Students have the opportunity to participate in a number of nationally known business plan competitions during their time at Chicago Booth. The Polsky Center provides financial support and connects students with an entrepreneurship faculty member to advise them in these endeavors. Interested students are encouraged to contact the Polsky Center directly for more details.
Below is a listing of various intercollegiate business plan competitions. For a full list of business competitions and deadlines, please contact Mary Kay Loncar with the Polsky Center.
The Clean Energy Challenge is an annual, first-in-class business competition that awards cash prizes to top clean-tech entrepreneurs in the Midwest. Applicants compete in two tracks: Early Stage Business and the Student Challenge reserved for best-in-class university spinouts from top tier Midwestern research institutions. Early stage companies will compete for $100,000 in prizes. The Student Challenge offers an additional $100,000 grand prize and five (5) $10,000 runner-up prizes for student teams.
The CCEA is one of over 50 global clusters that provide innovative cleantech companies with the rare opportunity to gain international visibility and access to professional investors. The CCEA is responsible for nominating 10 companies each year for the Global Cleantech Cluster Association's Later Stage Awards competition. We invite later-stage companies, early-stage or pre-revenue companies with a defined business plan in the following cleantech sectors: Bioenergy, Energy Storage, Lighting/Energy Efficiency, Solar Energy, Smart Grid/Sustainable IT, Tidal/Hydropower, Transportation, Waste Management, Water Treatment, Wind Energy
To qualify for the 2013 event, send an executive summary of your business plan to the CCEA at: firstname.lastname@example.org. There are no format or page length requirements for the submission. The submission should not include any personal confidential information. Submissions must be received by 5:00 pm CST on April 11, 2013.
The Wake Forest Elevator Competition, first held in 2000, allows students from schools across the country to test their skills at making the perfect elevator pitch. Each student team is required to perform a two-minute pitch, supply a detailed business plan, and prepare a formal presentation of their business venture.
The Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC) is organized by the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, in cooperation with five regional partners and four outreach partners. The GSVC is the largest and oldest student-led business plan competition providing mentoring, exposure, and prizes for social ventures from around the world. The mission of the GSVC is to catalyze the creation of social ventures, educate future leaders, and build awareness of social enterprises. The competition supports the creation of real businesses that bring about positive social change in a sustainable manner.
The Licensing Executives Society, Inc. (LES) is the preeminent professional organization in the field of intellectual property (IP) transfer and commercialization in the United States and Canada. Each year the LES Foundation hosts a graduate student business plan competition. The program stands alone as the only international graduate student business plan competition that focuses on IP and where participants receive valuable mentoring from professionals in the field who share their expertise through comprehensive feedback on each plan.
The McGinnis Venture Competition, hosted by Carnegie Mellon, revolves around new technologies. Its driving force is pragmatism: helping MBA students move from the dorm room to the board room and bringing new businesses to life. Emerging industries such as information technology, biotechnology, robotics, nanotechnology, telecommunications, and others provide unique, high-return opportunities for young entrepreneurs and investors.
The Venture Labs Investment Competition (formerly Moot Corp) is the premier worldwide investment competition hosted annually at the University of Texas at Austin. The competition recently changed its name from the Moot Corp Competition to the Venture Labs Investment Competition and repositioned itself as the "Super Bowl of Investment Competitions." With aspiring entrepreneurs soliciting start-up funds from experienced investors, the competition simulates the real-world process of raising venture capital. MBAs from business schools around the globe come to Austin each May to present their business plans to panels of investors. From among myriad offerings is selected the best new-venture opportunity. With a 26-year history, the competition is the oldest operating inter-business school new-venture competition and hosts teams from top-ranked MBA programs around the world.
MassChallenge is a nonprofit organization that connects early-stage entrepreneurs to the resources they need to launch high-growth businesses immediately. Their start-up competition is industry and geographically agnostic - anyone can enter, with any start-up idea, from anywhere on the planet.
The Purdue Life Sciences Business Plan Competition seeks commercially viable business plan entries for innovative products and services in the life sciences industry such as medical equipment and devices, pharmaceuticals and drugs, research services, and software.
The Rice Business Plan Competition (RBPC) is one of the premier intercollegiate business plan competitions in the world. The three-day event is intended to simulate the real-world process of entrepreneurs soliciting start-up funds from early-stage investors and venture capital firms. The competition is hosted by the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship and Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University. Teams attending RBPC have the opportunity to meet and network with more than 170 experienced venture capital principals, early stage investors, successful entrepreneurs, and/or senior business leaders who will serve as judges for the competition.
The University of San Francisco International Business Plan Competition is one of the world's premier graduate university business plan competitions. Skilled teams of student entrepreneurs from around the world compete for prize money as they present their plans to a panel of judges that could only be assembled in the San Francisco Bay Area: professional entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and angel Investors representing the key players of Silicon Valley business.