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Alaska Marketplace

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1577 C Street, Suite 300
Anchorage, AK 99501
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The Alaska Marketplace

The Alaska Marketplace is an ideas competition
that supports economic development in rural Alaska.


Modeled after the World Bank's Development Marketplace - a successful program that's been adopted by numerous developing countries across the globe - Alaska Marketplace aims to inspire rural Alaska residents to pursue their creative ideas to stimulate economic development by providing monetary awards and business support to winning participants.

Unlike most federal grant programs, this groundbreaking ideas competition fosters innovation and promotes culture as the basis for development. Every finalist will have the opportunity to enhance their knowledge and business skills, and the top entrepreneurs will leave the Alaska Marketplace with the resources and investments necessary to launch their new businesses.


AFN's sixth Alaska Marketplace Competition calls on Alaskas best and brightest to share their innovative ideas. This years competition includes an exciting new way for Alaskans under 18 years of age to participate. The well-loved business/nonprofit ideas competition will also continue as it has in recent years. Applications will be available online at or by calling AFN at 907-274-3611 following the May 3rd launch.

General Information

This years theme, Investing in You, invites you to submit innovative ideas that support economic development in rural Alaska. By investing in you, Alaska Marketplace is helping create jobs in rural Alaska one at a time. Individual Alaskans and nonprofit organizations are invited to apply to compete for seed money.

Younger Alaskans, 18 years and under, are invited to compete and share ideas by submitting a written or video essay!

All applicants must address the theme, Investing in You, and one of the subthemes described below. Examples given are intended to provide guidance on the subtheme but they are not inclusive and should not limit your ideas! Applications for business/nonprofit ideas and the essay competition will be available May 16, 2012. Business/nonprofit idea applications will be due August 3, 2012. Essays will be due September 28, 2012.

Sharing Knowledge: Innovative ideas to encourage life-long learning and collaboration. Much of the knowledge necessary to improve life in rural Alaska already exists. Applicants under this subtheme should promote the exchange and documentation of ideas. Potential businesses/projects include: documenting culture, new ways to teach trades and skills, and creative language programs.

Building Partnerships: New and inventive plans to develop partnerships with existing organizations to expand current and create new programs, services, and products. Applicants may propose partnerships with Tribes, Alaska Native Corporations, schools, military operations, housing authorities, or any other organization with the capacity to improve upon the applicants idea.

Finding Opportunity: Practical use of untapped opportunities at or near home to create village enterprises. Residents of rural Alaska know better than anyone what makes their communities unique. Applicants are encouraged to take a step away from the day-to-day aspects of life and identify opportunities that are immediately available. Each community is different, one may need a village based store, another a taxi service, or even a simple way to reduce the cost of living.

Perpetuating Tradition: Fresh ideas to incorporate traditional activities into for-profit and nonprofit business ventures. Rural Alaskans perpetuate tradition every day; Alaska Marketplace is seeking applicants with ideas for new ways to market traditional foods, arts, handicrafts, or to share with others the joy of rural Alaska living through tradition-based tourism.


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  • Alaska Marketplace - Community & Recreation - Non-Profit Organizations - City-wide Photo
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