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St. Thomas Business Plan Competition

You could win $10,000 to build your company

The St. Thomas Business Plan Competition is open to all St. Thomas students with plans for a new company or with a business that’s been incorporated less than 12 months.

Have you participated in the Fowler Business Concept Challenge, the Lemonade Stand or any other business competition? This is the logical next step to get your plans on paper, move your business forward and get paid in the process.

Don’t have experience creating a business plan? No problem. The Schulze School of Entrepreneurship will supply all entrants with a free LivePlan account, a user-friendly, business plan creation website. We're also partnering with the Small Business Development Center to provide mentoring for your plan. 

There are two divisions of competition – university and high school – with a top prize in each of $10,000 cash. Additional prizes of $5,000 will be awarded for the best overall pitch in each division.

Evaluation of Initial Submissions

Content (50 points)
  1. The Opportunity – How well is it identified? How significant of an opportunity is it? What are the forces creating the opportunity?
  2. The Business Concept and Product(s) – What’s the core concept for the business? What is your value proposition? What does your product/service mix look like?
  3. The Market – Define your market. How large is it and what is its potential? Who is your target audience? Who are the purchasing decision makers and what are their processes?
  4. Economics of the Business – What are your margins? What is your break even point? What does your cost structure look like? How will you make your money?
  5. Marketing – What does pricing look like? How will you promote your product/service? How will you sell your product/service? How will goods be distributed Do you have a customer service plan in place?
  6. Operations – What are your staffing requirements? How will the product/service be produced, delivered and supported? What do your logistics and inventory look like?
  7. Non-financial Resource Requirements – What type of facility do you need? Where will you be located? What sort of employees are needed? Etc.
  8. Management Team – Who are the players and what are their roles? How much experience/credibility do they bring? What does compensation look like? Who are your key advisors and do you have a board of directors?
  9. Venture Financing – How much money is needed and from where? How will financiers receive their return and at what rate?
  10. Financials – your cash flow statement, income statement and balance sheet.
Written Document Mechanics (25 points)
  1. Pragmatism/realism
  2. Completeness/comprehensiveness
  3. Internal consistency
  4. Writing style
  5. Professionalism of the document
Separate Overall Recommended Score (100 points)

Judges will additionally score the plan on a scale of 1-100, where 100 is an outstanding plan where a judge would absolutely want to invest. This score is separate from the scores above and is an overall assessment.

Evaluation of Oral Presentations

Coverage of Key Components (40 points)
  1. Is there a real opportunity? What are the forces creating the opportunity? Did they prove a market need?
  2. Is there an interesting business concept? Is it an innovative idea that could be implemented?
  3. Is there a clearly defined market? How large is it and what is its potential? Who is your target audience? Who are the purchasing decision makers and what are their processes?
  4. Do operations make sense? What are the staffing requirements? How will the product/service be produced, delivered and supported? What do logistics and inventory look like?
  5. Do they know how to make a sale? How good is the marketing, advertising, branding, promotion, selling and distribution?
  6. Is it clear how money will be made? What are the margins? What are the revenue drivers? What is the cost structure?
  7. Are the financial statements believable? Does the projected cash flow, income statement and balance sheet seem realistic?
  8. Do they know how much money they really need to start? How much money is needed and from where? How will they get it? How will financiers receive their return and at what rate?
Professional Assessment of Oral Presentation (25 points)
  1. Ability to capture audience attention
  2. PowerPoint or other audiovisuals
  3. Mastery of facts and material related to venture
  4. Professionalism of the presentation
  5. Handling of questions
Separate Overall Recommended Score (100 points)

Judges will additionally score the plan on a scale of 1-100, where 100 is an outstanding plan where a judge would absolutely want to invest. This score is separate from the scores above and is an overall assessment.