ANCHORAGE - Thirty finalists from across Alaska have been selected to advance to the next round of the fourth Alaska Marketplace competition, where they will vie for a portion of nearly $300,000 in award money for projects.
Last year's highly successful competition awarded more than $300,000 to 11 entrepreneurs with the best ideas for stimulating Alaska's rural economies.
Nineteen assessors from the business, government, nonprofit and education sectors met on Feb. 5 to review the 94 eligible business idea applications.
Alaska Marketplace received 101 Business Idea Applications from across the state, with 14 percent of those coming from Southeast Alaska.
Finalists have until April 3 to write a more comprehensive business plan with the help of entrepreneurial coaches. Rural residents will be given stipends for their travel to Anchorage for the final competition at ConocoPhillips, to be held on May 5.
The public is encouraged to attend and cast votes for "People's Choice" award. For more information, visit