Business Plan Competition

Past Highlights

  • High-fashion, high comfort shoe company
  • Website for ‘smart moms’
  • Traffic safety screen company
  • Fertility treatments provided in Eastern Europe

…and that was just a selection from a previous year’s class.

The breadth and depth of ideas is amazing. And, while the business plan are primarily designed as exercises to learn the process of starting a business and working as a team, some of our students have gone on to actually start the companies they planned in the SEA program. Watch for high-fashion, high-comfort shoes coming soon!

The fellow teams present their final business plans to a panel of judges (made up of members of the Academy Board and other experienced local entrepreneurs and venture capitalists). The week prior, the fellows are coached and mentored by Alumni at a ‘dry run’ session to ensure any last minute ‘kinks’ are worked out.

The business plans are judged on the following criteria:

  1. Written Presentation

    Did the written plan clearly convey the idea/concept presented? Was it easy to read, internally consistent and complete? Organization, grammar, spelling and format of the plan are also assessed.

  2. Oral Presentation

    Did the oral presentation clearly convey the idea/concept presented in the written plan? Was it well prepared and organized? Was it exciting, provocative, and upbeat? Did the presenters display confidence and credibility? The visual aids, tempo and timing, response to questions and consistency with the written plan are also assessed.

  3. Probability of funding

    Did the oral and written presentation establish a reasonable basis to anticipate that the venture could generate or obtain the necessary initial capital for the venture? Has adequate allowance been made for additional capital requirements, after taking into account any expected cash flow from operations? The quality of the financial data, the stated use of proceeds and the exit strategy are also assessed, as well as whether potential risks are identified and strategies noted for addressing the risks?

  4. Value of the Idea/concept

    Does the product/service fill a need? Is there a real opportunity addressed? Does the concept show innovation or a better mousetrap?

  5. Viability of the Plan

    Is this a solid, well thought out plan for capturing the opportunity? Does the plan follow a logical path? Are the priorities correct? Does it make sense? Does the plan address all factors that may influence the successful launching of the business? Are the assumptions backed up with accurate and appropriate facts and materials?