How to Win a B-School Competition

As business-plan contests proliferate, the competition is getting stiffer. Here are some tips to grab, and hold, the judges' attention

On his way to a second-place finish at the DJF East Coast Venture Challenge at Columbia Business School earlier this month, Michael Dwork, a recent Columbia B-school grad, stopped by the judges' table to pass around samples of a biodegradable plate made of stream-pressed leaves. "We're changing what disposable means," Dwork pitched as he dangled his product, dubbed GreenWare, in the air. "We're trying to revolutionize this market by creating an earth-friendly product that meets people's needs."

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