There were well over 40,000 entries in the contest. Looking through the other entries, only a very small percentage (I estimate 10-20%) received the 250 votes required to be eligible for a grant, and only a very small portion of those broke 300, so I'm feeling very good about the support I received and about my entry's chances. Especially considering that the contest was going on for a full month before I even found out about it, so I only had half of the time many of the other contestants had to put my entry together and promote it to get the needed votes.
The winners of the twelve $250K grants will be announced by September 15, so I'll post an update as soon as I hear anything. Keep your fingers crossed for me!
Even given that only a small percentage of entries reached 250 votes, there are still thousands of eligible entries for the judges to sift through and consider. I know that winning a grant is a long shot, but being part of this contest has done a lot for my business already- I have gotten some press, made new media contacts, and have a whole bunch more followers on Facebook. Looking for places to post about the contest, I discovered a whole new slew of fashion blogs, local fashion magazines and organizations, and a bunch of non-profits and government agencies that offer assistance to small business- I'll be looking further into all of these for help and info. I had already started working on a new business plan just beforehand, but the contest gave me a kick in the pants to finish it up, and I learned all about how to use my plan to seek the funding I'll need to take House of Nines Design to the next level. Most of all, I'm feeling really hopeful about the future, and excited about working toward getting there.
And thanks again for all your support, I really do appreciate it!