The WSU Business Plan Competition is open to all Washington State University students who are enrolled in the current spring semester. At least two members of your team must be full-time undergraduate students. Teams may include graduate students.
The BPC also includes a dedicated league for collegiate teams outside the WSU system. Five teams from other universities will be selected to compete in the Open League. If you are competing in the Open League, please be aware of the procedural differences listed in the competition rules.
To enter the competition, a team must complete the online registration. Teams should include members possessing the essential background to enable the development of a serious business plan. Interdisciplinary teams are strongly encouraged. There is no limit on the number of members; however, only four team members can present in the presentation round. Small teams are recommended.
Teams must submit all required documentation to advance to each stage of the competition, including a full set of pro-forma financial statements for five (5) years (statement of cash flows with first year by quarter, income statement with first year by quarter, and balance sheet). No exceptions will be made to this policy.
Advancing teams must send at least one team member to the virtual Team Info Session. Remote access will be available on request for teams at other campuses or enrolled online. Open League participants are not required to attend.
Advancing teams must also present in person during the Live Presentation Round of the competition. Only four members of the team will be allowed to present their idea before the judges during the Presentation Round of the competition. Advisors and other team members may observe, but may not participate in any way during the presentation, Q&A, or judges’ feedback session.
The business plan must be developed during the student’s tenure at the university. Students working with outside entrepreneurs must create an original business plan.
The same business idea will not be accepted at the competition more than twice. Repeat submissions after the second attempt will automatically be declined.
All submissions to the Business Plan Competition must live up to the higher ideals of Washington State University. Your idea must be appropriate for a university-sponsored event. The Center for Entrepreneurship reserves the right to disqualify any entry that in its judgment violates the letter or the spirit of the competition or exceeds the bounds of social convention.
Prize money will be divided equally among all registered team members.
We encourage all BPC teams to attend Resource Nights, a series of speaker sessions that bring in experts from WSU’s business community to discuss various aspects of starting and launching a venture. Offered throughout the spring semester, these sessions are open to all students and the public and are available online. Open League participants are encouraged to watch Resource Night sessions as they prepare.
Virtual Screening Round
The Screening Round is the first stage in the competition. Submit your 1-page executive summary online for scoring by our judges. 20 Collegiate League teams and five Open League teams will be selected from the Screening Round applicants to move forward to the virtual Presentation Round.
After the Screening Round, you’ll receive an email listing the teams that will advance to the Virtual Presentation Round on the day of the Business Plan Competition. If your team is selected, you will need to submit your full business plan (4-7 pages), financial statements, and pitch deck (10-15 slides) by the deadline in the BPC schedule.
Collegiate League teams are divided up into five leagues; each league includes four teams. The Open League will include the five teams selected to participate in this round.
During the Presentation Round, each team delivers a business plan pitch to a panel of judges, following the schedule below:
Tech Transition: 5 minutes
Team Set-up: 5 minutes
Presentation: 15 minutes
Q & A: 15 minutes
Judges Feedback: 5 minutes
Presenting teams are evaluated both on their written plan and their presentations. Judging criteria include team presentation and style, the customer problem, solution, value proposition, competitive advantages, market and sales strategy, management, financials and offering, and investment analysis. Judges choose the top team in each Collegiate League to advance to the final round. The winning Open League team is selected during this round.
Competition organizers announce the top five Collegiate League teams that will advance to the final round.
HOW THE FINAL ROUND WORKS
Finalist Collegiate League teams present by a live panel of judges and a live audience who have no prior knowledge of their plans and have not seen their earlier presentations, following the schedule below:
Set up: 5 minutes
Presentation: 15 minutes
Questions and feedback: 10 minutes
All participants including High School and Open League participants will present their business during a cocktail hour Trade Show in the Senior Ballroom before the Awards Ceremony and dinner. This is a great opportunity for teams to network with and meet judges from all of the leagues.
COMPETITION AWARDS DINNER
All participants and judges are invited to join the Awards Ceremony and Dinner where competition organizers will host a Key Note speaker, award Merit Prizes, and announce the winning teams from all leagues.
Team Registration Opens: January 16, 2023 Team Registration Deadline: March 10, 2023 Executive Summary Due: March 24, 2023 Business Plan & Slide Deck Due: April 15, 2023 Business Plan Competition Presentation Round: April 21, 2023 Business Plan Competition Finals Round: April 27, 2023
Contestants must properly acknowledge any trademarks or copyrighted materials of others that are incorporated into the contestants’ materials. The contestants are responsible for obtaining any necessary permission before incorporating such materials into their submissions. Once materials are submitted, Washington State University and its schools and colleges reserve the right to publish information about the contestants’ work in university publications and to release information to the news media. The judging/presentation will be conducted in an open meeting with possible attendance by faculty, students and staff as well as media representatives and the general public.
Where applicable, contestants may choose to file patent applications on their own or to disclose their inventions to the Washington State University Research Foundation before or after the competition. Submission of an idea to the competition should be considered a public disclosure of the idea. (In some countries, patent applications must be filed prior to disclosure. In the U.S. inventors generally have one year after disclosure in which to file patent applications.)* Ultimately, protection of sensitive materials is the sole responsibility of the individual or team participating in the competition. *The Competition Rules are based in part on those of the University of Wisconsin Madison, University of Washington, and the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania