Yeah, you read that right: curry, like what the British call a tasty stew you eat with rice. That’s the advice of a Glasgow-based entrepreneur who styles himself the “King of Curry” in honor of his chain of popular Indian restaurants. “Like a good curry, becoming an entrepreneur is all about finding the right ingredients,” says Charan Gill, 51. And that’s why, apparently, he’s starting an entrepreneurial competition with a cash prize. More on this nut, and his competition, after the jump.
According to Scotsman News, the Curry King has established a contest for the “best business idea,” which will be rewarded with a top prize of 5,000 pounds sterling (about $10, 484) and free legal advice. Eleven other aspirants will receive lesser runner-up amounts of about $2,100, as well as legal advice.
“Applying for this competition won’t take up much of your time and you never know, it could be the first step on the ladder to entrepreneurial success,” says Gill, who sounds weirdly salesy, as if he thinks no one will apply. If that’s indeed the case, it’s not for strict regulations; you only have to be 16 to enter the contest, and the only real requirements are that you be 1) Scottish and 2) able to have the business up and running by March of 2008. The deadline is the 30th of this month. There are no restrictions as to what kind of business the “idea” would dictate. Which makes it, in the opinion of this writer, about the coolest funding contest out there.
Which begs the question: is this even a funding contest at all, or just a bit of a publicity stunt on the behalf of Scotland’s most famous (and quirky) entrepreneur? The entry form itself (which consists of five short answer questions) reads like a very diplomatic college application — with questions like, “Why do you want to start a business?” and “What are your future goals and vision for the business?” To call this application a softball would almost be understatement. But then again, it does sound eerily similar in tone to Y Combinator’s Seed Funding application, if shorter by comparison.
“Real” seed funding contest or not, I hope that once this contest is decided the winning application is published. Will it be full of good-spirited motivation, with each question answered in philosophical terms — “I want to enrich my community…”)? Or will it be more pragmatic, with every response reading, “I want to make a lot of money,” or “Because I want to buy a boat”? That’s something to be pondered over a good curry.