If there was ever a doubt that entrepreneurship was wildly unpredictable, provocative, inspirational, and a never-ending source of entertainment, the flood of entries to the first annual Inc. Business Bake-Off confirmed all that, and more.

Those who entered will recall that the entry instructions were not at all helpful. That was intentional. I left the details vague as part of the vetting process itself, believing that the intelligence and imagination of the responses would itself be a measure of entrepreneurial fervor and finesse. The prize was clear, however: "A marketing strategy and an advertising campaign" by my agency, Hanft Raboy and Partners.

For the most part, the entries were reasonably conventional. Yes, I got a few FedEx packages crammed with dubious three-dimensional objects, but the vast majority of submisssions were descriptions of these entrepreneurial businesses, with varying degrees of specificity.