Business Plan Competition
The UW Business Plan Competition is the marquee event for the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Washington Michael G. Foster School of Business. In the past thirteen years, the Business Plan Competition has successfully:
Awarded $872,000 in prize money to 87 student companies
Involved over 300 judges, mentors, sponsors, supporters each year from the alumni and business community
Promoted student ideas and new venture creation
Provided an opportunity for business and science students to present new business plans to Seattle area venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and investors
Learn more via competition FAQs or by contacting Sarah Massey at email@example.com or 206.685.9868.
Can non-business students enter the competition?
Yes. The Business Plan Competition is open to ALL students who are currently enrolled in a degree program in the state of Washington.
If I don’t find any team members that really seem like “the right fit” during the Networking Nights, is it OK to have a “team” of just one person?
It is OK to have just one person on a team. However, if you advance to the Investment Round, you’ll want to add a few people to your team to help you pitch to judges.
Can we submit a business plan into the competition for a business that is or may become a nonprofit / social business in the future?
The competition is open to all types of businesses. Every year there are nonprofit or socially responsible businesses in the competition.
Is there a BPC archive that has a synopsis of the BPC plans submitted so far?
Yes, but you must come to CIE to look at it. Be sure to call or email the CIE Office to set-up a time.
Can a student submit plans for more than one team?
You are allowed to participate in the Business Plan Competition with more than one team. It can be a logistical challenge to do that at the Investment Round and Sweet 16, but it is possible.
Am I allowed to have a faculty member as a mentor for the BPC?
You can have a faculty member as a mentor. We’re also happy to try to pair you with a professional in the field who could coach and mentor you through the process. Note, it’s much more effective if you have an idea of who you would like to talk to more about your idea. Coming and simply asking for a mentor will make it challenging for you to find the right person. You should do research to find out who you want to talk to.
I am part of a company looking to recruit students to assist in taking my idea through the Business Plan Competition. How should I go about doing this?
Post a profile on the find teams and students web page. Succinctly describe what your idea is and the type of team members you’d like to join your team.
Attend the Business Plan Competition Networking Night. There will be opportunities to meet with lot of students and pitch your idea to them.
Here are two ways to meet students:
Can I compete two years in a row?
Students are welcome and encouraged to participate as many times as they want – as long as they are a student (enrolled in a degree seeking program in Washington state) or have a student on their team.
Can I change the name of the business at some point during the competition?
You are allowed to change your company name during the competition. We recommend that you reference the name change in your documents (one-page executive summary or business plan).
Can I have more than 4 members on my team?
You can have as many people on your team as your like; there is no official limit. Most teams are 3-5 people, but you can do whatever makes the most sense for you. However, only four teammates can pitch at a time during the Investment Round. If you have more than four team members, you can tradeoff.
Is the list of judges for the Business Plan Competition available to the participants?
We don’t release our judge lists for any of the rounds.
Do judges or coaches usually sign NDAs (non-disclosure agreements)?
Judges and coaches do not sign NDAs. This is common practice in the entrepreneurial world, especially when you are pitching your idea to investors. You should figure out a way to talk about your business, but not give away the confidential information that could be patented, trademarked, or that is simply your secret sauce.
Contact Sarah Massey at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206.685.9868 for more information.