The Hodge Annual Business Plan Competition

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1 The Hodge Annual Business Plan Competition In the Spring Semester of each academic year, the Hodge Institute for Entrepreneurship sponsors its Annual Collegiate Business Plan Competition. The main objective of this competition is to stimulate and nourish the spirit of entrepreneurship among NSU students regardless of their academic discipline. Thus, specific objectives include: 1. To encourage entrepreneurially driven students, both graduates and undergraduates, as well as alumni, to engage in the process of developing and growing their ideas and technologies into innovative and successful ventures. 2. To provide students and alumni, through workshops and interaction with faculty, successful entrepreneurs and others, opportunities to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to become successful owners/managers of start-up businesses. 3. To provide students and alumni opportunities to gain access to a network of wellestablished entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, bankers, accountants, and lawyers who might play a significant role in their success. 4. To build competence and confidence, through valuable guidance and feedback from advising faculty and judges as they compete for top honors. I. Rules of the Competition The rules of the competition include: 1. General Requirements a. Team Eligibility Each team will consist of 1 to 5 members, and must include at least one current NSU student. NSU alumni, who do not own established businesses, are also eligible for the Business Plan Competition. Teams are allowed to have faculty and successful entrepreneurs as advisors/mentors. The leader of each team must be a student currently enrolled at NSU or alum. Moreover, one of the oral presenters must be a current NSU student. b. Total number of teams per Annual Competition: 30 (10 teams per track). c. Business Plan: Intellectual Property Right, Disclaimer A proposed plan should not violate any intellectual property rights, and the ownership of a product idea, new product or technology must be verifiable and certifiable. Moreover, participants will be required to sign a disclaimer

2 acknowledging that the Business Plan Competition is opened to the public, therefore the sponsors, the judges, the organizers, and other individuals involved in the various activities do not sign non-disclosure agreements. Business Plan Framework: the written business plan must not exceed 50 pages, including 1 page cover sheet, charts, graphs, pictures footnotes and references. They must be typed, double-spaced, 12 font, with margins no less than ¾ of an inch on any side. 2. Tracks Teams will be classified into one of three different tracks based on their business concept: a. Science, Engineering and Technology: new product development concept b. Art, Entertainment, Education, and Social services: entrepreneurial concept c. Business Disciplines (accounting, finance, management information systems, retailing, transportation and distribution): entrepreneurial concept. II. Rounds of Competition The Business Plan Competition consists of three rounds of submission: A. First Round: all participating teams must submit their Initial Business Concept or Product Idea of 3-to-5 pages. Screening round judges will be selected among the NSU faculty to determine which teams will move to the next round based on originality and viability of their business model or new product. B. Second Round: Teams moving to the second round must submit a detailed business plan based on the framework (maximum 50 pages, double space, 12 font, and at least ¾ of an inch margin on any side) specified in the General Requirement section. NSU faculty successful entrepreneurs or business owners, and venture capitalists may provide

3 mentoring to the teams as they developed their business plans based on the following guidelines: 1. Business Plan Executive Summary Business Plan Guidelines a. Objective: briefly describe your objective and reason for entering this competition b. Mission: briefly describe your: Business model or product concept, including its value relative to existing competitors offerings Target market Expected rate of return from investment, or profit. 2. Product/Service Summary 3. Marketing Summary Overview of the industry you plan to enter as a competitor Product/service description, including how its features differ from those of existing products/services offered by competitors in the industry. Benefits: value created by the product/service in terms of customer wants and needs. Market segmentation: describe the market in which you plan to compete, and identify the different market segments based on in term of customer characteristics by age group, gender, income level, etc. identify and describe the competing brands aimed at each particular market segment Target market segment: describe your target market, including the number of competitors and their products and/or services, prices, place of distribution, advertising and promotion. Market/Industry Potential: size, as measured by the number of customers, annual industry sales revenue, and industry annual growth.

4 4. Summary of Strategies Competition: describe the type of competition, composition and organization at the industry level and within the target market. Distinguish the competitive advantage of the proposed product/service over competitors in terms of features, price, etc. Entry strategy: describe how you will enter the market/industry, the target customers. Marketing mix strategy: Pricing policy and strategy Distribution and location strategy Promotional strategy 5. Management Team and Company Structure Strategy Summary Describe the organizational structure of your start-up business, including: Management team: describe each team member skills, his/her role in the firm. Divisions/department/sections: identify the divisions and sections of the business. Personnel and operations plan: Identify the number of employees and their specific roles in the business. 6. Capital Requirement and Financial Plan Summary Describe: Type and amount of required capital. Investment strategy: how the required capital will be financed Cash flow analysis (when will the company be able to financially selfsupport itself) Break even analysis

5 Profit/loss statement, including the number of years the venture is expected to become liquid. Business Plan Evaluation A panel of five judges will evaluate the business plans using a Business Plan Evaluation Form whose evaluation scale must be approved by all five members. Scorecards designed to provide the judges guidance in their evaluation of the various components of the business plans will also serve as feedback those teams advancing to the final round may use to improve their business plans. All scores must be submitted to the Chair of the Panel of Judges who, upon submitting the results to other panel members, will announce the three finalists. To maintain fairness in the evaluation process, participating teams may not contact the judges, and judges may not contact participating teams. Any contact made by either a judge or a participant will result into an automatic expulsion from the process. C. Final Round: All teams advancing to the final competition must submit to the judges: (1) their revised final business plans, and (2) a copy of the power point of their business plans. The presentation, which is opened to the public, will be held at the Board Room, on the 6 th floor of the McDemmond Applied Research Center. The judges will be provided with evaluation scorecards in their determination of the first, second and third prize winners based on the following criteria: Quality of the Business/Product idea Originality of the business idea or product concept Oral presentation/communication effectiveness Viability of the business idea or product concept: attractiveness in terms of the ability of the business to make profit Overall knowledge and understanding of the entrepreneurial and organizational management of a start-up business

6 Final Round Presentation Rules 1. All teams must use the 2007 Power Point version 2. Power Point presentations must be saved on a flash drive 3. All teams must arrive at the Board Room of the McDemmond Bldg. 30 to 40 minutes earlier and get to be familiar with the use of their flash drives on the Board Room s equipment 4. Drinking and eating are not allowed in the Board Room 5. As pointed out earlier, at least one member of each team must be a current NSU student 6. Each team has a maximum of 25 minutes for presentation and 15 minutes for questions and answers 7. Professional Business Attire is required 8. A participating team is allowed to attend other contestants Power Point presentations III. Prizes, Award Ceremony and Networking a. The winners of the business plan competition will be awarded as followed: First prize: $2,000 Second prize: $1,000 Third prize: $500 Note: These prizes are subject to taxation. Therefore, the winners will be required to submit the appropriate IRS form to the Hodge Institute for Entrepreneurship accountant. b. An award ceremony will be held at the Hodge Institute for Entrepreneurship right after the prizes are awarded to the winning teams. Keynote by a Guest Speaker whose identity will be provided before holding the Final Round of competition. c. All winning teams are encouraged to take advantage of the resources available at the Hodge Institute Entrepreneurship, and to network with faculty,

7 well-established entrepreneurs, bankers, accountants and lawyers, in order to transform their new-venture models into reality. IV. Timeline a. Monday, October 15, 2012: Campus wide announcement of the Hodge Business Plan competition. Announcement will be posted on Spartans E-Daily, Spartan Echo, and flyers will be displayed in all departments of NSU schools and college. b. Monday, October 22 Friday, November 23, 2012: Registration to Compete c. All current NSU students and alumni (non-business owners) may be eligible for entering the competition. For information about eligibility criteria, go to: All eligible teams must submit their Intent to Compete Form to the Hodge Institute by no later than Friday, November 30, d. First Round of Competition: Friday, November 30, 2012: Deadline for submitting the Initial Business Plan Concept. All entrants are required to submit a 2- to-5 page business concept or product idea. The quality of the concept paper will determine which applicants will be invited to submit a full, detailed business plan or model. e. Monday, December 10 Monday, December 31: Panel judge members will evaluate individually entrants initial business concepts or product ideas and the First Round Screening will be held at the beginning of Spring Semester f. Friday, January 18 th : Announcement of the teams advancing to the Second Round of competition. g. Friday, March 8 th : Submission of detailed business plans for the Second Round of Competition. h. Monday, April 1 st, Announcement of the three advancing teams to the Final Round of Competition. i. Monday, April 22 nd, Submission of Revised Business Plans and Power Points by advancing team for the Final Round/Oral Presentation Competition. j. Thursday, April 25 th, Final Round/Oral Presentation Competition at the McDemmond Center for Applied Research, followed by Ceremony/Announcement of First, Second and Third Prize winners at the Hodge Institute for Entrepreneurship.

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