With dozens of business plan competitions sprouting up at universities across the country, which are the most fertile ground for entrepreneurs? Here are the ones to mark on your calendar:
The Top University-Sponsored Business-Plan Contests
The grandaddy of business-plan competitions is the Moot Corp competition at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. Winners receive a top prize of a $100,000 equity investment, plus access to dozens of venture-capital and angel investors. The next contest will be held in May, 2005.
To qualify, you must either be invited or win 1 of 16 other competitions, some of which are listed below.
Rice University Business Plan Competition
Rice Alliance for Technology & Entrepreneurship
April 7-9, 2005
Contact Liz Crawford at (713) 348-6354 or firstname.lastname@example.org
New Venture Championship
The Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship
University of Oregon
April 7-9, 2005
Contact Marianne Rosen-Murr at (541) 346-3420 or email@example.com
McGinnis Venture Competition
Carnegie Mellon University
March 10-12, 2005
Contact Art Boni at (412) 268-8685 or firstname.lastname@example.org
IBK Capital Ivey Business Plan Competition
University of Western Ontario
March 25 - 26, 2005
Contact Eric Morse at (519) 850-2337 or email@example.com
Asia Moot Corp Competition
Thammasat University, Thailand
March 15-17, 2005
Contact Bill Randall at firstname.lastname@example.org
NU Ventures World Competition
Center for Entrepreneurship
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
March 24-26, 2005
Contact Elaine Warren at (402) 472-3353 or email@example.com
The Entrepreneurial Management Center
San Diego State University
March 16-18, 2005
Contact Keely Bamberg at (619) 594-0560 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For more on Moot Corp, visit its Web site, or contact Ann Whitt, Moot Corp Coordinator, (512) 232-6597, or Gary Cadenhead, PhD, Moot Corp Director, at (512) 471-5289.
Other B-school contests to consider:
Duke Startup Challenge
Awards over $100,000 in cash and other prizes in a three-phase competition that offers winners seed financing and contacts with venture capitalists and other investors. Each team must have one Duke student.
Global Social Venture Competition
The Haas School of Business
University of California
The Haas School recently joined forces with Columbia Business School, the Goldman Sachs Foundation, and London Business School to build a national and international platform for social ventures. The contest focuses on socially applicable companies. Prizes total $100,000.
Wharton Business Plan Competition
The Wharton School
University of Pennsylvania
Teams must have at least one University of Pennsylvania student. Eight finalists present plans to a panel of judges and an audience of more than 200 venture capitalists, investment bankers, attorneys, business community leaders, and students. Grand prize is $20,000, plus legal services and accounting services.