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The 2021 VIBE Business Plan Competition

by Merve Kayhan Serter | Mar 29, 2021 | News & Events

uw business plan competition

VIBE is the Veterans Incubator for Better Entrepreneurship at UW Tacoma. VIBE’s Business Plan Competition is a great opportunity for entrepreneurial-minded college students to showcase their business plans to investors to promote new business creation in the South Sound. The VIBE Business Plan Competition is open to ALL college students in the South Sound. Teams including a veteran member will receive a bonus advantage! This year’s competition will be virtual, and plans will be submitted online as video presentations. You can learn more on VIBE’s webpage. Prizes:

  • First place: $10,000 ($5,000 cash + $5,000 in-kind services)
  • Second Place: $1,500
  • Third Place: $500

For more info, contact Thomas Kuljam, Director of VIBE, at 253-225-4413 or [email protected]

The 2021 VIBE Business Plan Competition Flyer

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2019 UW Tacoma VIBE Business Plan Competition

VIBE Business Plan Competition Winners Have More 'Chop'

A garage start-up, an indoor mapping app and a marketplace for student gig-workers are all moving from the drawing board to the real world.

(Photo above: First prize in 2019 VIBE Business Plan Competition awarded to Aristo Wraps, by judges Jack McQuade, far left, David Parr, second from left, and Meredith Neal, far right, and VIBE director Thomas Kuljam.)

In era in which, according to  one critic , “every university, region and car wash now has a business plan competition,” what could UW Tacoma bring to the concept that would be of value to our students and the South Sound?

Plenty, according to Thomas Kuljam, director of VIBE, the five-year-old start-up incubator in the Tioga Library Building.

“A lot of competitions are actually more like awards for creative-writing exercises,” said Kuljam. “They expect start-up teams to have a level of knowledge of their business that contradicts the basic experience of an innovative entrepreneur.”

UW Tacoma 2019 VIBE Business Plan Competition teams, judges and staff

Kuljam points to the judging standards for one competition that calls on teams to have “well-defined customer segments,” an economic model that is “well-articulated,” and “validated MVP tests.”

“Those things are all important,” said Kuljam, “but more appropriate for the expansion of an already-established business.”

Start-ups, by their nature, especially if using innovative technology, don’t necessarily have a clear idea of who their customers will be, or how well their revenue model will work. Their success emerges through persistence, iteration and constant refining of their business structure.

The VIBE Business Plan Competition, which just wrapped up with a final round on May 22, was founded to recognize the role that grit and determination play in getting an economic activity on its feet. The judges look for business ideas that, according to Kuljam, are “less Kung Fu and more chop.” In other words, less about perfection of presentation and more about a spark of ingenuity or a demonstrated passion for solving a problem or filling a market gap.

The 2019 winners of the competition make the point admirably.

First Prize – Aristo Wraps

Ashley Steingard, at left, of Aristo Wraps, 1st prize, 2019 VIBE Business Plan Competition

First prize, valued at $10,000 in cash and in-kind support, went to Ashley Steingard and her budding business, Puyallup-based Aristo Wraps, which provides custom vehicle wraps. Steingard’s business was literally born in her garage, and she wasn’t at first even aware that she could make money doing it. She does  drift racing  and started learning about vehicle wrapping simply as a way of getting a distinctive look on her racer without breaking the bank. Soon she was doing wraps for others in the close-knit drifter community. Meanwhile, while completing her college degree at UW Tacoma, she had enrolled in Thomas Kuljam’s entrepreneurship class during the winter 2019 quarter.

It was Kuljam’s insistence that she could build a business out of her wrap “sideline” that convinced her to enter the VIBE competition. Her persistence in the face of significant personal challenges led Kuljam to present her with the 2019 VIBE Courage Award.

Second Prize – HandiMaps

Tenma Rollins and Vishaal Diwan of HandiMaps, 2nd place winners, UW Tacoma 2019 VIBE Business Plan Competition

The second prize of $1,500 in cash went to the HandiMaps team, led by Vishaal Diwan. HandiMaps will be an app-based tool to help people navigate the interiors of performance and sports venues like arenas and stadiums. Diwan, who graduated from UW Tacoma in 2017, was inspired to found the company by the experience of a friend in a wheelchair at a local major-league football stadium.

The app, in concert with a network of Bluetooth beacons installed within the venue, will provide users with indoor route mapping and directions based on user preferences, such as ADA-compliance or congestion avoidance.

Third Prize – PopOver

Christopher Porter, Griffin Pontius of PopOver, 3rd place winner, 2019 UW Tacoma VIBE Business Plan Competition

The third prize of $500 in cash went to a team from University of Puget Sound, PopOver. Members Chris Porter, Griffin Pontius, Jeremiah Hobbs, Ben Scarbrough and Nick Bigger are creating an app-based business that will give college students a source of supplemental income they earn while carrying out small tasks and chores for customers within a small radius of a college campus.

Value in the Process

Kuljam and the competition judges – Jack McQuade, owner of The Swiss Restaurant and Pub; David Parr, senior vice president at HomeStreet Bank, and Meredith Neal of the Manufacturing-Industrial Council of the South Sound – were quick to note that all six participating teams had crossed many hurdles to reach the final round. “Just because a team didn’t place in the competition doesn’t mean the ideas aren’t all good,” said Kuljam.

Besides the winning teams, the other three teams (described in  more detail here ) in the final round were Corvus Security, Endofin Pharmaceuticals and EZ Reader.

Main Content

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VIBE Business Plan Competition Finalists Range from Auto Wraps to Cyber Defense

Six finalists will compete in the 2019 VIBE Business Plan Competition for a first prize of $10,000 in cash and in-kind services.

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 annual wisconsin governor’s business plan contest.

The mission of the Governor’s Business Plan Contest is to encourage entrepreneurs in the startup stage of tech-enabled businesses in Wisconsin. The contest links up-and-coming entrepreneurs with a statewide network of community resources, expert judges, mentors and possible sources of capital.

Produced by the  Wisconsin Technology Council and a growing list of partners, led by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. ,  the Governor’s Business Plan Contest engages contestants in a five-month process that includes the opportunity to work with mentors and receive feedback from judges. It also leads to valuable public and media exposure for the top business plans and helps spur economic growth in Wisconsin.

Since 2004:

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Visit our sponsorship page to view our associate and additional sponsors and to learn more about sponsorship opportunities.

From past contestants:

"The Wisconsin Governor's Business Plan Contest was a very valuable experience for SixLine Semiconductor and I highly recommend other entrepreneurs take part in this program! Participating in the Business Plan Contest and receiving constructive feedback from the judges helped us improve and further develop our business plan, better positioning SixLine for success in the future. Furthermore, the connections received through participating in this program have been incredibly useful and it's also just inspiring to be part of such a program and get to meet other driven entrepreneurs from around the state!"

Katy Jinkins, SixLine Semiconductor, 2023 1st Place Overall; Advanced Manufacturing Category Winner

"Rapid Radicals' experience participating in the BPC was both rewarding and challenging because the feedback received through the many rounds really helped us critically evaluate some aspects of our business model that formed the foundation of how we make money. Winning the BPC in our second year of competing was a clear turning point in our company's development due to the exposure and credibility we gained. We're grateful to the Tech Council for supporting this unique and important competition!"

Paige Peters, Rapid Radicals, 2022 1st Place Overall; Advanced Manufacturing Category Winner

"The Wisconsin Governor's Business Plan Contest helped us develop the infrastructure for our continued success. It allowed Atrility to improve its business plan, to connect with Wisconsin startups and investors and provided prizes including in-kind support. "

Dr. Nick Von Bergen, Atrility Health Care, 2021 1stFirst Place Overall; Life Sciences Category Winner.

"The Governor’s Business Plan Contest was one of the best programs in which we have participated. eCourt Reporters Inc., continues to benefit greatly with our improved business plan and the guidance from many connections through the process. We highly recommend that entrepreneurs in the state of Wisconsin take part for significant growth in a new business!”"

Karen Renee, eCourt Reporter, 2021 Information Technology Category Winner

"We have participated in the BPC contest over the last several years. The competition is incredibly well organized, the staff immeasurably helpful, and the fairness and transparency of judging compelling. The competition epitomizes the commitment of Wisconsin to developing the small business community. In addition, the prizes offered to competitors are exceedingly useful in terms of both cash and in-kind services. A great competition to enter and participate in during the three stages of evaluation."

Stephen Naylor, ReNeurogen, 2021 Life Sciences Category Second Place Winner

"Participating in the Wisconsin Governor's Business Plan Contest was a pivotal point of growth for our company. It challenged us to think outside the box, honing our ideas into compelling value propositions. The Governor's BPC is an absolute must for every entrepreneur truly serious about growing their business."

Christian Timm, SmartWell, 2021 Advanced Manufacturing Category Winner

"As a woman over 50, I was always curious about how far I could go in the competition. I became a finalist, in the top 3, in the services category. Whatever stage or age you're at, I encourage you to show up and do the work. The rewards are there for those who dare!"

Laura Gallagher, Mathetria, 2021 Business Services Category 3rd Place Winner

"The Wisconsin Business Plan Contest is an excellent way for a founder to get top-notch feedback from highly experienced investors, entrepreneurs, and startup company managers. The process forces you to answer key questions about your business with a timeline to keep your business moving forward. The BPC was invaluable for Pivotal Health to help us identify holes in our plan as we were launching our business and to also get exposure to potential investors. I highly recommend the BPC for any entrepreneur."

Sal Braico, Pivotal Health, 2021 2nd Place Information Technology Category Winner

"MyGenomeRx had a fantastic experience with the BPC with benefits that still impact us today. The initial application process helped us organize our corporate branding materials and develop our business plan and pitch deck. Then we got tremendous exposure to investors and strategic partners during the live pitch competition, propelling us forward not just locally but nationwide. Finally, through write-ups the Tech Council team has helped highlight MyGenomeRx as an emerging player in the field of pharmacogenomics. "

Annette Gilchrist, My GenomeRx, 2020 Information Technology Category Winner

"I enjoyed sharing our story with the Wisconsin entrepreneurial and investment community. The response was quite enthusiastic. It was also great to see the awesome work of other entrepreneurs and to catch up with people that I had not seen in a few years."

Chad Mason, Advanced Ionics, 2020 Advanced Manufacturing Category Winner

"The Wisconsin Governor's Business Plan Contest is something every startup business in Wisconsin, no matter the phase they are in, should be encouraged to enter. The Wisconsin Technology Council creates an incredible environment that allows entrepreneurs, of all levels, to learn about various aspects of growing and making their organizations and products appealing to investors. The participants and peers attending Tech Council and BPC events are approachable and willing to share personal experiences. The open dialogue provides a conduit to networking, valuable information, and diverse perspectives. As a 2020 Diligent Dozen finalist and winner of the first BPC People’s Choice Award, AGent Plus Solutions gained a better understanding of who we are as an organization and as individuals."

Jeffrey Lord, AGent Plus Solutions, 2020 Advanced Manufacturing Category 2nd Place Winner

"The Governor’s Business Plan Contest really helped us hone our message. The Tech Council staff worked with us to focus on what was important to investors. We came away with much sharper communication that has proven to be successful in the marketplace."

Mark Schweiger, Simply Solutions, 2019 Advanced Manufacturing Category Winner

"The Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Competition (BPC) is an impressive and well-organized event that brings the best that Wisconsin has to offer in a single forum. It provides a state-wide platform for emerging startups to refine and showcase their company. The contest has helped DataChat think about the next big steps that we must take. It has also provide valuable feedback and support during the most formative stage of our company (the first year), which I think will be crucial to the company."

Jignesh Patel, DataChat, 2018 Information Technology Category Winner

"The Wisconsin Governor's Business Plan Competition is one of the greatest resources available for growing the entrepreneurial ecosystem and fostering economic growth in this state! The feedback, resources, networking, and prizes made available to entrepreneurs throughout the competition are unrivaled and helped shape the company we are today. A company we plan to grow right here in Wisconsin, adding fuel to local job growth and economic development!"

Lorne Forsythe, Shockray™ Self-Defense, 2018 Advanced Manufacturing Category Winner

“Participating in The Governor’s Business Plan Contest meant that we had the certification theme from the Governor endorsing the competition and our winning, which gave us the credibility that was needed to go forward to these prominent organizations, the cities, the counties and be a trusted tool that they can use.”

Nick Mastronardi, Polco, 2016 Information Technology Category Winner

"I think the Governor’s Business Plan Contest really launched us. The win in that competition was a result of assistance and mentorship from people across Wisconsin… the accumulation of a lot of help. Since then, we have gotten incredible attention. That win sent us on a course to succeed."

Katie Brenner, bluDiagnostics, 2015 Grand Prize and Life Sciences Winner

“Moving through all four rounds of the 2012 Governor’s Business Plan Contest, we built a winning business plan and started a new company in Madison – Rowheels, Inc. The well-orchestrated BPC process facilitated by Wisconsin Technology Council kept us on track to conduct research, uncover obstacles and gain confidence moving forward through our engineering prototype design and financial modeling phases. By Nov. 2012, Rowheels is creating jobs, is certified as a Qualified New Business Venture under Wisconsin’s Act 255 Early Stage Business Investment Program and is raising working capital for manufacturing.”

Rimas Buinevicius and Jan Moen, co-founders, 2012 Grand Prize and Advanced Manufacturing Winner

“As an absolute newcomer to business it gave me an opportunity to meet a few people who are now working with me. I might even get some startup funds from them and got great PR from the event.”

The late Hans W. Sollinger, Insulete, 2011 Life Sciences Category Winner

“The Governor’s Business Plan Competition award has given WiRover a great boost in terms of both visibility and performance. Since winning this competition, WiRover has significantly increased its revenue, is forming alliances with new partners, and has also received a SBIR grant… The exercise of going through the competition alone was quite instrumental in streamlining WiRover’s emerging business strategy and planning.”

Suman Banerjee, WiRover, 2011 Grand Prize and Information Technology Category Winner

“The business plan contest process provided us the opportunity to really focus our vision and strategy and concisely articulate the message. The examples provided and direct assistance from mentors was a huge benefit to making a successful presentation.”

Don Noskowiak, LIVEyearbook, 2010 Grand Prize and Information Technology Category Winner

“I can strongly endorse the Governor’s Business Plan Contest. Not only was it a great exercise, it was fun and insightful as well. In addition, the publicity that we received from the contest resulted in us adding several new key customers.”

Jim Martin, Green 3, 2009 Business Services Category Winner

“Participating in the BPC and conference was fun and very educational for our team. We all feel strongly that it has helped move our company many steps forward and hope to encourage every entrepreneur in Wisconsin to do so as part of their strategy.”

Ophir Ben-Yitschak, Scopia, 2009 Information Technology Category Winner

“The Governor’s Business Plan Contest is an outstanding opportunity for early stage organizations to showcase their innovative ideas in a highly competitive environment. Becoming a finalist is an attention-grabber enterprise for the new organizations in the eyes of potential investors, potentially resulting in a lucrative and positive partnership.”

Bonnie Reinke, Eso-Technologies Inc., 2009 Grand Prize Winner and Life Sciences Category Winner

“The GPC was an exceptional opportunity to gain invaluable visibility. We were contacted by groups outside of the state because of the press associated with the contest.”

Jeff Williams, Platypus Technologies, 2008 Life Sciences Category Winner

"The [GBPC] took us through a process of increasingly detailed planning, and the comments we received helped us focus even more. Our presentations sparked interest from venture capital, further refining the business plan. ….Participation in the GBPC will help a young company raise capital in challenging times, and the advice, though free of charge, was priceless.”

Daniel van der Weide, Optametra, 2008 Information Technology Category Winner

“The best part of the Business Plan Contest experience was also the most difficult part and that was writing the business plan. It was a rigorous process. It forced me to think about the most important component parts of Extract Systems’ business plan and weed out all the other stuff.”

David Rasmussen, Extract Systems – 2007 Information Technology Category Winner

“I entered the Governor’s Business Plan Contest for the networking opportunities and exposure to expert advice on starting a business. ….. a number of investors have approached Vector Surgical and demonstrated an interest in investing in the company.”

Janet Phillips, Vector Surgical – 2007 Grand Prize and Life Sciences Category Winner

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INVENTING THE FUTURE OF MEDICINE

UW Bioengineering

Students win Second Place, Finalist, Best Idea Prizes at UW Business Plan Competition

Five UW Bioengineering student-led teams won over $30,000 of start-up funding at the 18 th annual UW Business Plan Competition. The competition, which concluded May 21 st , offers entrepreneurial students an opportunity to turn their ideas into compelling and viable startups. UW Bioengineering students historically have held a strong presence in the competition, and this year’s cohort was no exception. BioE teams won seven of the 14 prizes in the competition, including the second place and finalist prizes.

Empreva: Empowering women to take control of their health

Empreva, led by Ph.D. students Renuka Ramanathan and Anna Blakney, and research scientist Yonghou Jiang, from Assistant Professor Kim Woodrow’s lab, received the $10,000 Second Place Prize, sponsored by Washington Research Foundation (WRF), and $2,500 Best Idea – Health/Healthcare Prize, sponsored by Cambia Health Solutions.

Empreva is an innovative new drug delivery technology that offers women a discreet way to protect themselves against HIV and unintended pregnancy. Empreva empowers women to take control of their health and pursue a protection strategy without the input of a partner. This is key for women in high-HIV burden areas of developing world who lack options for HIV protection and contraception – sociocultural norms can prevent women from negotiating condom use with their partners.

The Empreva team is moving forward with the research and product design process. The team is also refining their marketing strategy: For every purchase of an Empreva birth control product in the United States, one product will be donated to a woman in need in the developing world, with the goal to achieve sexual health and empowerment for women everywhere.

Hook: Control your home electronics – from your cell phone

Hook, a team led by Rahil Jain, a Ph.D. student in electrical engineering and research associate in the lab of Barry Lutz, assistant professor of bioengineering, won the $7,520.15 Finalist Prize, sponsored by Friends of the BPC, and $2,500 Best Consumer Product Prize, sponsored by Accenture. Hook is a home automation hub that provides an easy, affordable way to convert one’s cell phone into a smart home remote control. The product connects remote-controllable wall outlets, light bulb sockets, motorized blinds and other household devices to the Internet and enabling their operation via a smart phone.

Earlier in the year, the team won the $10,000 second place prize in the UW Foster School of Business 2015 Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge. The team has also recently concluded a successful Kickstarter campaign, raising over $34,000 in pre-orders. They plan to use their winnings from the two UW competitions to start manufacturing the product and deliver it to their early supporters.

vHAB: hand and arm rehabilitation, anytime, anywhere

BioE Ph.D. students Brian Mogen and Tyler Libey have been working on novel technology to engage patients doing hand and arm rehabilitation. vHAB integrates advances in motion capture and electromyography to improve the understanding of arm function during recovery. The device enables clinicians to deliver customized patient treatment and monitor progress through engaging and dynamic video games. vHAB offers rehabilitation facilities the advantage of system portability, precision and affordability, enabling quality patient treatment – anytime, anywhere.

The team brought vHAB to the 2014 Business Plan Competition . Since then, the four-person team strengthened their business plan, recruited new members and built partnerships with early adopters and test sites. They secured IRB approval to start a 20 patient study, and will start beta testing two different versions of the device at retirement communities. This year, vHAB received the $5,000 Finalist Prize, sponsored by law firm Fenwick & West. They’re continuing to raise grant funding – $60,000 so far – and are looking forward to bringing the system to patients everywhere.

SmartyPants: A high-tech, environmentally conscious solution to adult incontinence

SmartyPants, led by BioE Ph.D. students Shon Schmidt and Christian Redd, also participated in the 2014 competition .The team returned to the 2015 competition and won the $2,500 Best Service/Retail Prize. SmartyPants offers consumers a high-tech solution to adult incontinence.  The device uses a waistband containing sensors that monitor abdominal muscle activity and can predict imminent bathroom events. The device alerts the wearer directly, resulting in an increased awareness of when to use the restroom, and can send a notification a caregiver’s smartphone as well, giving them time to intervene.

For the 2015 competition, the team pivoted its marketing approach and focused on the environmental benefit of the device. Each year, millions of non-biodegradable plastic diapers end up in landfills, becoming an ecological burden as well as a biohazard. The SmartyPants team proposes that their device will allow consumers to reduce the environmental impact of plastic diapers, as well as save money.

mIPS: Saving up stem cells for the future

Rounding out BioE’s strong cohort of teams in the competition is miPS, headed by BioE Ph.D. student Alex Jiao. The miPS team received the $2,500 Best Idea for the Future Prize, sponsored by law firm DLA Piper. miPS aims to become the first consumer stem cell generation and cell banking service.

Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) are the future of medicine. iPS are derived from reprogrammed adult cells and can become any cell type in the body – including heart, lung and liver cells. They allow the body to regenerate itself and show and may be key to treating many diseases. Despite the promises of iPS technology, adult cells are susceptible to naturally occurring DNA damage that is exasperated by age and disease, which can affect their ability to convert into iPS cells or iPS cell function.

miPS allows consumers to store their adult cells to prevent cellular aging and use banked cells for therapies in the future at a low cost. The service also enables consumers to give back to biomedical research by donating their cells to academic and non-profit research institutions, or to be used in applicable US clinical trials.

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April 30, 1999

Student entrepreneurs woo investors in UW business plan competition

Hoping to add their names to Seattle’s growing ranks of successful entrepreneurs, contestants in the University of Washington Business School ‘s student business plan competition will vie for $25,000 in seed capital to launch companies that may become the next REI , Visio or Wizards of the Coast . Following in the footsteps of the UW students-turned-CEOs behind those successful local companies, last year’s winners used the prize money to expand their computer summer camp business and earned $1 million in their first year. Competing for the 1999 prize are 35 teams from four local universities promoting, among other things, a purchasing cooperative for independent funeral homes, online sales of university exams, an afrocentric clothing line and gift packs of coffee from Seattle micro-roasters. “A lot of the companies end in ‘.com,’ but they’re not necessarily high-tech businesses. In many cases, they’re just using the web as a new avenue for delivering services,” explains professor Gary S. Hansen, director of the UW Business School’s Program in Entrepreneurship and Innovation (PEI), which sponsors the business plan competition. “What we try to teach in our program, and what the competition recognizes, is the ability to identify and seize good opportunities.” To win, the budding business barons will have to impress some of Seattle’s leading entrepreneurs, investment bankers and venture capitalists. In the investment round of the competition, 50 local business leaders will be given $1,000 “PEI” dollars to invest in the student businesses that most impress them. From display booths around the room, the student competitors will do their best imitations of carnival hawkers and trade-show vendors to attract investors’ attention and money. The 16 teams that raise the most capital advance to the next round of competition on May 10. Here they present detailed business plans to a panel of judges who will select four teams to compete in the final round. The judges in that round will pick the winners of the $25,000 grand prize and several $5,000 prizes for top contestants in specific business sectors. The list of judges, which reads like a who’s who of successful Seattle entrepreneurs, includes Jeremy Jaech of Visio, David Giuliani of Optiva , Matt Williams of LiveBid.com and Peter Adkison of Wizards of the Coast. “What sets our competition apart is that our judges are all successful entrepreneurs,” says Connie Bourassa-Shaw, managing director of the Program in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. “The students have to make a business case, not an academic case, because the judges know first hand what it takes to build successful companies.” If last year’s inaugural competition is any indication, the judges can indeed pick a winner. They awarded the grand prize to Peter Findlay and Alexa Ingram-Cauchi, both UW seniors at the time, who had just launched Computer Adventures . The company, which provides summertime computer classes for children age 8 to 13, earned $1 million its first year and is expected to triple revenues this year as it expands throughout the west. The goal of the UW’s Program in Entrepreneurship and Innovation is to help launch many more local firms like Computer Adventures. The program links the UW with business leaders in the community to provide undergraduate and graduate training in the basics of entrepreneurship – management, marketing, finance, sales and other skills essential to creating and growing successful new ventures. ### For information, contact Bourassa-Shaw at (206) 685-9868 or [email protected] .

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CONGRATULATIONS TO THE WINNING TEAMS IN THE 2024 BUSINESS PLAN COMPETITION!

The winning College League teams were:

  • Cordoba, $15,000 Cordoba is an AI plug-in that facilitates communication between architects and clients.
  • PicsGenie, $10,000 PicsGenie uses AI to allow anyone to customize shirts in under 15 seconds.
  • Snap Chains, $7,000 Snap Chains is an alternative snow chain designed for instant installation and removal.
  • Serenity Spaces, $4,000 Serenity Spaces is a furnishing company that allows individuals to rent customized furnishing packages.
  • Main Street Trader Bar and Grill, $2,000 Main Street Trader Bar and Grill is a restaurant in Vancouver, Washington, offering diverse food, drink, and live entertainment.

For more information and a complete list of winning teams, visit WSU INSIDER

2024 WSU Business Plan Competition is Continuing as Hybrid

If you’re a student entrepreneur or aspiring business owner, the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies presents the WSU Business Plan Competition – an unparalleled opportunity to practice entrepreneurship in a real-world setting and receive guidance as you launch a new venture, plus a chance to win thousands of dollars in prize money!

The Center for Entrepreneurial Studies is happy to announce that the 2024 WSU Business Plan Competition will still be happening, switching to a hybrid format. Participating in a business plan competition can be a rewarding experience and we are excited to continue to showcase student innovation!

Learn by Doing

  • Sharpen skills.  Working on a business plan team develops innovative thinking, builds leadership, and refines communication skills.
  • Network.  If you’re a finalist, you and your team will present your idea to investors, entrepreneurs, and industry professionals at the competition in April. Finalists also have the opportunity to exchange ideas with judges over dinner.
  • Prepare for your future. Take what you’ve learned and apply it in an existing company or new venture.

Launch a New Venture

  • Move from idea to execution. Develop, test, and pitch a startup idea with your own team.
  • Get advice and mentoring. Seasoned entrepreneurs, industry experts, and entrepreneurship faculty mentors devote countless hours to help students navigate the entrepreneurial process.
  • Build momentum. Take your experience in the competition and invest in the growth of your venture.

Congratulations, Past Winners!

Past Winners

Be a Sponsor

Support the BPC

Ask about the BPC

Win Cash Prizes

Collegiate league.

Herbert B. Jones Grand Prize – $15,000 Herbert B. Jones Second Place Prize – $10,000 Third Place Prize – $7,000 Fourth Place Prize – $4,000 Fifth Place Prize – $2,000

Open Collegiate League

Foster Garvey Grand Prize – $5,000

High School League

Herbert B. Jones Grand Prize – $5,000 Second Place Prize – $2,000 Third Place Prize – $1,000 Fourth Place Prize – $500 Fifth Place Prize – $250

Merit Prizes

BECU Best FinTech Venture Prize – $5,000 Sage Fruit Ag Innovation Prize – $3,000 Herbert B. Jones Best Written Plan Prize – $2,500 Herbert B. Jones Best Presentation Prize – $2,500 Herbert B. Jones Best Tech Venture Prize – $2,500 Herbert B. Jones Best Social Impact Venture Prize – $2,500 BEST Trade Show – $500

Thank you, 2024 Sponsors!

Pelion Logo

Dave Divine

uw business plan competition

The Robert & Carolyn Wolfe Family Giving Fund

Dave & deborah grant, mark wuotila, bryan saftler.

The Business Plan Competition is critically important for helping people to turn ideas into reality. I am excited to volunteer as a judge to support the competition and the Center, now that I am on the other side. — Jonah Friedl  , NOMAD founder and WSU alumnus (Carson College of Business, Entrepreneurship – 2016)

Center for Entrepreneurship

  • Jones Milestone Accelerator

Quick Links

  • Press Coverage
  • Apply to Mentor
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Washington State University
  • P.O. Box 643615
  • Pullman, WA 99164-3615
  • [email protected]
  • 509-335-0342

SUNY Potsdam Business Administration Students Win Campus Entrepreneurial Competition

Strategic and global management students at suny potsdam take home prize in college competition  .

uw business plan competition

From left, the winning team in the SUNY Potsdam Strategic Business Plan Competition posed with Professor Dr. Ed Portugal, including Yeremi Gomez, Dan Schaeber, Portugal, Mamadou Kante, Destiny Snyder and Nasierra Daniels.

SUNY Potsdam’s Department of Business Administration recently hosted its 60th Business Plan Competition, which challenges students to develop an entrepreneurial business plan fulfilling the need of a specific group of consumers.   

Three teams in the capstone Strategic and Global Management class spent the spring semester developing a business plan and original product pitch, starting from scratch. The competition was introduced in 1993 by Professor Dr. Edwin J. Portugal to give business administration students the opportunity to work intensively and collaboratively in teams to create a real-life business plan. The teams present their final strategic business plans in front of external judges, who take the role of venture capitalists.  

This semester’s winning team included:  

  • Nasierra Daniel of Brooklyn, NY  
  • Dan Schaeber of Liverpool, NY  
  • Mamadou Kante of New York, NY  
  • Yeremi Gomez of Bronx, NY  
  • Destiny Snyder of Potsdam, NY  

The team won for their business idea for a shower head with built-in dispensers for shampoo, conditioner and body wash, including motion sensors. They built a test model of their product, which they dubbed “Cleanflow,” using 3D printing technology at the Lougheed Learning Commons.  

“The Strategic Business Plan Competition is a culmination of many years of hard work that have defined our students' experiences at SUNY Potsdam. Our students' rigorous academic preparation is displayed through their teamwork in bringing a project of this scale to fruition, their creativity in formulating a new and novel idea, and their confidence in presenting to their peers, professors and outside practitioners,” said Dr. Allen Grant, dean of SUNY Potsdam’s School of Education and Professional Studies. “There is no doubt that each of our competing students will carry these applied experiences with them to the workplace and graduate school.”  

Students were randomly assigned to teams at the start of the semester, with members bringing different sets of skills to the table. In creating the business plans, students learn to set goals, come up with a realistic schedule, develop a team contract of expectations, own up to their responsibilities and be accountable to the team.   

The teams’ strategic business plans integrate the business students’ understanding of the business functional areas of accounting, finance, management, marketing, information systems, legal environment, human resource management, and operations management. The Business Model Canvas is used as the theoretical framework.   

“Students experience the stimulation of working in teams, the exhilaration of innovative thinking, the excitement of public speaking, and the challenges of coordinating team members’ unique talents,” Dr. Portugal said.   

External judges were invited to review the business plan portfolios, product prototypes, PowerPoints and scripts, and evaluated the team presentations. The panel included three faculty members, including Assistant Professor of Business Administration Michael Decker , Professor and Chair Dr. Shalu Wunnava , and School of Education and Professional Studies Dean Dr. Allen Grant . The student panelist was Jordan Fisher ’24 , a senior business administration major and previous winner of the competition, who also owns CSW Trading, a company focused on education for trading futures and options. The final judge was Susan Portugal (Hon. ’23) , who recently retired as a senior research scientist for Pfizer Pharmaceuticals. The teams were all mentored by Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Alan Hersker .  

SUNY Potsdam’s Department of Business Administration prepares students for fulfilling and successful careers, with flexible undergraduate and graduate programs offered both online and in person in Potsdam and in Watertown. For more information, visit http://www.potsdam.edu/academics/SOEPS/BusinessAdmin .  

About SUNY Potsdam:   

Founded in 1816, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America’s first 50 colleges—and the oldest institution within SUNY. Now in its third century, SUNY Potsdam is distinguished by a legacy of pioneering programs and educational excellence. The College currently enrolls approximately 2,500 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its challenging liberal arts and sciences core, distinction in teacher training and culture of creativity. To learn more, visit www.potsdam.edu .  

For Media Inquiries

Alexandra jacobs wilke, you also might be interested in:, suny potsdam employees honored with chancellor’s & president’s awards, suny potsdam business administration students compete in global business ethics event.

IMAGES

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COMMENTS

  1. Dempsey Startup Competition

    The Dempsey Startup Competition is open to undergrads and grad students at accredited colleges and universities across the Cascadia Corridor - Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and British Columbia, as well as Alaska. 26 years of the Business Plan Competition/Dempsey Startup. $1.79 million in prize money awarded to 218 student companies.

  2. Business Plan Competition

    The VIBE's Business Plan Competition (BPC) is a great opportunity for entrepreneurial-minded college students to showcase their business plans to investors to promote new business creation in the South Sound. ... 3:00 pm William W. Philip Hall (WPH), University of Washington Tacoma Campus. Final Round is open to the public. Top five teams ...

  3. Entrepreneurship Competitions

    Entrepreneurship Competitions. College students from across the Cascade Corridor (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, British Columbia) and Alaska are invited to apply for student innovation and new venture competitions hosted by UW Foster School of Business' Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship. Competitions take place annually in March, April and May ...

  4. Arthur W. Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship

    Dempsey Startup Competition (Dempsey Startup) A premier Foster School event involving more than 400 alumni and entrepreneurs as judges, mentors, supporters. Thanks to UW alumni Neal Dempsey, the Business Plan Competition is now the Dempsey Startup Competition!

  5. Competitions

    Competitions. Challenge yourself and put your studies to practice. Competitions at the Foster school provide students the opportunity to solve real-world problems, join a team, network with business leaders, and collaborate with peers in an intense team-driven environment. Dempsey Startup Competition. A platform for student-led ventures.

  6. UW Business Plan Competition: where start-ups begin

    For 15 years, new business ventures and innovations have sprouted from ideas to successful start-ups via the University of Washington Business Plan CompetitionBusiness Plan Competition

  7. Economic impact of UW Business Plan Competition

    Failure rates for start-ups are notoriously high, and college-aged entrepreneurs face even higher hurdles. At the University of Washington, we've been running our Business Plan Competition for 14 years. While 891 teams have participated, many never launched their companies or did not survive for long. However, 37 companies do still exist. How are they doing? In May 2011, UW Center for ...

  8. 2021 Dempsey Startup Competition Awards Presentation from the ...

    Thirty college startup teams advanced to compete for prizes in the all-virtual 2021 Dempsey Startup Competition (formerly the UW Business Plan Competition) h...

  9. Top Prizes Awarded at Milestone UW Business Plan Competition

    A team of chemical engineering and business students from the University of Washington earned the top prize at the 20th Anniversary of the UW Business Plan Competition.Membrion won the $25,000 Herbert B. Jones Foundation Grand Prize for its plan to disrupt the alternative energy market with low-cost, high-efficiency membranes for redox flow batteries.

  10. PDF Business Plan Competition Handbook 2016

    more than 400 judges are involved in the Business Plan Competition each year. Jones + Foster Accelerator . We have follow-on funding for start-ups coming out of the Business Plan Competition, the Health Innovation Challenge, Environmental Innovation Challenge, or UW's entrepreneurship coursework.

  11. The sights and sounds of the UW Business Plan Competition

    Stories from students, faculty, staff, alumni, and Seattle's business community.

  12. VIBE Business Plan Competition Returns

    Founded in 2013 to tap the large military-affiliated community of the South Sound, VIBE encourages potential business owners to "think outside the box," and gives students a way to put their formal learning into practice. For more information about VIBE and the Business Plan Competition, contact Thomas Kuljam, [email protected] or 253-225-4413.

  13. The 2021 VIBE Business Plan Competition

    The VIBE Business Plan Competition is open to ALL college students in the South Sound. Teams including a veteran member will receive a bonus advantage! ... For more info, contact Thomas Kuljam, Director of VIBE, at 253-225-4413 or [email protected]. The 2021 VIBE Business Plan Competition Flyer. Search this Blog. Search for: Recent Posts.

  14. UW Business Plan Competition Posts

    Biggest Year Yet for Dempsey Startup Competition. 18 Apr 2024. 0. A surge in student innovation and entrepreneurship across the Pacific Northwest powered the opening round of the 2024 Dempsey Startup Competition to unseen heights.

  15. Business Plan Competition Posts

    Tech and Health Ventures Dazzle at 2024 Dempsey Startup Competition. 24 May 2024. 0. Famed science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke may have enjoyed the 27th Dempsey Startup Competition at the University of Washington. Clarke famously said, "any sufficiently...

  16. UW Tacoma holds business plan competition with $30K prize

    The 2023 VIBE Business Plan Competition is open to all Washington college students and those who graduated between 2020 and 2022. Submissions are due Feb. 3. Go to the full article at Puget Sound Business Journal

  17. VIBE Business Plan Competition Finalists Range from Auto Wraps to Cyber

    Six finalists will compete in the 2019 VIBE Business Plan Competition for a first prize of $10,000 in cash and in-kind services. ... Jordan Miller, CEO, '13, B.A. Business Administration, Washington State University Dallas Miller, CTO, '18, B.S. Computer Science & Systems, UW Tacoma

  18. VIBE Business Plan Competition Winners Have More 'Chop'

    Tenma Rollins and Vishaal Diwan of HandiMaps, 2nd place winner in UW Tacoma 2019 VIBE Business Plan Competition. The second prize of $1,500 in cash went to the HandiMaps team, led by Vishaal Diwan. HandiMaps will be an app-based tool to help people navigate the interiors of performance and sports venues like arenas and stadiums.

  19. Annual Wisconsin Governor'S Business Plan Contest

    "The Wisconsin Business Plan Contest is an excellent way for a founder to get top-notch feedback from highly experienced investors, entrepreneurs, and startup company managers. ... "The Governor's Business Plan Competition award has given WiRover a great boost in terms of both visibility and performance. Since winning this competition ...

  20. UW honors long-time entrepreneurship program leader Connie Bourassa

    Growing the Business Plan Competition was another one of Bourassa-Shaw's top accomplishments. In 1998, 57 students participated in the inaugural event, with three teams winning $15,000 in prize ...

  21. Students win Second Place, Finalist, Best Idea Prizes at UW Business

    Five UW Bioengineering student-led teams won over $30,000 of start-up funding at the 18 th annual UW Business Plan Competition. The competition, which concluded May 21 st, offers entrepreneurial students an opportunity to turn their ideas into compelling and viable startups.UW Bioengineering students historically have held a strong presence in the competition, and this year's cohort was no ...

  22. Student entrepreneurs woo investors in UW business plan competition

    Hoping to add their names to Seattle's growing ranks of successful entrepreneurs, contestants in the University of Washington Business School 's student business plan competition will vie for $25,000 in seed capital to launch companies that may become the next REI, Visio or Wizards of the Coast. Following in the footsteps of the UW students ...

  23. Business Plan Competition

    2024 WSU Business Plan Competition is Continuing as Hybrid. If you're a student entrepreneur or aspiring business owner, the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies presents the WSU Business Plan Competition - an unparalleled opportunity to practice entrepreneurship in a real-world setting and receive guidance as you launch a new venture, plus a chance to win thousands of dollars in prize money!

  24. SUNY Potsdam Business Administration Students Win Campus

    SUNY Potsdam's Department of Business Administration recently hosted its 60th Business Plan Competition, which challenges students to develop an entrepreneurial business plan fulfilling the need of a specific group of consumers.. Three teams in the capstone Strategic and Global Management class spent the spring semester developing a business plan and original product pitch, starting from ...

  25. UAlbany Students Recognized at NY Business Plan Competition

    ALBANY, N.Y. (June 4, 2024) — For UAlbany Massry School of Business students Sam Hogan and Jacob Webb, meeting the challenge of competition is nothing new. After finding success on the athletic field, both have now earned recognition at the New York Business Plan Competition.

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    The Justice Department and a group of states plan to sue Live Nation LYV 2.69% increase; green up pointing triangle on Thursday, alleging the entertainment giant has used its ticketing monopoly to ...