1. Student Involvement
    The competition is for student created, managed and owned ventures. In other words, students must have played a major role in conceiving the venture, have key management roles in the venture, and own significant equity in the venture.

    In general, a member of the student team should be CEO, COO, or President of the venture, or members of the student team should occupy 50% or more of the functional area management positions that report directly to the CEO, COO, or President. Members of the student team should also own 50% or more of the equity allocated to the management team and key advisors. An equity position of less than 50% of the equity allocated to the management team and key advisers, and/or less than 20% of the total equity of the venture will be questioned and require the students to show evidence that they were a major cause in the venture creation.
  2. Team Composition
    This is a competition for graduate and undergraduate students across all areas of study. At least one Ohio State student must be a member of the venture’s startup management team. Non-students may be members of the venture’s management team and may participate in planning the venture, presenting the plan, and answering questions from the competition judges. There is no restriction on the total size of the venture’s founding team. Participants in the competition are encouraged to only enter one business plan as we feel this is the most effective way for an individual or team to learn from the competition process in a focused manner. In addition, previous winners are NOT eligible to enter and compete in the competition with the same concept.
  3. Student Enrollment
    The competition is for students enrolled in the current academic year. Students who graduated in the preceding academic year are not eligible to participate. However, an exception will be made for students who both wrote their business plans for academic credit and graduated during the preceding summer.
  4. Nature of Ventures
    The competition is for new, independent ventures in the seed, start-up, or early growth stages. Generally excluded are the following: buy-outs, expansions of existing companies, real estate syndications, tax shelters, franchises, licensing agreements for distribution in a different geographical area, and spin-outs from existing corporations. Licensing technologies from universities or research labs is not excluded and is encouraged assuming they have not been previously commercialized. All ventures must be seeking outside funding. To redeem awards, there must be a business entity as stated in the business concept created during the competition.
  5. Prior Activity
    Ventures with revenues in prior academic years are excluded.

    Ventures that have raised equity capital from sources other than the members of the student team before the current academic year are excluded.

    Ventures that have legally set up a venture identity or have undertaken any other formal startup activities prior to the current academic year are excluded. However, both student and other team members may have worked on an idea or new technology in previous academic years or in the case of the student team members even prior to entering graduate (undergraduate) school, provided that their venture had no revenues and raised no outside equity capital, and/or did not undertake any other formal startup activities prior to the current academic year.
  6. University Sponsored
    Teams are encouraged to seek the involvement of Ohio State faculty, alumni, post-docs, researchers, staff, students from other universities, and people from outside the Ohio State community. Ideally, the business plan will be prepared for credit in a regularly scheduled course or as an independent study. The business plan must represent the original work of members of the team.
  7. Intellectual Property
    Submitted ideas are protected in the spirit of non-disclosure, where all entry materials will be treated as company confidential. The only persons with access to the entry materials will be judges and select members of the organizing committee. Materials will not be distributed to any other party, unless requested by an entrant team. No other special provisions are made to protect intellectual property.
  8. Appeals
    Any prospective team can ask for special consideration on any rule described herein. The appeal must be made in writing directly to the Program Coordinator of the Ohio State Business Plan Competition, Nikki K. Modlich (modlich.5@osu.edu). The appeal must state clear evidence for why a particular ruling should be reconsidered. The Program Coordinator and the Executive Director of the TEC Institute will review and decide each appeal on a case to case basis. The decision of the Program Coordinator and the Institute is final. The Instutute reserves the right to make changes to the rules of the competition and will make every effort to post/update any changes on this site in a timely manner.