PRESENT YOUR BUSINESS PLAN AND YOU COULD WIN OVER $76,000 IN CASH AND IN-KIND DONATIONS!
March 16th 2018
How to Enter:
All teams require at least one current club member. All currently enrolled SMU students are welcome to join. Please see our "How to Join" page for more information.
Think of an idea or how you could help a team/person who already has an idea
Attend the workshops and speaking panels during the fall. Click here to go to schedule
**Craft your 90-second “elevator pitch” and compete for $1000 in prizes at the Elevator Pitch Competition on Nov.16, 2017
Write the executive summary. The summary must be no longer than 2 pages
Submit the executive summary and 3-year financial by Dec. 3, 2017
Finalists are announced on Dec. 15, 2017. Start writing your lean business plan and preparing your presentation
Turn in your rough draft business plan on January 21, 2018
All business plans and presentations from finalists are due Feb. 9 2016
Finalists present to the judges on March 16, 2017. You will have approximately 9 minutes to present with 10-15 minutes of Q&A from the judges. The winner of the competition will be chosen after all teams have presented
** You are not required to participate in the elevator pitch to compete in the business plan competition
Competitor qualifications The competition is open to all, provided that the management/founding team consists of at least one club member and that SMU students comprise at least 50% of the management/founding team. The required club member must be enrolled at SMU for the current academic year in order to be eligible. Club dues are payable by check to SMU Advisory Board. This payment is accepted at any of the club events. Non-SMU students may be members of the management/founding team and participate in planning the venture; however, only SMU students may present in the competition and answer questions from the judges.
Team Size We encourage teams of at least two students, as this is typically favorable in order to secure proper experience/expertise and divide the competition's workload. Potential investors also typically want to see the team that would actually start the business. Teams cannot exceed five students.
Nature of Ventures The competition is for new, independent ventures in the seed, start-up, or early growth stages. Generally excluded are the following: non-profits, buy-outs, expansions of existing companies, private equity syndications, energy syndications, real estate or other limited partnership syndications, tax shelters, franchises, licensing agreements for distribution in a different geographical area, and spin-outs from existing corporations. Licensing technologies from universities or research labs is not excluded and is encouraged, assuming they have not been commercialized previously.
Prior Activity Ventures with revenues prior to the academic year, i.e., before August 1, are excluded. Ventures that have raised equity capital from sources other than the members of the student team or their friends and families before the current academic year, i.e., before August 1, are excluded. However, both student and other team members may have worked on an idea or new technology in previous academic years or in the case of the student team members even prior to entering graduate school, provided that their venture had no revenues and raised no outside equity capital.
Participation by Previous Winners Ventures and/or ideas that have placed first in the SMU Business Plan Competition in a previous year are ineligible to compete again. Student team members who have won the competition in the past may compete, if otherwise eligible, with a new venture. SMU will, at its sole discretion, determine if a venture is sufficiently different from previous winning plans to constitute a new venture.
Executive Summary Guidelines Executive Summaries must not be longer than 2 pages in totality. (1 page preferred). MUST include 3 year financials in Executive Summary. It is also optional to submit an excel sheet detailing your financials projections.
Business Plan Guidelines For finalists, a 5 page business plans is recommended. The business plan must not be longer than 25 pages including appendices with 1 inch margins and 12 point or greater font.
Elevator Pitch Guidelines All teams that submit a company description are eligible to compete in the Elevator Pitch Competition. Teams have 1 minute to orally present their idea. No slides, notes or props are permitted.
Business Plan Presentation Guidelines For finalists, teams have 9 minutes to present their plan with an additional 5 minutes for Q&A from the judges. Non-student team members are welcome come to the event, but cannot participate in the finals' presentations.
Acceptance of Rules By submitting an entry into the SMU Business Plan Competition you agree to these rules and that the decision of the competition judges are final. SMU also has the right, at its sole discretion, to not accept any application it feels is not in keeping with the spirit and/or intent of SMU and the competition.
Other Forms Each team member will be required to submit an individual Form W-9 or W-8 ECI at registration. If the venture has been incorporated and has received an EIN, one form may be filled out. No prizes will be awarded without a completed W-8 ECI or W-9 on file with the Cox office. A completed SMU Business Plan Competition Application Form will also be required for participation. Participation in the Competition and/or Elevator Pitch gives consent to video tape the delivery of an BPC Pitch and/or the Elevator Pitch to the SMU Entrepreneurship officers or appointed leadership.