Southeast BIO, which supports the life science industry, is launching a business plan competition designed to help
foster new company growth. The BIO/Plan Competition will match entrepreneurs
with mentors in an attempt to build what SEBIO calls
“venture-attractive” companies. The winner will receive an award estimated at $100,000.
The Hormel Family Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to
McCook Community College and business development in McCook, unveiled
plans today to launch a $25,000 cash award business plan competition to
attract business to the area.
A University of California, San Diego student organization will offer a
$50,000 award for student teams who will compete based on individual
business plans. Teams will undergo intensive business plan education -- including
one-on-one sessions with volunteer mentors, many of whom hail from San
Diego 's scientific, technical and entrepreneurial base.
The contest is open to all new start-up and young
companies and will award $50,000 in prize money to the top three
business plans submitted ($25,000 for first prize, $15,000 for second
and $10,000 for third).
The $200,000 Grand Prize is designed to foster a drive for excellence
in the competition. Students involved in the competition will gain
access to networks of successful entrepreneurs, lenders and investors,
and have the opportunity to learn greater team-building and business
planning skills. The contest will also help student teams gain media
exposure for their entrepreneurial goals.
The $200,000 Grand Prize is larger than that of most college business
plan contests. To receive the $100,000 Cash Prize, student teams must
be committed to launching their venture. In order to receive the
$100,000 Relocation Prize, the winning team must relocate the proposed
venture to Tyler, Texas. The judges in all rounds will be acting as
venture capitalists and will analyze the ventures to determine those
which represent the best investment opportunity.
Participants in the EnterPrize Business Plan Competition, regardless of
whether they have won or lost, have attracted a total of more than $100 million
in venture capital funding over the course of the eight years the competition
has been in existence.
The objective of EnterPrize is to increase the number of start-up companies
in the Pittsburgh region, to increase access to capital, and to establish a
channel for the commercialization of products, services and technology. The
geographic scope of EnterPrize encompasses Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver,
Bedford, Butler, Cambria, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Somerset,
Washington and Westmoreland Counties.
More than $150,000 in cash awards is planned during the 2007 competition.
If you have any questions, or would like to participate in the
2007 EnterPrize Business Plan Competition, please contact Melissa Ungar at 412.918.4292.
This white paper is for entrants in both venture competitions and business plan competitions. It’s about the competitions themselves, how to win them, and, specifically, how to use Business Plan Pro® to do it.
The WBPC is a comprehensive, 7-month
platform to help entrepreneurs and their teams launch their new
business ideas. The WBPC is structured in three phases to help teams
develop their plans in both a collaborative and competitive
environment. The WBPC’s entrepreneurship workshops feature
entrepreneurship experts including Wharton entrepreneurship professors
and Wharton graduates who have started their own businesses. The WBPC
provides a network for brainstorming, feedback, and future business
opportunities. Participating teams develop their ideas with the
guidance from top business leaders who serve as mentors and judges.
Finally, the top three finalists receive national press attention and
share $70,000 in cash and prizes to jumpstart their businesses.
Deadline for Phase 1 is November 10th. Learn more.
Are you developing innovative products and services for the 45 market? The baby boomer market represents over $2 trillion in annual spending power! The first of 76 million baby boomers turns 60 in January 2006 and by the year 2030 there will be 71.5 million Americans age 65 and older, more than double the number of American currently within that demographic. A massive demographic shift means new opportunities for growth, service and profit. Do you have a business plan or start-up venture that shows significant business potential for this burgeoning market?
Now that I have your attention, let me explain. OK, maybe you do need to create a presentation to go with your business plan. You're looking for investors or competing for venture prizes, perhaps.
Don't do a business plan presentation. Instead, do a presentation, start to finish, about your business. The plan is one thing, the slide show is another. Don't confuse the two.
Don't even think about copying words from your plan to your presentation. That's ugly. Slideshows are a different medium.
Some say you should do the presentation first, then the plan.
The most you can take directly from your plan into your slide show will be some charts. Remember as you do that -- and if you do that -- you're going to talk directly to your listeners about the conclusions they should draw from the chart. Don't tell them what the chart says.
The Highlights chart showing annual sales, gross margin, and net profit is good, but just show the chart, skip the bullet points.
You can use a graphic chart break-even analysis to showing how much you need to sell in a month to cover costs.
A good-looking pie chart can show your market segmentation.
Use bar charts to show sales by product or service.
Use a bar chart to show you cash flow projections illustrating the projected cash balance for 12 months.
If you're doing a plan and a presentation, particularly for a start-up business, read and follow Guy Kawasaki's recommendations in his 10/20/30 post on his blog. He's even got a suggested topic list for your 10 slides. You'll end up dropping most of the charts I recommended above, which is fine, his way is better.
The idea of bad powerpoint isn't particularly new and isn't particularly mine either. Like every good idea, it seems to have been something that came up at the same time from a lot of different people. Some of them were articulate writers, so we have their writings to point to.
My favorite is Guy Kawasaki's chapter on PowerPoint in his book The Art of the Start. In his blog piece (the one I I recommended above) he recommends a post by Garr Reynolds on his blog Presentation Zen. There's a recent post by Marc Orchant called Humanizing PowerPoint that is very good and cites several others worth readings. From there you can go to Cliff Atkinson's Beyond Bullets, and he'll take you back to Seth Godin, who wrote the cornerstone piece on bad Powerpoint.
If you're going to do a presentation related to your business plan, read this stuff. Do it right.
I've posted a multimedia presentation on the top 10 planning mistakes in competitions. It's a fun presentation, a top 10 list like the late show. Some of the mistakes discussed are the hockey stick forecasts, trusting your patents to protect you, thinking you have no competition, and, of course, not projecting cash flow right. It has voice and slides, so I hope you enjoy it.
The original presentation was in a series of webinars sponsored by the University of Oregon's New Venture Championship in April.
I like the Oregon competition, I've been a judge for that one seven or eight times. It gets a good field of national and international MBA programs, some good plans, good feedback from the judges. It also has $65,000 in prizes. It may be too late to enter for this year's competition on April 13-15, because the preliminary judging rounds are already underway; but they do this every year, so I recommend it to you for next year if you're involved in an MBA program.