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The entire entrepreneurial process is active, but it is a special step when you take your idea in front of others. Entrepreneurs of all kinds must be well-educated, well-prepared, and passionate about the project, product, service, or idea they are promoting.
Are you ready to unveil your idea to the world? To do so, you must refine your idea to its essentials and have a concrete, persuasive plan of action to get work done.
To get to this point, you should be past much of the initial education phase, you should be working (often with a team) in the Forge, and you very likely have or are close to having a SEED grant. What's next?
Review your complete plan with the Career Services staff
Mock-pitches--we'll help put together a panel to hear your pitch
Apply to business plan competitions (several listed below)
Get working! Start executing your plan
IdeaSpark--Ready for a jump start in your plan? Use IdeaSpark to turn your idea into a concrete plan of action in one weekend.
National Business Plan Competitions
Rewards energy-related innovations that can lower costs and protect the environment. The competition is divided into five categories: energy efficiency and infrastructure; renewables; non-renewables; transportation and deployment.
Eligibility: At least one team member must be enrolled at a U.S. university.
Prize: First place takes home $200,000 in cash; winners in each category will nab between $25,000 and $40,000, depending on this year's sponsorship.
Global competition. Non-winners can also compete in a lightning round for prize money during the final judging weekend.
Eligibility: Teams must include at least one graduate student from any university in any type of program. The business must be majority-owned by students, have a faculty advisor and be looking for seed capital.
Prize: The first prize winner receives $25,000 in cash; the second place finisher gets $10,000.
Forty-two teams in the seed, start-up or early growth stages compete for an overall pot of at least $800,000 in prize money over a long weekend in the spring of each year.
Eligibility: Open to full-time and part-time U.S. graduate students. Teams must include at least one graduate student and have a faculty advisor. Only students can present plans during competition.
Prize: The grand prize winner receives $125,000 in equity capital from a Houston investment group; $20,000 in cash and about $80,000 in services, including a year's worth of office space.
Biz Plan Competitions compiles this information for enterprising start-ups and their principals. Launched as a resource for entrepreneurs, BPC continues to research and expand one of the most comprehensive collections of competitive and funding opportunities for start-ups in the world.
Aims to unearth ideas with real commercial potential. A quarter of the 30 teams that compete come from outside the U.S.
Eligibility: Teams must have at least one student participant from any college or university. Student members must own at least 50% of the equity and must be the primary participants in the contest.
Prize: Winners of the technology, life science and clean-technology tracks each receive $20,000 in a note convertible to an equity stake by the university if the company sells within a few years, and $20,000 in services.