The Spirit of the Competition

The Ohio State Business Plan Competition stimulates and nourishes the entrepreneurial spirit in full-time and part-time Ohio State University students. In particular, this competition seeks to:

  • Encourage entrepreneurially-oriented graduate and undergraduate students to develop and grow new ventures based on their own ideas and technologies.
  • Provide the students with educational workshops to develop their ideas and pitch their ventures to investors. These programs provide constructive feedback for increasing the probability of successfully launching their ventures.
  • Provide the best business plans with substantial resources to assist the winning student teams with launching their ventures.

To provide a relatively level “playing field” for student teams, the directors of the Ohio State Business Plan Competition and the TEC Institute at Fisher College of Business have developed the following set of rules that all participating teams are expected to satisfy.

At the same time, the directors recognize that no set of rules, no matter how thorough or carefully developed, can ever cover all circumstances. Accordingly, all teams are expected to abide by the specific rules enumerated below as well as the overall spirit of the competition. The directors reserve the right to disqualify any team that violates the rules, regulations, or the spirit of the competition.

Competition Details

Round 1: Conceptual Business Case Round
Upon registering for the competition, teams begin the competition by submitting answers online to questions pertaining to your business case that clearly explain the business ideas and market opportunities for their given products or services. Judges evaluate the cases and select the top business ideas based on specific criteria to advance to the second round.

Round 2: Business Plan Round
During this round, the teams test viability, perform market analysis, identify customers, prepare financial projections, and write a ten page maximum business plan for their ideas. After teams submit their business plans, judges review the plans and select the finalists based on the overall strength of the solution/opportunity, management team strength, market dynamic, financials and implementation plan.

Round 3: The Final Event & Awards Reception
The finalists present their business plans to a panel of expert judges (entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, private investors, faculty, and leading consultants) during the final event. Judges select the first, second, and third-place winner. The awards reception follows on the evening of the final competition and the winners are announced at that time. Both undergraduate and graduate teams will be available during the reception to allow the opportunity for those interested to connect with them.