- Each team must register for the 2013 Ohio State Business Plan Competition at http://ohiostatebpc2013.istart.org/ prior to participating in the competition.
- Further, at registration, all teams must review the Official Rules and Submission Requirements. Registration to the competition constitutes compliance with the eligibility requirements. There must be at least one current Ohio State student member of the team.
Conceptual Business Case Round 1
See specific judging criteria, below.
- The concept case submission (Round 1) needs to clearly communicate the project’s opportunity in a way that those unfamiliar with the project will have sufficient information to make an informed decision on it.
- Judges will review the answers to the submission questions online, selecting approximately 35 teams to receive an invitation to compete in the Business Plan Round (Round 2).
- Registration must be submitted via the iStart system after at least the team leader has fully registered for the competition. Other team members may be added at any time and must register using the iStart registration system.
- Advancing teams will be notified via email.
- Round 1 submissions will be judged based on the overall fundability of the business idea, with the following specific judging criteria:
I. The Opportunity
- Summarize the nature of the opportunity you are pursuing.
- Be specific as to why the opportunity is important.
- Explain what you propose to do.
- Who will benefit from your proposal?
II. Your Idea
- Describe your idea/concept
- Give details as to how you intend to develop/create the concepts.
- Provide specifics about the uniqueness of your submission.
- Give insight as to how your idea maximizes the opportunity.
III. The Intended Audience
- Describe your target audience for your offering.
- How large is it?
- What is the anticipated growth potential?
- Explain the value proposition/benefit your offering provides?
IV. Going to Market
- Describe the approach/strategy you intend to implement to reach your audience.
- Tell how you plan to develop your products or services (i.e., manufacture, outsource to another company, etc),
- Explain how you will sell/distribute your products or services i.e., retail, internet, wholesale, franchise, direct sales, etc.)
- Assess the profit proposition (potential) of your offering.
V. Implementation Plan
- Outline the major milestones and timeline for launching your new idea.
- Be specific with regard to how you will develop your products/ services.
- How do you expect to launch your new enterprise?
- What kind of financial capital need is required?
- How will you get the necessary funding?
- What key positions/roles will need to be in place to fully implement your plan?
Round 2 – Full Business Plans
Full business plans should be no longer than 20 pages of text, #12 font, double spaced with 1" margins. Up to 10 pages of appendices may be included in addition to the 20 pages of text.
I. Table of Contents – Show only the section title, not subheadings. Since new sections, subsections, or exhibits may be added at any time, it is suggested to not number pages.
II. Executive Summary – 1 – 3 pages - The summary should capture and present succinctly the essence of the report. It is, in effect a micro version of the entire plan. The executive summary should be at the beginning of the document but should be written after the plan is thought out and completed.
III. General Company Description – This section should begin with a general description of the company presenting the fundamental activities and nature of the business and should be no more than 3 pages.
IV. Products and Services – This section is used to devote attention to a company’s products and services and contains of description of the business offerings. Include the following information in this section:
- Physical description of the product
- Use and appeal
- Stage of development
V. Marketing Plan – Many marketing plans are broken into subsections. The most important issues this section should address:
- Market definition and opportunity
- Competition and other influences
- Marketing strategy and market research
- Sales forecasts
It is also appropriate to include support material such as industry studies, letters of support or articles related to the product or service.
VI. Operational Plan – Depending on the nature of the business the issues included in the operational plan differ. In general, an operational plan should include:
- Product development – a summary of the development activities that the company will undertake.
- Manufacturing – discuss the process by which the company will produce its products.
- Maintenance and services – define the level of service and support the company will provide.
- External Influences – discuss regulatory restrictions that impact the manner of operation.
VII. Management and Organization – The following issues should be addressed:
- Management Team/Principals – present the backgrounds of board members, key managers and employees
- Present succession planning and legal structure of the business.
- Organizational chart – provide either a brief narrative or organizational chart presenting the divisions of responsibility within the organization.
- Policy and Strategy – include planned additions to current management and provide a statement as to how they will be selected, trained and rewarded.
VIII. Implementation Milestones – This section provides an opportunity to place plans and objectives for the venture in some sort of a time frame and should include:
- Financing commitments
- Prototype development
- Initiation of production and sales
- Attaining break even performance
- Expanding operations
IX. Financial Plan – This section should reflect the company’s current and projected financial performance.
- Current funding requirements
- Funding requirements over the next five years
- Use of funds
- Long range financial strategies
- Historical financial data (if applicable)
- Prospective financial data
- Analysis of historical and prospective data
- Exit strategy
X. Overall Impression
- Judges will offer an overall impression of the total business plan. They will give their opinion based on the overall quality of the opportunity, management team strength, market dynamic, viability and other investment criteria.
Appendices or Exhibits - There will be no evaluation on appendices/exhibits. This section should be no more than 10 pages. Included in this section can be support material such as:
- Resumes of key managers (condensed)
- Pictures of products
- Professional references
- Market studies
- Pertinent published information
- Significant contracts
Business plans will be reviewed based on the above criteria. All plans submitted for the Business Plan Round will receive written feedback from at least three judges. Final business plans must be submitted via the website by the deadline. Advancing teams will be notified through email.
Please view these links for help in writing a business plan.
- U.S. Small Business Administration
- Palo Alto Software, Inc is sponsoring The Ohio State Business Plan Competition at Fisher College of Business with a FREE download of Business Plan Pro Academic Premier Edition software for each participant. The software provides an SBA-approved format for you to write and manage your plan, allowing you to turn your focus from the mechanics behind the plan to other important aspects involved in the competition. After registration is completed you will receive a link to download this software.
Practice Pitch Sessions
- The Center for Entrepreneurship targets to select six teams, but may accept up to eight, to proceed from the Business Plan Round to the Final Presentation Round.
- During practices, each team will be given 12 minutes to orally present its business plan followed by a coaching question and answer session between the presenting team and the coaches. THESE TIME LIMITS WILL BE STRICTLY ENFORCED.
- The purpose of the practice sessions is to familiarize the presenting teams with the presentation process and to receive constructive criticism from coaches prior to the Final Presentation Round.
- Equipment needs: The presentation room will be set up with a LCD projector and screen. Each team will need to bring their Power Point presentation on a flash drive. More information on the practice sessions will be provided to the finalists at a later date.
Back to Table of Contents
Final Presentation Final Round
- During the Final Round, each team will be given 12 minutes to orally present its business plan followed by a 10 minute question and answer session between the presenting team and the judges. THESE TIME LIMITS WILL BE STRICTLY ENFORCED.
- The Final Presentations will take place at Fisher College. Equipment set-up will be the same as the pracites with each team bringing their PP presentations on a flash drive and also sending it via email to Nikki Modlich (email@example.com).
- The teams will present their business plans to a panel of expert judges made up of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, private investors, faculty, and leading consultants.
- Judges will select three finalists, identifying first-, second-, and third-place winners.
- More information about Final Presentations will be provided to the finalists at a later date.
Calfee, Halter & Griswold Awards Reception
- An awards reception will directly follow the Final Presentation Round on Friday.
- Exact time and location to be determined.
- All teams will be available for networking with the reception attendees.
- The top teams in each category will be recognized at the reception.
- The first-place winner(s) will be asked to give a brief overview of their plan.