BUSINESS

7 On Your Side: Starlight Tech Prize offers cash for 'next big thing'

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Smartphones, and social networking have changed our lives in just a short period of time.

And now, a local man is putting up a big cash prize and offering to help someone turn the next big idea into a booming business.

Could this western Loudoun County farm dating back to the Founding Fathers be the birthplace of the next Facebook?

Entrepreneur Jack Beavers is putting up $50,000 to make it happen.

Starting this week he's launched the Starlight Tech Prize searching for the next big tech idea.

The idea is to surface good ideas and take action on them, ideas that otherwise might not have been implemented.

Think of it as a friendlier version of ABC's Shark Tank, but instead of bidding for people's ideas, the winner gets the cash and the opportunity to team with experenced entrepreneurs to develop the idea.

And the goal of making it a $50 million business in five years.

It’s inspired by the X Prize, which back in 2004 awarded $10 million to a California man after his spacecraft broke through the earth's atmosphere twice.

Now, seven years later space tourism is about to become a reality.

Beavers hopes the Starlight Tech Prize does the same and in the process creates new jobs and new opportunities.

“If we find the right idea and play it right we really can change the world,” Beavers says.

The contest runs until the end of July, to enter you need to submit a four-page proposal at their website.

Beavers says there is a strict confidentiality agreement so you don't have to worry about having your idea stolen.

Read more about the prize and submit a proposal here.

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