Startups, entrepreneurs and small business owners across Louisiana will have a shot at a $10,000 prize package in a pitch competition.

Get Started Louisiana will be held March 16 as part of the eighth annual New Orleans Entrepreneur Week. The deadline to sign up for the competition is 11:59 p.m. March 3.

The free event, which is open to the public, will be held from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at The Chicory, 610 S. Peters St.

This is the second year Cox Communications is holding the pitch competition in New Orleans as part of entrepreneur week.

“We know that Louisiana is filled with entrepreneurs who just need an extra hand to reach that next level of success, and we view this contest as a way to help promote innovative talent across our local business community,” said Leigh King, vice president of Cox Business Louisiana. “We’ve assembled a team of expert judges who can provide valuable advice and tips to assist the contestants in launching and growing their business.”

The five contestants selected for Get Started will have 2½ minutes to pitch their business idea before a panel of judges. The panel will judge the pitches on factors such as innovation, ease of implementation and consumer/community benefit.

Judges include Mike Hackley, founder of; Jon Fine, executive editor at Inc. magazine; Steve Rowley, senior vice president of Cox Business; and Angie Scott, chief operating officer and co-founder of Search Influence.

The winning presentation will get a prize package valued at $10,000, which includes cash and services from Cox Business.

To participate in Get Started, register at Applicants must complete a 250-word essay explaining their company. To be eligible, a business must have less than $300,000 in revenue during 2015. The businesses selected for the competition will be notified by March 7.