School of Business

2017 Business Plan Competition

Be ready. Battle of the plans.

The Washburn Business Plan Competition prepares students to start a new business by developing a thorough written business plan for a new product or service. A business plan is an important step towards starting a new venture, as it allows entrepreneurs to analyze how their company will operate and brings together many areas of the business environment.

By participating in the competition, students will gain experience through:

  • Identifying business opportunities, developing a business model, and writing a formal business plan
  • Performing market research and feasibility analysis using primary and/or secondary data
  • Developing communication and organizational skills
  • Working individually or as part of a team

Student Eligibility

The competition is open to any Washburn or Washburn Institute of Technology student registered in the current spring semester of 2017, full or part time, graduate or undergraduate.

Team Composition

Individual or as a team. A team entry consists of two to five eligible students.

Written Business Plan Specifics

The business venture should be original, appropriate and currently not in existence (new). Text for the document should be double-spaced using Calibri 11-point font; no handwritten material of any sort will be accepted. A margin of one inch should surround the text. The main body of the business plan must be no longer than 5,000 words. This limit will be strictly enforced. Any entry exceeding the limit will be disqualified. The document should include a title page specifying the names of the business and the individual and/or team members.

The following sections should be used in the development of your business plan:

  • Description of idea and value proposition
  • Internal and external environmental analysis / Competition
  • Target market / Customer
  • Marketing / Promotional plan / Message
  • Management team / Human resource needs
  • Revenue model / Financial forecast
  • Contingency plan
  • Appendix (if required)

The business plan document may also include a maximum of five (5) pages of appendices, the purpose of which is to provide support for the assertions and conclusions expressed in the body of the business plan. This content is separate from the main text and will not count toward the word limit. Appendices should be numbered, titled, and appropriately referenced within the body of the document. Although teams may use this space as they see fit, appendices in reports commonly include elements such as:

  • Financial statements
  • Diagrams / Illustrations
  • Itemization / Categorization of key information
  • Implementation timeline

Important Dates:

March 31, 2017, 11:59 p.m. - Deadline to enter

Entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. on March 31, 2017, via email. Entries will include a registration form and business plan. Registration forms are available online or in the School of Business office in Henderson building on the Washburn campus. The business plan must be submitted as a Microsoft Word file. The file should be sent to Lisa Hecker, School of Business office at: lisa.hecker@washburn.edu. The heading in the email should read: “Business Plan Competition 2017 Entry.”  An email will be sent back to confirm receipt of your entry.

April 14, 2017 - Winners announced via email.

April 21, 2017 - Presentation of awards to winners during the Scholarship Luncheon in Memorial Union Building beginning at 12:30 p.m. All finalists are invited to the luncheon ceremony to receive their prizes.

Judging

Each business plan submitted will have its title page removed and replaced with an identification number to ensure anonymity. Judges will evaluate these business plans independently (i.e., without consulting each other) and evaluate them on a scale from 1 (extremely weak) to 100 (excellent). These scores will then be averaged and the teams ranked to determine the place of each team.

Evaluation criteria:

  • Business idea and value proposition
  • Internal and external analysis
  • Target market / Customer analysis
  • Revenue model / Financials
  • Marketing / Promotional plan
  • Contingency plan
  • Viability / Feasibility 

Judging Panel

The judging panel will consist of at least two and at most four judges, drawn from the business community and academic faculty in the local region. Faculty that play a guiding role in the development of plans will not be invited to judge the plans. Practical business experience will be highly valued in the selection process.

Scoring

Every judge will receive an evaluation form to assist in evaluating and scoring the plans, on a scale from 1 (extremely weak) to 100 (excellent). These scores will be averaged to produce a point total out of 100. The judges’ scores are then received by School of Business faculty members who will tabulate the results and determine the winners of the competition.

Feedback

Once winners have been determined, results and feedback can be delivered to students in such a way that students have a clear understanding of the reasons why the winners were judged to be superior.

Awards

The prizes awarded to the winning individual/team of the competition are as follows:

1st place  -  $4,000
2nd place  -  $3,000
3rd place  -  $2,000
4th place  -  $1,000
5th place  -  $500

Cash prizes provided by School of Business alumni/benefactors. Individual certificates given to each student that participates in the competition.

Questions

Dr. David Price
Associate Professor of Marketing
School of Business
david.price@washburn.edu
785-670-3258