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Great Lakes Entrepreneur's Quest Grand Prize to be Announced June 7

5/31/2006 --

The awards ceremony, sponsored by the Zell Lurie Institute, will feature keynote speaker John Barfield, founder and chairman emeritus of the Bartech Group.

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—The Great Lakes Entrepreneur Quest will announce the winners of its business plan competition at 6 p.m. June 7 in the Anderson Room of the Michigan Union.

The GLEQ is a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to the formation and promotion of new, high-growth companies in the state of Michigan. Its annual business plan competition connects beginning and established entrepreneurs to educate and encourage the creation of successful start-up businesses.

The GLEQ offers two levels of competition. The New Business Idea award is given to entrepreneurs with little or no business start-up experience. The Emerging Company award is given to entrepreneurs with some start-up experience. The first-place teams of the Emerging Company and New Business Idea competitions will receive cash awards of $25,000 and $5,000, respectively.

The Innovation Awards are new this year. Two winners will receive an investment up to $12,500 in companies that are focused on alternative energy technology and advanced automotive manufacturing.

The GLEQ has awarded over $700,000 since the start of its business plan competitions in 2000. The winning entrepreneurs also receive professional services, coaching, training and scholarships.

For the Grand Prize, teams will present their business plans to a panel of investment expert judges. Teams will be evaluated based on their business plans and presentations and will receive feedback from the judges.

The keynote address will be delivered by John Barfield, one of Michigan's most successful entrepreneurs. Barfield founded Bartech Group Inc., which provides staffing services for the engineering and information technology sectors and outsourcing for multi-national corporations. The Bartech Group was named "Company of the Year" by Black Enterprise Magazine and "Outstanding Enterprise of the Year" by the Michigan Department of Commerce in 1985.

The GLEQ Grand Prize Award Ceremony is sponsored by the Samuel Zell and Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Ross School of Business. Zell Lurie's mission is to provide education, research and opportunities in entrepreneurship. "The GLEQ's program cultivates enterprising entrepreneurs and helps keep them in Michigan for networking them to state resources," said Tom Kinnear, executive director of Zell Lurie.

The awards ceremony will be followed by a networking reception. The event is free and open to the public but pre-registration is required. To register or learn more about the GLEQ, please visit

For more information, contact:
Adrienne Losh
Phone: (734) 615-5068