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A Calendar of Competitions

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

Rice University

April 7-9, 2005

Contact Liz Crawford at (713) 348-6354 or

New Venture Championship

The Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship

University of Oregon

April 7-9, 2005

Contact Marianne Rosen-Murr at (541) 346-3420 or

McGinnis Venture Competition

Carnegie Mellon University

March 10-12, 2005

Contact Art Boni at (412) 268-8685 or

IBK Capital Ivey Business Plan Competition

University of Western Ontario

March 25 - 26, 2005

Contact Eric Morse at (519) 850-2337 or

Asia Moot Corp Competition

Thammasat University, Thailand

March 15-17, 2005

Contact Bill Randall at

NU Ventures World Competition

Center for Entrepreneurship

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

March 24-26, 2005

Contact Elaine Warren at (402) 472-3353 or

Venture Challenge

The Entrepreneurial Management Center

San Diego State University

March 16-18, 2005

Contact Keely Bamberg at (619) 594-0560 or

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

Duke University

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.

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