- 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.
- 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.
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.
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
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.