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Washington State University Entrepreneurship

COLLEGIATE LEAGUE GUIDELINES

Develop ideas, build a team, write a business plan, pitch your idea for real money.

BPC Event Schedule

RULES

Eligibility

  • 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 live presentation round. Small teams are recommended.

Competition Rules

  • 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 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 Entrepreneurial Studies 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.

Preparation

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.

 

COMPETITION ROUNDS

Screening Round

The Screening Round is the first stage in the competition. Submit your 1-page executive summary online for scoring by our judges. Twenty-four Collegiate League teams and five Open League teams will be selected from the Screening Round applicants to move forward to the Live Presentation Round.

View Screening Round Rubric

Live Presentation Round

After the Screening Round, you’ll receive an email listing the teams that will advance to the Live 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.

View Written Plan Rubric

How the Live Presentation Round Works

Collegiate League teams are divided up into six 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:

  • Set-up: 10 minutes
  • Presentation: 15 minutes
  • Judges’ questions: 15 minutes
  • Judges’ conference: 10 minutes
  • Judges’ feedback: 10 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.

View Presentation Rubric

Final Round

After a lunch break, competition organizers announce the top six Collegiate League teams that will advance to the final round. Open League participants and non-advancing Collegiate League teams are expected to participate in the BPC Trade Show during this time.

How the Final Round Works

Finalist Collegiate League teams present to a new panel of judges 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

Competition Awards Dinner

If you competed in the Live Presentation Round, you and your teammates are invited dine with the judges—a valuable opportunity to build professional connections. Following dinner, competition organizers will award Merit Prizes and announce the winning teams from all leagues.

Important Dates

Team Registration Deadline: March 5, 2021
Executive Summary Due: March 26, 2021
Business Plan & Slide Deck Due: April 19, 2021
Business Plan Competition: April 29, 2021

Register for the BPC

Questions?

Ask about the BPC

 

team with certificates
All Aboard, 2019 BPC Best Technology Prize Winner

 

student presenter
Devon McCornack of DevCo, presenting at the 2019 BPC

 

team in front of Todd Hall
Coral Leo, WSU Everett team, 2019 BPC

 

team with award checks
HAYTECH, Winner of the 2019 BPC KT Farms/NW Biologic Agricultural Innovation Prize & Open League Grand Prize, with their advisor, George Tanner of the University of Idaho

 

team at awards dinner
Laser RevEng team, chatting with Howard Davis of the Voiland College of Engineering & Architecture

Ownership and Disclosure

All participants own the rights to their ideas.

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.

Patents

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