Welcome to the official website of the BizStarts Collegiate Business Plan Competition, sponsored by Mason Wells!
The BizStarts Collegiate Business Plan Competition sponsored by Mason Wells originated in the fall of 2009 by a small group of dedicated members of the Milwaukee BizStarts College Consortium. The BizStarts Milwaukee College Consortium is a collaboration of post-secondary institutions in the Milwaukee 7 Region. The contest started with the idea of helping student entrepreneurs realize their goals while helping the M7 region grow and prosper economically. It is a “contest of winners” as entrants in this contest are selected by their institutions as their best plans for each academic year. The critical events will take place in the months of March and April and will proceed in the five stages described below.
Due Date for Institutional Entries – Thursday, March 21, 2013 11:59 pm
Deadline for submitting Institutional Registration Form
Each institution who wishes to compete in the 2013 contest must declare its intention to compete by completing an Institution Registration Form . This registration form will solicit the identity of a designated institutional representative who will submit the institution’s entries and who will act as the official institutional contact during the contest. From that time forward, the designated representative of an institution will be deemed to be the official contact point at the institution for the purposes of the contest. An alternative representative may be designated in case the official representative is unable to participate for some reason.
Due Date for Business Plan Entries – Wednesday, April 10, 2013 11:59 pm
Deadline for submitting up to two Team Registration Forms in conjunction with a corresponding Business Plan and Team Member Participation Waivers form.
At the beginning of this stage, the designated representative of each participating post-secondary institution in the M7 region will register the names of up to two teams who are the designated entries for that institution for the 2013 contest. Each registration must include the name of the team, the name(s), address(es) and email address(es) of all team members and a computerized file (PDF, MSWord, Open Text) containing a business plan created by the team during the 2012-2013 academic year. The team registration form is available at the following link, Team Registration Form. The registration form and business plan file for each team should be attached to an email message and emailed separately by the institution representative to firstname.lastname@example.org which is the official email site of the contest. Each team member must also complete and sign a Participation Waiver. A team may contain one or more members.
The received plans will then be assigned to judges designated by BizStarts. These judges will evaluate the quality of each plan using an initial evaluation form included on this webpage, Initial Evaluation form.
Notification of five finalist teams - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 by noon
Notification of Institutions and Team Leaders of Finalist Teams
From all entries, the FIVE entries with the highest total scores will be invited to participate as Finalistst. Notification of institutional representatives and Team Leaders of finalist teams will occur by noon on April 17, 2013. Notification will be made to the designated institutional representatives, and those representatives are expected to notify members of the finalist teams at that time.
Resubmission of Final Five Business Plans – Friday, April 19, 2013 at noon. Deadline for resubmission of Final Business Plans
The Team Leader for each of the five identified Finalist teams must resubmit a business plan by noon on Friday, April 19 for consideration by the final round of judges. The plan may be a modification of the previous plan, or it may be the exact previous plan submitted by the team. This plan should be submitted as a computerized file (PDF, MSWord, Open Text) attached to an email message to the contest email address email@example.com. The email message must also contain the name of the submitting team. The submitted plans will be forwarded to the individuals who will judge the final round of the contest. BizStarts will also send the top five winning business plans to Tom Still (WI Tech Council) for consideration in the final round of the Governors Business Plan Contest. At least one of the top plans will automatically qualify in the final round of the Governors Business Plan Contest.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013 from 1:00 to 3:30 pm Final Judging
Final Five Business Plans Give Oral Presentations to Judges
The five Finalist teams travel to the campus of the Milwaukee School of Engineering to make an oral presentation to the judges. This presentation should be modeled on a presentation that an entrepreneur would make to potential funders. Representative examples of such presentations can be found at the following website:
These presentations should be no longer than 15 minutes in length. Participants will be required to answer questions from judges after their formal 15 minute presentation. Plans will be judged using a Top Finalists Evaluation scorecard included on the following webpage. Top Finalists Evaluation Scorecard.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013 from 4:00pm to 6:30 Collegiate Business Plan Contest Final Awards Ceremony & Networking Session
The ranking of the top five winners will be announced on April 24 at the networking session. The winners will be asked to give a 2-minute elevator pitch to the audience.
The top five winners will receive the following prizes.
First place: $5,000
Second place: $4,000
Third place: $3,000
Fourth place: $2,000
Fifth place: $1,000
In-kind prizes will also be awarded to the top five winners.
Poster and Networking session
All teams that entered the contest are invited to participate at an open Poster Board Session at the Networking event from 4:00 to 6:30. Teams will be allocated space on tables (about 3x4 feet). Participants may create supporting posters, displays, flyers, etc. to be used for the purposes of informing attendees at the event about participant business plans.
Team Member Eligibility
The team leader must be an enrolled student at the institution that advances the plan during at least some portion the 2012-2013 academic year. The academic year consists of classes held between August 2012 and May 2013. Team members, including the team leader, may be part-time students, graduate students, PhD students, Masters Degree Students, undergraduate students, or students in professional degree programs. Non-students may be members of a team and may participate creating the venture plan; however, the Team Leader of each team must be a student that meets the requirements expressed above.
The BizStarts Collegiate Business Plan Competition sponsored by Mason Wells is a means to support for-profit early stage ventures. Therefore, ventures that have already received external equity funding in excess of one hundred thousand dollars are ineligible. However, teams that have received this level of external funding may still be able to compete if the plan submitted focuses on a clearly defined new line of business for the venture that has not yet passed the seed funding stage. Similarly, existing businesses are not eligible to compete, unless the scope of the entry covers expansion into a significantly different industry or customer base, or a major geographic expansion (such as franchising or expanding a local business on a national scale). Please contact contest officials to discuss eligibility questions you have at firstname.lastname@example.org
The BizStarts Collegiate Business Plan Competition is sponsored by: