,000
4th Prize $10,000
5th Prize $5,000

Start-up Business

1st Prize $10,000
2nd Prize $5,000
3rd Prize $3,000

Q. If I have further questions?
A. Contact Olga Steele at 916-849-8170 should you have any unanswered questions.

Who Should Apply?

Anyone who believes in and loves Lake County; has a dream to own a business; has a creative business idea and the ability and stamina it takes to make it in business; has what it takes to pitch an idea to others; and who can use a financial boost to kick-start a business or take an existing small business to the next level is encouraged to apply.

1Team 1 Dream 2021 Hands Up Gala Event