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1 Presented by: The George R. and Martha Means Center for Entrepreneurial Studies is a newly endowed center within the Management and Quantitative Methods Department of the College of Business at Illinois State University.

2 Contents INTRODUCTION...3 ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS...4 GENERAL RULES...4 BUSINESS PLAN COMPETITION GUIDELINES...6 OVERVIEW...6 PRIZE AWARD RULES AND JUDGING CRITERIA...6 CREATIVE IDEA COMPETITION GUIDELINES...8 OVERVIEW...8 RULES...8 SUGGESTED GUIDELINES...8 COMMON CREATIVE IDEA MISTAKES...9 PRIZE AWARD RULES AND JUDGING CRITERIA...9 PRE-COMPETITION SCHEDULE...10 E-DAY SCHEDULE...12 Page 2

3 INTRODUCTION Welcome to the 2012 Illinois State University Entrepreneurship Day Creative Idea and Business Plan Competition, also known as E-Day. We are glad you are interested in participating in this year s event, hosted by the George R. and Martha Means Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, the Department of Management and Quantitative Methods, and the College of Business at Illinois State University. E-Day consists of a university-wide business plan competition, a creative idea competition, and a keynote speaker. E-Day will take place on Friday, November 9, 2012 from 12:00-4:30 p.m. at the ISU Alumni Center. Teams will compete for an estimated $20, in funding and in-kind prizes to help jump-start their ventures. Participants and attendees will have the opportunity to network and connect with venture capitalists, angel investors, incubator managers, practicing entrepreneurs and business professionals. E-Day is an event to stimulate the entrepreneurial spirit of Illinois State University s undergraduate and graduate students, and more specifically to facilitate students soliciting startup funds from early-stage investors and venture capital firms. Students can enter individually or in teams. We invite you to register to compete or attend at today. Space is limited. All current undergraduate and graduate students of Illinois State University are eligible to compete. Page 3

4 ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS 1. All team members must be full-time or part-time undergraduate or graduate students who are currently enrolled in a degree program at Illinois State University. 2. All team members must be 18 years of age or older. 3. Individuals can only be members of one team. 4. There is no minimum or maximum team size. 5. Teams may only submit one original business plan. Plans cannot exceed 15 pages plus a 1 page cover sheet and 10 pages of appendices. 6. The new venture idea cannot have previously received funding from a venture capital firm, and cannot have received more than $20,000 in outside investment GENERAL RULES 1. Withdrawal Penalty. If a confirmed team drops out of any competition after November 1, 2012 FOR ANY REASON, the members of that team will be ineligible to compete in future E-Day competitions. 2. Disqualification. Illinois State University reserves the right to disqualify, in its sole and absolute discretion, and team from the competition at any time for any reason. Reasons for disqualification may include, but are not limited to, plagiarism and any other form of academic dishonesty, misappropriation or infringement of the intellectual property of others, and any failure to comply with the competition rules, regulations, and submission guidelines. Disqualified teams shall forfeit any and all prizes awarded to them. 3. Entry Fees. There is no entry fee to attend or compete in E-Day competitions. 4. Confidentiality. Submitted ideas and plans are protected in the spirit of non-disclosure, and all entry materials will be treated as confidential. The only individuals who will have access to ideas and business plans are the Judging Coordinator and the judges who are assigned to read the specific plan. No materials will be distributed to any other party unless requested by the respective team. No individual affiliated with the competition (including judges) will sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) in connection with performing their duties for the competition. It is the applicants responsibility to protect their intellectual property. No other provisions are made to protect intellectual property. 5. Guarantees. Participation in this competition gives entrants no guarantees, expressed or implied, to any prizes or to any potential or future funding. Copies of business plans submitted to the competition will not be returned to the entrepreneurs. Participants agree that the organizers of the competition are not liable for any direct or indirect damages, including any loss of revenue that may or may not be related to business advice received in conjunction with the competition. Page 4

5 6. Use of Competition Materials. The George R. and Martha Means Center for Entrepreneurial Studies reserves the right to use any submitted material to facilitate the event and/or publicize future events and DOES NOT guarantee the confidentiality of any submitted materials. 7. Copyrights and Permissions. If an individual or team uses copyrighted materials and/or images from a third-party in their submissions or presentations, they must obtain permission and authorization in advance from the owners to use this material. 8. Submission. Entrants must adhere to all submission deadlines and guidelines and submit all materials by 5:00pm CST on the appropriate date. No late submissions will be accepted and any submissions exceeding the maximum length will not be considered. 9. Judging Criteria. All entries are subject to minimum criteria determined by the judges relating to market potential, viability and other necessary factors identified by the judges. Entries will be judged by a panel of independent judges (i.e., not affiliated with any entrant or new venture idea). Judges will function as venture capital investors deciding which business venture they would most likely fund. Judges will be informed that earlystage companies can be in very different stages of development, and that to compensate for this, they should require the potential for higher investment returns for an earlier stage company which has a higher level of risk involved. All decisions of the judges are final. 10. Offers and Solicitations. This competition does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase securities. This competition is merely a forum for students to present their projects. Neither Illinois State University, the State Farm College of Business, The George R. and Martha Means Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, nor any other person or organization connected with the competition makes any representation as to the reliability of the information provided by contestants or their representatives. 11. Rule Changes. Any changes to these rules shall be communicated by , within 24 hours of such change, to all registered participants. Registered contestants shall then have a further 48 hours to decide whether to remain in, or withdraw from the competition. Should the competition administrator not receive notification of withdrawal within that 48-hour period, it shall be assumed that contestants have consented to the rule change. Page 5

6 BUSINESS PLAN COMPETITION GUIDELINES OVERVIEW A brief executive summary is due in early September, Judges will then critique entries to identify the most feasible ideas. Teams selected to continue will then submit a complete business plan in early October, 2012 (see for a resource in writing a business plan). Judges will then critique the initial plans on the following criteria: The Opportunity: How painful is the pain? The Concept: What and where is the value? The Market: Is the market attractive? The Economics of the Business: Breakeven, business model, etc. Marketing: The 4Ps and the 4Cs Operations: Staffing, production, distribution, etc. Management Team: Who and why? Financing: Money needed, investor return, financial statements Timeline / Milestones: Are they reasonable? Teams will receive feedback on their initial drafts and will then submit a final draft in late October, Finalists will be notified in late October, Finalists will have 20 minutes to present their plan to a panel of judges, who will have 15 minutes to question the team. Winners will be determined by a combination of the written plan and oral presentation. Team entries should focus on developing an innovative idea and developing a high-quality business plan. The winners will show innovative thinking regarding new markets, products and services and will develop a realistic and innovative strategy to implement the plan. All prize money will be offered as seed money to assist the team in enacting their plan; money can only be provided to legally formed entities, not to individuals. PRIZE AWARD RULES AND JUDGING CRITERIA The scoring forms that judges will use for written business plans and oral presentations are provided in the Forms and Other Documents section and are also available on The venture presentation and written business plan should address the use of funds. Funds are expected to be used to pursue the venture s mission. If, in the opinion of the judges, the Page 6

7 proposed ventures do not represent a favorable business opportunity, then the prizes or some portion of the prizes will not be awarded. Judges are under no obligation to award all, or any, of the prizes. Business plan competition prizes will be awarded to organizations, not individuals, therefore a company must be formed and leadership identified. A business account with a recognized bank, preferably local, must be established. Said business account must be formed within five months of the competition to receive any cash prizes. There may be individuals on teams who do not wish to join the venture that is formed. The organization may pay these team members a portion of the prize money, not to exceed $ per team member. The total prize money that may be allocated for this purpose for any individual team is $ Teams must set these amounts in writing with signatures and submit the agreement to the Means Center. At this point any payments to individuals will flow through student accounts. These funds will first be applied to any balances being carried. Once applied a check with any remaining funds will be distributed. All prize money will be awarded in two increments of 50% each of the total prize money, based on the achievement of milestones outlined in the particular business plan. The payment and milestones schedule will be established and agreed upon by the respective team and a committee comprised of the Director of The George R. and Martha Means Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, the Chairperson of the Management and Qualitative Methods Department of Illinois State University, at least one professor of entrepreneurship at Illinois State University, and additional advisors at the discretion of the Means Center Director. All agreed upon milestones must be achieved and written notification sent to the Director of the Means Center by May 1st of the following calendar year. For the 2012 competition, all milestones must therefore be completed and written notice provided by May 1, If agreed upon milestones are not achieved by the appropriate deadline, any related payments of prize money will be forfeited and the winnings that are not paid will remain with the Means Center. Payment for achievement of milestones will not be unreasonably withheld, and the decision as to whether certain milestones have actually been achieved will be determined by the committee which shall have full discretion to make such determination. Page 7

8 CREATIVE IDEA COMPETITION GUIDELINES OVERVIEW An Creative Idea is your business overview that you should be able to deliver powerfully and concisely to any investor in 90 seconds or less, with no visual aids or notes. The Creative Idea should provide enough information to pique the interest of potential investors and strategic partners. It should provide a clear picture of the company and its solution. It should be delivered effectively and succinctly. RULES Each individual/team selected to compete will be given a maximum of 90 seconds to present its elevator pitch to the panel of judges. Index cards or other notes will not be permitted for the Elevator Pitch Competition, as you would not expect to have the benefit of these notes in a real life situation. This presentation will be given by one team member. Only current or past students in concordance with the team eligibility guidelines can present at the competition. The 90 second Elevator Pitch will be uninterrupted and strictly enforced. SUGGESTED GUIDELINES The best teams should communicate the following: Clear explanation of their product/service and the problem it solves How their company is unique and differentiated Sizable market opportunity and ability to penetrate that market Current development stage Viable business model Clear measures of success and potential exit opportunities Understanding of how much money is needed and how it will be used Page 8

9 COMMON CREATIVE IDEA MISTAKES No energy and passion in the presentation Too much technical language; focusing on the technology rather than the customer need Failure to explain what customer problem you are trying to solve Too much discussion about the idea and product and not enough explanation about the market, business opportunity, and revenue models Listing too many names of clients or partners. Indicate how many clients and name a few big names to spark interest PRIZE AWARD RULES AND JUDGING CRITERIA Scoring forms can be found in the Forms and Other Documents section below. Judges will score each team that presents on a scale of 1 to 7. The scores will be totaled and the teams with the highest scores will be the winners. Judges should evaluate each individual/team based on how convincingly they present their business concept, such that the judge would want to learn more about the company as a potential investor. The best teams are those teams that an investor would want to schedule a follow-up meeting for further discussion because they believe this company represents a strong investment opportunity. Cash prizes will be awarded to the winners of the Creative Idea Competition. Cash prizes will be distributed through the university system and will flow through student accounts. Cash prizes will first be applied to any outstanding balances individuals may be carrying with any remaining funds being distributed via check. Cash prizes will be distributed evenly among team members unless a document, signed by all team members, stating otherwise is submitted to the Means Center on or before the date of the competition. Page 9

10 PRE-COMPETITION SCHEDULE Wednesday, August 22: Team-Up Wednesday, August 29: Mandatory general meeting of all teams The What and Why of a Business Plan Understanding the Logic of the Plan Understanding Your Audience Organizing Your Effort and Your Time Overcoming Flaws in Plans Ideation and Concept Creation Business Concept Selection and Team Formation Writing Up the Business Concept and Ensuring All the Value-Creating Components are Touched Upon Wednesday, September 5: B-Plan Lab Assessing the Industry in Which You Will Operate: Definition, Size, Structure, Trends, and More The Company, the Products and Services to Be Sold Differentiation Creating Barriers Friday, September 7: 3-4 Page Executive Overview of B-Plan Due Wednesday, September 12: B-Plan Lab More on the Market: How Your Buyers Buy and How to Segment Them and Prioritize Target Audiences How to Analyze Competitors and Establish Competitive Positioning Wednesday, September 19: B-Plan Lab The Economics of the Business: Determining the Cost Structure, Estimating BreakEven, and Evaluating Operating Leverage Wednesday, September 26: B-Plan Lab The Creative (and Guerilla) Marketing Plan Promotional Mixes, Pricing and Distribution Page 10

11 Wednesday, October 3: B-Plan Lab What to Cover on Technology and Intellectual Property Wednesday, October 10: B-Plan Lab How to Write Up Operations, Production and Service Delivery and Logistics Wednesday, October 10: Initial draft of B-plan due Wednesday, October 17: B-Plan Labs Management Team, Boards, and Advisors Human Resource Management Needs What to Say About Risks and Contingencies Putting Together the Master Timetable Tying Up Loose Ends and Putting It All Together Monday, October 22: Final draft of B-plan due Wednesday, October 24: B-Plan Labs Structuring the Offering and Proposed Deal Writing the Executive Summary Friday, October 26: Finalists Announced Wednesday, October 31: B-Plan Lab Tips for Presenting a Business Plan to Investors and Judges Friday, November 2: Finalist Revised Plans due by noon Page 11

12 E-DAY SCHEDULE Friday, November 9: E-Day Description Time Tech Check - All B-Plan competitors 8:00-8:30 a.m. Welcome Networking 8:30 9:00 p.m. Opening Remarks 9:00-9:30 p.m. Creative Idea Competition 9:30-10:30 p.m. Networking Break 10:30-11:00 p.m. ISU Business Plan Competition 11:00-12:30 p.m. Awards 12:30 1:00 p.m. Lunch 1:00-2:00 p.m. Keynote 2:00 2:30 p.m. Networking 2:30 3:00 p.m. Page 12

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