Got an Idea for a Food or Drink Concept? Pitch It to Marriott and You Could Win Money and a Space

If you've been sitting on an idea for a food or drink concept but don't have the money to get your idea off the ground, then you may want to listen up. Marriott International has launched a new program called Canvas, under which the hotel giant will offer help to start-up food and beverage concepts.

During the next six months the list of locations will grow to include about a dozen hotels all over the globe -- but lucky for Phoenix-based entrepreneurs, one of the first locations to accept applications is our own Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel.

See also: Lux Commonwealth and County to Open in Downtown Phoenix Next Year

Now through Tuesday, January 16 entrepreneurs can pitch their concept ideas to Marriott online. The winner will get resources and support to get their business started, as well as space. The location up for grabs at the Downtown hotel is a former Starbucks store.

Winning concepts will be chosen by a "committee of entrepreneurs and local food and beverage, marketing and finance experts," according to the Canvas website. The ideas will be judged on criteria including:

  • Concept originality and creativity
  • Passion and skill
  • Quality of submission, including videos and images
  • Marketing plan, including knowledge of the local market
  • Operations plan
  • ROI potential (net cost, net sales, net revenue and time to break even)

To submit an application you'll need to complete the online form, upload a video, and present a business plan. Selected entrants will also need to be available for in-person interviews in Phoenix on Wednesday, January 28 and Thursday, January 29.

The idea for the Canvas food and beverage concept incubator comes from Marriott's entrepreneurial roots, according to the website. In 1927 J. Willard and Alice Marriott opened a nine-seat A&W root beer stand in Washington, DC; the business would eventually lead them to open the first drive-in restaurant on the East Coast.

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