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The application period for the 2024 Harvey L. Golubock Business Competition is now open. 

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Harvey L. Golubock Business Competition

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Funding for new startups and new business ventures of existing businesses in the Bradford, PA (McKean) community

Do you have the next great idea?  Whether it’s a new app, a new product to be manufactured, a new store, a consulting business, or, perhaps a seasonal business, we want to help you make that idea a reality. 

The competition is open to anyone who would like to open a new business in the Bradford, PA area!  The competition is also open to any existing, local business that is interested in expanding into a new venture. 


Big Picture Stuff

Big Picture

Economic gardening is an economic development model that embraces the fundamental idea that entrepreneurs drive economies. This is a specific entrepreneurial approach to economic development that seeks to grow the local economy from within. We are embracing this concept for our community and want to support aspiring and established entrepreneurs.  


Mission Statement:  To seed and support the formation of new business and/or new business opportunities of existing business.


The competition is part of a larger effort in re-invigorating the area's rich history of entrepreneurial spirit.  That spirit is an outcome of our heritage as the birthplace of the U.S. domestic oil industry.  Given that long-standing history and the profound impact of our current energy sector, the tag line for the competition is “The Spark to Fuel Your Business” and the business competition has been named in honor of Harvey L. Golubock.  


Prizes - What Will You Win?

All applicants will gain valuable entrepreneurial skills, networking opportunities, visibility, and free services for the development of your business plan.


The winner(s) will receive up to $20,000 PRIZE MONEY plus in-kind services. Services include sessions with a business advisor on a regular basis for up to 12 months.

The prize money is funded through corporate and philanthropic donations from Bradford and McKean County-invested businesses and organizations.  

The 2023 Harvey L. Golubock Business Competition prize money is sponsored by the Blaisell Foundation, Halloran Philanthropies, Northwest Bank, and the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. 

The competition is possible year-after-year with the establishment and growth of the "Harvey L. Golubock Business Competition Fund" established at the McKean County Community Foundation (MCCF) to honor Golubock and to fund the competition in perpituity.   Additional information regarding this fund can be obtained by calling the MCCF at 1-844-238-2289.

The Process

What Is The Process?

The process is easy - let us know you are interested, develop and submit a business plan, and plan to pitch your idea.  This is good stuff! Here are the nitty gritty details….

  1. As a first step, fill out the business competition application (below). This step simply allows us to contact you with information to move forward. 

  2. Candidates will be asked to develop a business plan outline (2-3 pages). The Alliance Economic Development Specialist will assist you, along with our Small Business Development Center (SBDC), with the development of your outline free of charge. 

  3. ALL candidates must electronically submit their outline no later than Friday, September 6, 2024 at 5:00pm EST.  All interested candidates must send their outline to Candidates are encouraged to submit their outlines as early as possible starting January 1, 2024.

  4. The outline will be reviewed and an interview may be conducted. Following any interviews, finalists will be selected. Finalists will be notified via email on Monday, September 16, 2024.

  5. Finalists will be asked to immediately develop a full business plan. Finalists will work with the Alliance Economic Development Specialist, along with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to develop a full business plan utilizing the SBDC business plan template.  The SBDC will also assist with market research and financial projections. Again, all services are free of charge.

  6. Full business plans are due Thursday, October 3, 2024 at 5PM EST. Finalists should send their business plan to  All submitted business plans must be developed using the SBDC business plan template, be reviewed by the SBDC prior to submittal, and be no more than 10 pages.

  7. In advance of the Pitch Event, all Finalists will meet for pitch event details, assistance and practice from Saturday, October 12, 2024 through Tuesday, October 15, 2024. There will also be a dress rehearsal on the evening of Wedneday, October 16, 2024, which finalists must attend.

  8. Finalists will participate in a “Shark Tank” like Pitch Event on the evening of October 17, 2024 where a panel of judges will select the winner(s). The event will be open to the public and will also be live-streamed on YouTube. Good luck to all applicants!

How Do I Apply?

How to Apply
Business Competition Application
New or Existing Business

Thanks for submitting!

(*Required Field)

*All initial applications will be acknowledged via email and additional information will be sent via email.



  • Applicants must complete 'Business Competition Application' (above) with all contact information AND submit a 2-3 page Business Plan Outline prior to the deadline to be considered.  

  • The planned or existing business must be physically located in the Bradford, PA region.  The Bradford region includes the City of Bradford, Borough of Lewis Run, Bradford Township, Corydon Township, Foster Township, or Lafayette Township. The business owner(s) must currently have a legal residence within a 40 mile radius of Bradford, PA.

  • All deadlines and guidelines for submission must be adhered to. Materials must be submitted on or before the specified due date. No late submissions will be accepted. Any submissions that are greater in length than specified will not be considered.

  • The applicant must participate in the Pitch Event, in person, on the designated date and time. Only applicants submitting the business plan will participate in the Pitch Event.

  • Submitted business plans must represent original work, i.e. no copyrighting of ideas.

  •  All submissions will be treated as confidential. The only persons with access to the entry materials will be judges and select members of the advisory committee who have all signed a required non-disclosure agreement. Materials will not be distributed to any other party. No other or special provisions are made to protect intellectual property.

  • Judging will be performed by a panel of independent judges. Any entry is subject to minimum criteria in terms of its market potential, viability and other factors, as determined by the judging panel’s experience. If no entries meet the minimum criteria, the prize may not be awarded. All decisions of the judges are final.

  • Prize money is granted only to the to-be-formed or existing business entity, not to individuals.  The winner will have up to eight months after the competition to form their business entities. This is the specified period of time. Prize money will only be distributed when its principal place of business is in the specified Bradford region and legal residency is proven.  If the winner fails to form the business entity or fails to establish its business entity in the Bradford region and requests the prize money within the specified period of time, the prize money will be forfeited and will not be dispersed. Prize money will be granted only to reimburse the original invoices of the business entity for expenses relating to the submitted business and once operational. 

  • The winner is responsible for any tax consequences of the prize money. Prize money will be distributed with evidence of PA formation of the business entity.

  • The Bradford Alliance reserves the right to disqualify, in its sole and absolute discretion, any candidate and/or winner from the competition at any time and for any reason. Reasons for disqualification may include, but are not limited to: plagiarism and any other form of dishonesty, misappropriation or infringement of the intellectual property of others, and any failure to comply with these rules, regulations. All applicants, candidates and winners shall agree to indemnify and hold the Bradford Area Alliance and all its  representatives thereof harmless from any and all claims, actions, changes, damages, liabilities, obligations and losses arising out of or relating in any manner to the business plan, the Harvey L. Golubock Business  Competition, any award made or forfeited, the business started or operated by any one or more members of the  business entity or any other individuals or entities claiming that the candidates or winners has infringed on the intellectual property rights, of any third parties or engaged in any other illegal or inappropriate activities.

  • All applicants must electronically submit business plan and receive an acknowledgement of receipt. It will be up to the applicant to seek an acknowledgement. Applicants are highly encouraged to not submit at the last moment.


Contacts - Who Should I Talk To?

We have all been there. Sometimes you just want to talk to someone.


For specific questions on the Harvey L. Golubock Business Competition:

Carolyn Boser Newhouse

Executive Director

Bradford Area Alliance

PO Box 1201

Bradford, PA 16701

Phone:  1-814-598-1519


Christian Smith

Economic Development Specialist

Bradford Area Alliance

PO Box 1201

Bradford, PA 16701

Phone: 1-814-319-5410



Interested candidates are encouraged to re-visit the FAQ section as it will be updated periodically based on various questions posed throughout the process.


Can a not-for-profit apply?

No. At this time the business competition is focused on creating private sector job opportunities.

How do I know what information to include in the 2-3 page outline?

Once you fill out and submit the "Business Competition Application" (above), the Alliance Economic Development Specialist (EDS) will reach out to you with all of the details and to assist you.  A template of the outline will be e-mailed to you as part of the follow-up from the EDS. 

I am a student and have a great idea.  Can I apply?

Yes!  Ideas and applications can come from anyone interested in locating their business in the Bradford region. Students, including both high school and college students are welcome and encouraged to apply.


What if I have already expanded my business and want to apply for investments already made, albeit recently?

The business competition is focused on future opportunity.  Past investments are not eligible. EXCEPTION:  Any applicant who previously applied for this competition and was not a winner will be grandfathered in. 


My idea is seasonal.  Does it have to be full-time?

As we would like to see your business flourish to get to a full-time status, we welcome ideas that are seasonal or part-time.   The goal of the competition is to seed new ideas.  We realize that it takes time and energy to be successful and a one step-at-a-time approach is a good one.


Is other funding or assistance available?

Possibly. The Alliance Economic Development Specialist (see Contact) is available to help you through the competition AND connect you with any available resources from our local, county, and regional partners in the PA PREP network. 

What is the Pitch Event like?

The Pitch Event will be the culmination of all of your efforts.  You will be on stage to present your pitch to a live and on-line audience.  A panel of judges will be on stage with you who have received and reviewed your business plan in advance. You will be given 5 minutes to "pitch" your plan.  Each judge will have the opportunity to ask you questions.


If I applied last year, can I apply again this year?

Yes. As long as you did not win, feel free to apply again!

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