Business Plan Competitions for College Students [List]

Business Plan Competitions for College Students collage

There are more than 100 business plan competitions for college students around the world. But not all the events on this giant list are the same. A few are open to any college student team in the world. Some, all college students in a state, or a region. Most, just currently enrolled students at a specific university.

A few offer top prizes of $100,000 or more. Most prizes range from $5,000 to $20,000. Most prizes are grants, and often include in-kind help such as free legal advice.

A few competitions focus on business models, most others require business plans, but a few just require pitches.

College business plan competitions began in the 1980s when some MBA students at the University of Texas wanted an event comparable to their law school friends’ “moot court.” They started Moot Corp. And the rest is history!

Now there are business plan competitions all over the world. We are building three giant business plan competition lists:

  • US business plan competitions for college students (this list)
  • US business plan competitions
  • Rest of World business plan competitions (under construction)

We are building these resources since business plan competitions are a widespread source of grants, in-kind resources (which is a form of bootstrapping), and sometimes equity or debt, for young companies.

International Business Plan Competitions for College Students

The following 8 competitions are open to students from colleges anywhere in the world. Five are based in the US, one in Europe, one in Asia, one in Canada.

Entrepreneur Organization Global Student Entrepreneur Awards logoGlobal Student Entrepreneur Awards

  • Entry Deadline: Varies by region (there are 104 regions),  October through December
  • Prizes / Awards: $20,000 cash+$20,000 in-kind 1st place, $10,000 2nd place, $5,000 3rd place
  • Year started: 1998
  • Description: The Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) is the premier global competition for students who own and operate a business while attending college or university. Nominees compete against their peers from around the world in a series of local and/or national competitions in hopes to qualify for GSEA Finals. Founded in 1998 by Saint Louis University, GSEA is now an Entrepreneurs’ Organization program.
  • Eligibility: College students with operating businesses. 
  • Location: Global, finals in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Hult Prize logoThe Hult Prize

  • Entry Deadline: November 30, 2017 for choice of regional, final regional deadline is December 23, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $1 million in seed capital
  • Year Started: 2009
  • Description: Today, the Hult Prize is the world’s foremost platform for the creation and launch of for-good, for-profit startups emerging from university. In nearly a decade, the movement has deployed more than $50M of capital into the sector and mobilized more than one million young people to re-think the future of business as it continues to breed disruptive innovation on college and university campuses across 100 plus countries. The Hult Prize Foundation been called the “Nobel Prize for Students” and has been featured in a TIME Magazine Cover Story highlighting the “Top 5 Ideas Changing the World.”
  • 2018 Hult Challenge for all teams: “The 2018 Hult Prize is an invitation to student teams around the world to find and develop energy innovations that can be scaled to improve the lives of millions.”
  • Eligibility: University students. 1,000 campuses around the world have Hult programs that run September to December to bypass the general application process. For a list see 
  • Location: Regional Semi-Final Rounds of competition will be held in Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai, Shanghai, Toronto, Mexico City, Quito, Bogota, Melbourne, Lagos, Nairobi, Cairo, Tunisia, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore on the weekends of March 09-11 and March 16-18, 2018.

International Business Model Competition logoInternational Business Model Competition

  • Entry Deadline: April 1
  • Prizes / Awards: $30,000 1st place, $20,000 2nd place, $10,000 3rd place, $6,000 4th place, $5,000 5th place
  • Year Started: 2011
  • Description: The International Business Model Competition is the first and largest lean startup competition in the world. The competition’s primary aim is to educate and inspire smarter entrepreneurs who launch ventures that are more successful.
  • Eligibility: The International Business Model Competition is open to all students enrolled at an accredited institution of higher education anywhere in the world.
  • Location: Provo, Utah

Lee Kuan Yew Global Business Plan Competition logoLee Kuan Yew Global Business Plan Competition

  • Entry Deadline: June 26, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $1,000,000 across 15+ prizes, grand prize of S$100,000 (about US$73,000)
  • Year Started: 2012
  • Description: The competition is a platform for Singapore to engage with the global innovation & entrepreneurship community, and showcase our innovation capability and ambition to the rest of the world.
  • Eligibility: Student Enrolment: The competition is open to all full time university students (including undergraduate, postgraduates and doctoral students), college and polytechnic students. Team Size & Composition: Each team can have at least 2 and up to 5 members, with at least one core member being current university students. The competition is for new, independent ventures in the seed, start-up, or early growth stages.
  • Location: Singapore

MIT Clean Energy Prize logoMIT Clean Energy Prize

  • Entry Deadline: February 17th, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $100,000 Grand Prize and $125,000 in category prizes.
  • Year Started: 2008
  • Description: CEP is open to any student, anywhere, who has a clean energy start-up idea that can change the world.
  • Eligibility: To be eligible to win the $50,000 DOE EERE Clean Energy Prize and go on to represent the MIT Clean Energy Prize at the DOE’s National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition in Washington D.C., the entry must be consistent with the mission and technology portfolio of the DOE EERE.
  • Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts

University of Oregon New Venture Championship logoNew Venture Championship

  • Entry Deadline: February 19, 2018
  • Prizes / Awards: First Place $20,000 Second Place $10,000 Runner-Up Finalists (2)  $2,500, four smaller special cash prizes
  • Year Started: 1992
  • Description: New Venture Championship is a graduate venture competition designed to mimic the real world process of raising venture capital. The competition is for graduate students to gain real experience in this process while developing and growing new ventures based either on their own ideas and technologies or those developed by others. Graduate school teams from elite universities come to Portland every year to pitch their venture plans and vie for NVC’s more than $50,000 in cash prizes. The competition is the Pacific Northwest’s original six-round business competition.
  • Eligibility: MBA students from the top business programs worldwide compete. Previous teams have come from all over the U.S. as well as Hong Kong and Thailand. This is a competition for graduate students; teams with a minority of undergraduates can compete. Students from any graduate program (not just MBAs) are eligible to participate, including executive and evening format programs. Non-students may be members of the venture’s management team and may participate in planning the venture, however only students may participate in the competition.
  • Location: University of Oregon, Portland

Rice Business Plan CompetitionRice University Business Plan Competition

  • Entry Deadline: February 10, 2018
  • Prizes / Awards: $1+ million in total cash and prizes, grand prize is $300,000 convertible note
  • Year Started: 2001
  • Description: The Rice Business Plan Competition is the world’s richest and largest graduate-level student startup competition. It is hosted and organized by the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, which is Rice University’s internationally-recognized initiative devoted to the support of entrepreneurship, and the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business.
  • Eligibility: Open to graduate students at all colleges and universities.  All ventures must be seeking outside equity capital.
  • Location: Rice University, Houston

University Startup World Cup logoUniversity World Cup

  • Entry Deadline: September 18, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $20,000 overall winner, $5,000 for each category winner
  • Year Started: 2001
  • Description: University Startup World Cup is the leading university startup program and competition where the most promising university talents, corporates, business professionals and entrepreneurs get together for a one-week program in Copenhagen. In 2017 62 teams from 33 different countries participated and competed in a week-long program. Top countries were China and Denmark (7 teams each), Portugal and US (4 teams each), Finland, Norway and United Arab Emirates (3 teams each).
  • Eligibility: We focus on entrepreneurship as a practical discipline and we expose our participants to a great network of experienced entrepreneurs and business people who provide valuable advice on a volunteer basis because they share Venture Cup’s interest in finding and supporting leading start-ups.
  • Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

US National Business Plan Competitions for College Students

Baylor Business logoBaylor Business New Venture Competition

  • Entry Deadline: October 3, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: First Place: $50,000, Second Place: $25,000, Third Place: $10,000
  • Year started: 1992
  • Description: The Baylor New Venture Competition is not only an opportunity to receive valuable feedback on your business venture but also an opportunity to receive a sizable monetary award and support services that will aid in your venture’s launch.
  • Eligibility: To be eligible for the competition, your team must have 2-4 members, be current students (undergraduate, graduate or post-graduate) or have graduated no more than 18 months prior to the entry deadline.
  • Location: Baylor University, Waco, Texas

Elevate Business Plan Competition logoElevate (US Christian colleges)

  • Entry Deadline: February 1, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $25,000 cash, $25,000 in kind
  • Year Started: 2017
  • Description: Four teams are invited (with travel expenses reimbursed) to the National Finals in Silicon Valley, CA. Our vision is to elevate and mobilize a generation of bright entrepreneurs, investors, and leaders to work for the good of others Genesis 2:15, use God-given gifts Romans 12:6-8, and multiply God’s resources Luke 19:11-27 for His purpose and Kingdom.
  • Eligibility: First and foremost ELEVATE is a faith-based competition so we are seeking early-stage startups with founders who lead by following Jesus.  Secondly, this competition is designed to elevate entrepreneurial excellence among this next generation of leaders in faith and work, so it’s for students.  And finally, we are looking for scalable for-profit startups that want to serve the world.
  • Location: Redwood City, California

Good Neighbor Pharmacy Business Plan Competition logoGood Neighbor Pharmacy NCPA Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition

  • Entry Deadline: May 30, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $6,000
  • Year Started: 2008
  • Description: In an effort to promote interest in independent community pharmacy ownership, the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) and the NCPA Foundation have established the Good Neighbor Pharmacy NCPA Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition. The goal of the Competition is to motivate pharmacy students to create the blueprint necessary for buying an existing independent community pharmacy or to develop a new pharmacy.
  • Eligibility: Teams must be composed of pharmacy students, all of whom must be active NCPA student members, from May 15, 2017 through October 24, 2017.
  • Location: Alexandria, Virginia

National Collegiate Venture CompetitionNational Collegiate Venture Competition

  • Entry Deadline: March 5, 2018
  • Prizes / Awards: $10,000 1st prize, $5,000 2nd prize
  • Year Started: 2018
  • Description: The Collegiate Venture Competition celebrates student success stories for campus entrepreneurs with operating businesses. Entrepreneurs submit a 60-second video pitch and an application.
  • Eligibility: College students running post-revenue ventures with at least one customer. Graduates within one year of post-grad are also invited to apply. Each presenting company must have a faculty sponsor.
  • Location: Conway, Arkansas

Startup Student Madness logoStudent Startup Madness

  • Entry Deadline: December 1, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $5,000
  • Year Started: 2012
  • Description: Student Startup Madness (SSM) is the only nationwide collegiate tournament focused on digital media startups. It affords college student startups the opportunity to compete against fellow student entrepreneurs, grab the attention of potential investors and supporters, and build an elite professional network. At the SSM finals at SXSW, eight of the top college student startups in the country will pitch their business to well-known investors and entrepreneurs who can help them transform their ideas into success.
  • Location: As a tournament, the first round competitions happen at eight universities. In the 2017-18 season it’s: St. Louis University, Michigan State, University of Illinois Champagne-Urbana (all Midwest Region); Xavier (Great Lakes Region), Bucknell, Seton Hall, Cornell (all Northeast Region), University of Washington Tacoma, University of California Davis, University of Southern California (all West Region), University of Florida, Georgia State (both Southeast Region), University of Maryland (Mid-Atlantic Region), Arizona State (Southwest Region).

Tigerlaunch logoTigerLaunch

  • Entry Deadline: Mid-December  
  • Prizes / Awards: $30,000+ in prizes.
  • Year Started: 2007
  • Description: TigerLaunch is Princeton’s national entrepreneurship competition, dedicated to building student founder networks across the country at the University, Regional, and National levels. With four events planned for the 2018 competition in Seattle, Chicago, NYC, and Princeton, TigerLaunch is the largest student-run competition of its kind in the country, with over 300 applicants in 2017.
  • EligibilityTeams must consist of 1-4 undergraduate or graduate students. All members of your team must be enrolled in college or be on a gap year. This means that if you have an older member on your team, such as a professor or an alumni, that you may not enter the competition.
  • Location: Regional competitions Seattle, Chicago, New York

Future Founders Foundation logoU.Pitch

  • Entry Deadline: October 18, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: 1st Place $5,000, 2nd Place $2,500, 3rd Place $1,250 + $500 4th Place $500
  • Year Started: 2014
  • Description: U.Pitch brings together the best students from a cross-section of universities in this ultimate national elevator pitch competition. In just 90 seconds, students compete for national recognition and a prize pool of $10,000. They also have the opportunity to showcase their idea or startup in front of hundreds of entrepreneurs, investors, business leaders and other students from the entrepreneurial community.
  • Eligibility: Be currently enrolled as a college student or have graduated from an undergraduate or graduate program within the past six months Have started a company OR simply have an idea to start a company (must be a for-profit venture and headquartered in the United States).
  • Location: Chicago, Illinois

US Statewide Business Plan Competitions for College Students

These competitions are open to all or most college students in their respective state.

Arkansas Capital logoArkansas Governors Cup Collegiate Business Plan Competition

  • Entry Deadline: February 16, 2018
  • Prizes / Awards: $154,000 cash prize pool, including $25,000 each to top undergraduate and top graduate teams
  • Year Started: 2001
  • Description: Delta Plastics of Little Rock, the nation’s leading manufacturer and supplier of irrigation polytube for the agriculture industry and one of the country’s largest recyclers of heavily soiled and contaminated plastic, is the new title sponsor for the Arkansas Governor’s Cup Collegiate Business Plan Competition, presented by Arkansas Capital Corporation.  
  • Eligibility: College Students
  • Location: Little Rock, Arkansas

Big Ideas at Berkeley logoBig Ideas @Berkeley

  • Entry Deadline: November 15, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: Average prize is $5,000, but many winners are chosen across 10 categories and receive grants ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 based on the idea, not what is needed for implementation
  • Year Started: 2006
  • Description: Big Ideas is an annual contest aimed at providing funding, support, and encouragement to interdisciplinary teams of students who have “big ideas.” There are 8 different categories: Art & Social Change, Connected Communities, Energy & Resource Alternatives, Food Systems, Global Health, Hardware for Good, Workforce Education and Development, and Scaling Up Big Ideas.
  • Eligibility: At least one member of each team must be a matriculated student at an eligible campus to enter the contest. All matriculated students across the 10-campus University of California system, as well as Makerere University in Uganda are eligible to submit an application to any category in the Big Ideas Contest.
  • Location: University of California, Berkeley

Entrepreneurship Foundation logoConnecticut New Venture Competition

  • Entry Deadline: November 29, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: “$20,000 in start-up support services and cash grants”
  • Year Started: 1998
  • Description: All entrants will receive candid feedback from a business financing expert on their on-line executive summary. Press releases announcing the finalists and winners will be sent to the media. Cash and cash-equivalent service awards are granted to the student companies; trophies are awarded to the schools. Checks will be made out to the company and winners will need to provide an FEIN or SSN of the team leader.
  • Eligibility: The team leader and primary presenter must be a student at a Connecticut college or university during the current academic year. (Entries may be submitted by individuals or teams.) In keeping with the spirit of the competition to foster entrepreneurship, neither plans written for outside companies as student projects nor plans written on behalf of a company not student-owned and conceived are eligible.
  • Location: Fairfield

Idea State U logoIdea State U (Kentucky)

  • Entry Deadline: February 15, 2018 (intent to compete)
  • Prizes / Awards: Up to $100,000 in prize money; $25,000 first prize business plan, $7,500 first prize business model
  • Year Started: 2008
  • Description: Idea State U is Kentucky’s statewide business plan and business model competition, designed to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship by rewarding student teams from the Commonwealth’s colleges and universities. Three regional competitions are held in late March.
  • Eligibility: Teams must have a faculty advisor. Proposed ventures earning more than $5000 in revenues prior to the competition are excluded.
  • Location: Colleges and Universities across Kentucky. Finals held at University of Kentucky Gatton School of Business.

UMaine Business ChallengeUMaine Business Challenge

  • Entry Deadline: October
  • Prizes / Awards: $5,000 1st place, $10,000 Tech Prize (in 2 tranches)
  • Year started: 2012
  • Description: The UMaine Business Challenge runs throughout the course of one academic year. In order to help participants reach their goals, the competition is broken up into multiple stages. The competition begins in the Fall (September), and concludes in the Spring (April) with the Competition Pitch Day.
  • Eligibility: Any student enrolled in a college or university within the state of Maine during the duration of the competition year is eligible to compete. Businesses must be headquartered, or plan to be headquartered, in the state of Maine.
  • Location: University of Maine, Orono

Donald W. Reynolds Governor's Cup logoNevada Governor’s Cup

  • Entry Deadline: February 17th, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $142,000 total, including $25,000 each to top undergraduate and top graduate teams
  • Year Started: 2004
  • Description: With one of the largest cash prize pools in America, the Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup business plan competition encourages Nevada’s college and university to act on their ideas and talents by entering the competition and have a head start in producing tomorrow’s businesses.
  • Eligibility: Open to all faculty or mentor-sponsored full and part-time degree or certificate-seeking undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at any Nevada university or college.
  • Location: Nevada

New York Business Plan Competition logoNew York Business Plan Competition (Facebook page)

  • Entry Deadline: March (see for the 10 regional semi-finals
  • Prizes / Awards: Over $500,000 annually among the semi-finals and finals across the 6 tracks. Grand prize is $100,000, $10,000 to each of the other 5 track winners.
  • Year Started: 2002
  • Description: More than 70 New York state colleges participate in 10 different regional college business plan competitions, the winners of which participate in a statewide final at the end of April. There are currently six different tracks: Information Technology/Software, Social Entrepreneurship/ Non-Profit, Clean Technology, Advanced Technology, Products, and Services.
  • Eligibility: Teams must consist entirely of New York state college and university students (undergraduate, graduate and/or community college).
  • Location: across New York state

University of Texas Kelleher Center logoTexas Business Plan Competition

  • Entry Deadline: October 28, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: 1st Place: $10,000, 2nd Place: $5,000, 3rd Place: $2,000 ,4th Place: $1,000
  • Year Started: 2017
  • Description: The Texas Business Plan Competition, hosted by the Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship, Growth, and Renewal at the University of Texas at Austin is the premier statewide business plan competition for undergraduate students. This annual event awards over $22K in prizes to aspiring students from around the State of Texas to encourage and facilitate the development of successful entrepreneurs.
  • Eligibility: The participating team must contain and be represented by at least one full-time or part-time undergraduate student from a 4-year Texas university.
  • Location: Austin, Texas

Utah Entrepreneur Challenge logoUtah Entrepreneur Challenge

  • Entry Deadline: Feb 15, 2018
  • Prizes / Awards: $40,000 Grand Prize
  • Year started: 2001
  • Description: The Utah Entrepreneur Challenge (UEC) is a statewide, student business model competition. Teams from universities across the state compete for the best business model and a chance to win cash and awards.
  • Eligibility: The team must be organized and directed by a student from a college or university in the State of Utah.  The founding student must be registered for a minimum of nine (9) credit hours during both semesters of the competition year  The student team members must be involved in all aspects of the UEC competition.  The team must not have been a finalist in past Utah Entrepreneur Challenge
  • Location: Salt Lake, Utah

West Virginia Business Plan Competition logoWV Statewide Collegiate Business Plan Competition

  • Entry Deadline: October 13, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $10,000 to each of 3 category winners plus accounting, legal and virtual or physical incubator space
  • Year Started: 2004
  • Description: The West Virginia Collegiate Business Plan Competition affords students around the state the unique opportunity to make a business idea come to life with the support of state institutions of higher education and seasoned business professionals from around the country.
  • Eligibility: Any full-time college student attending a four-year, degree-granting West Virginia institution OR a full-time community college student at a West Virginia degree granting institution. Open to all majors. Three categories: Lifestyle and Innovation; Hospitality and Tourism; STEM/Technology.
  • Location: Morgantown

US Campus-Specific Business Plan Competitions for College Students

Alabama College Business Plan Competitions

Samford University Brock School of Business logoSamford University Regions New Venture Challenge

  • Entry Deadline: Late March/Early April
  • Prizes / Awards: 1st place: $7,500 2nd place: $ 1,500 2nd place: $5,000 3rd place: $2,500
  • Year Started: 2014
  • Description: Samford University’s Brock School of Business and Regions Bank team up annually for the region New Venture Challenge business plan competition for Samford students which takes place in late April and/or early May. The business plan competition is one in a series of programs at the Brock School of Business aimed at making it a leading school for training aspiring entrepreneurs.
  • Eligibility: All currently enrolled Samford University undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to enter the Open Division. Recent Samford alumni, defined as those having graduated in the previous three years, may also enter the competition.
  • Location: Samford University, Birmingham

Culverhouse College of Commerce logoThe Edward K. Aldag Jr. Business Plan Competition

  • Entry Deadline: January 5, 2018
  • Prizes / Awards: $50,000 (Grand Prize), First prize of $5k; second prize of $3k and third prize of $2k
  • Year Started:  2007
  • Description: In 2017 the competition required Powerpoint pitch decks instead of business plans.
  • Eligibility: The competition is open to all University of Alabama students and community members.  Students and community members will compete at different booths.
  • Location: University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa

Arizona College Business Plan Competitions

Canyon Challenge logoGrand Canyon University Canyon Challenge

  • Entry Deadline: Feb 19, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $15,000
  • Year Started: 2015
  • Description: The Canyon Challenge is organized by the student club IDEA@GCU. There are a series of pitches and Idea Trade Shows that lead up to the Canyon Challenge.
  • Eligibility: Open to Grand Canyon University students.
  • Location: Grand Canyon University, Phoenix

Arkansas College Business Plan Competitions

Arkansas State University logoArkansas State Business Plan Competition

  • Entry Deadline: October 12th, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $2,500 total prizes
  • Year Started: N/A
  • Description: All you really need is an innovative idea and the ability to write it down in no more than two pages.
  • Eligibility: The competition is open to all students enrolled at Arkansas State and invited colleges. All students, both undergraduate and graduate, are eligible.
  • Location: Arkansas State University, Jonesboro

California College Business Plan Competitions

California State University Fullerton Entrepreneurship logoCalifornia State University at Fullerton Business Plan Competition

  • Entry Deadline: March 12, 2018
  • Prizes / Awards: 1st Place: $2,500 scholarship and in-kind services, 2nd Place: $1,000 scholarship and in-kind services, 3rd Place: $500 scholarship and in-kind services
  • Year Started: 2012
  • Description: The most vibrant and entrepreneurial business communities in the United States, Mihaylo College of Business and Economics at California State University, Fullerton is the largest accredited business school on the West Coast, nationally recognized for accreditation in both its business and accounting programs.
  • Eligibility:Any current California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) student may apply. Non-students may be members of the ventures current management team and may participate in planning the venture. However, only CSUF students may participate in the competition in presenting the plan and answering questions from the competition judges.
  • Location: California State University, Fullerton

UC Davis Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center logoUC Davis Big Bang Competition

  • Entry Deadline: October 24, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $20,000
  • Year Started: 2004
  • Description: The Big Bang! provides a rich immersion for students, faculty, researchers and community members interested in starting or growing a business venture. In addition to the competition, the Big Bang! offers a comprehensive series of workshops for building entrepreneurial skills.
  • Eligibility: All Big Bang! teams must register and submit deliverables through the YouNoodle platform by the appropriate deadlines. 
  • Location: University of California, Davis

Beall New Venture Competition logoUCI Paul Merage School of Business New Venture Competition

  • Entry Deadline: November 8, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $100,000
  • Year Started: 2014
  • Description: The New Venture Competition provides the opportunity to form a team, launch a startup and potentially fund their business idea all within seven months.
  • Eligibility: Open to UCI students, staff members, and researchers Teams must identify with one of the following Competition Tracks: Consumer Products, Consumer Services, Business Products and Services, Life Sciences or Social Impact Solutions.
  • Location: University of California Irvine

UCLA Knapp Venture Competition logoUCLA Knapp Venture Competition

  • Entry Deadline: Early March
  • Prizes / Awards: $15,000 first place, $7,000 second place
  • Year Started: 1982
  • Description: Now in its 36th year, the Knapp Venture Competition has evolved into one of the premier academic business plan competitions in Southern California. It encourages UCLA Anderson students to showcase their talents and learn from insights of successful entrepreneurs and business executives. The Knapp Competition has given more than 1,800 UCLA Anderson students a unique venture creation experience that has been instrumental in launching numerous businesses.
  • Eligibility: At least one Anderson MBA student must be a member of the team. Non-students may be members of the management team and participate in planning the venture. The maximum size of a team is six (6) students. Prize money will be distributed to enrolled UCLA students; teams will be responsible for distributing winnings to team members who are not UCLA students.
  • Location: University of California Los Angeles

USC New Venture Seed Competition logoUSC New Venture Seed Competition

  • Entry Deadline: October 15, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $75,000
  • Year Started: N/A
  • Description: The 2017 Greif Center New Venture Seed Competition drew 200 teams from across the university. Through a rigorous judging and coaching process, the six finalists pitched to a panel of investors, entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists.
  • Eligibility: All USC students, faculty and staff are encouraged to apply.
  • Location: Los Angeles, California

Colorado College Business Plan Competitions

Fort Lewis College logoHawk Tank

  • Entry Deadline: March 27, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards:  Up to $5,000
  • Year Started: 2011
  • Description: A series of educational programs prior to the day of competition help participants grow their skills and network with the Durango business community. Participating teams also can be partnered with mentors in the Durango business community.
  • Eligibility: Business plans in any industry may participate. Open to current FLC students and alumni who graduated recently.
  • Location: Fort Lewis College, Durango

The Climb Jake Jabs Business Plan Competition logoThe Climb: Jake Jabs Business Plan Competition

  • Entry Deadline: Fall 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $50,000
  • Year Started: 2007
  • Description: THE CLIMB | Jake Jabs Business Plan Competition is a business development event for collegiate and community startups based in Colorado. Established by the Jake Jabs Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado Denver, THE CLIMB is a multi-stage competition that helps entrepreneurs transform concepts into viable businesses through mentorship, education, financial support and real-world business exchanges. With more than 500 mentor hours shared and $1 million awarded to date, THE CLIMB celebrates 16 years of guiding entrepreneurial thinkers and empowering them to blaze their own trail.
  • Eligibility: Open to collegiate teams at the University of Colorado Denver and community teams in Colorado. Startup must be under two years old, no angel or VC investment.
  • Location: University of Colorado, Denver

University of Northern Colorado logoMonfort College of Business Entrepreneurial Challenge

  • Entry Deadline: November 13, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: Participants will receive expert opinions, professional advice and a share of $50,000 in total prize money.
  • Year Started: 2009
  • Description: The 2018 Monfort College of Business Entrepreneurial Challenge is newly designed to help entrepreneurs take their business to the next level.
  • Eligibility: Likely students at Monfort College of Business
  • Location: University of Northern Colorado, Greeley

Connecticut College Business Plan Competitions

Fairfield StartUp logoFairfield StartUp

  • Entry Deadline: April 6, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $7,500  
  • Year Started: 2013
  • Description: Fairfield StartUp is a yearly program of events designed to foster young entrepreneurial talent at Fairfield University through engagement with mentors and investors drawn from alumni and local business communities. Starting with the Kickoff in September, prospective students are shepherded through a sequence of educational, networking and mentoring events designed to help them ideate and articulate their business models, recruit teams and mentors and attract partners and other resources needed to start their businesses.
  • Eligibility: Individuals must be currently enrolled at Fairfield University and in good standing at the university and the community. 
  • Location: Fairfield University, Fairfield

Woff New Venture Competition logoWolff New Venture Competition

  • Entry Deadline: September 26, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $15,000
  • Year Started: 2016
  • Description: The Wolff New Venture Competition features 10-minute presentations by the top five entrepreneurial teams from the Connecticut Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CCEI) Summer Fellowship program, chosen on a basis of venture viability and value added to the market.
  • Eligibility: Enrolled in CCEI Summer Fellowship program
  • Location: University of Connecticut, East Hartford

Florida College Business Plan Competitions

University of Florida logoBig Idea Gator Business Plan Competition

  • Entry Deadline: Oct. 31, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards:  $25,000 1st prize, $10,000 2nd prize, $5,000 3rd prize
  • Year Started: 2011
  • Description: The Big Idea Gator Business Plan Competition was created to help students grow their business ideas. It is a four month competition in the spring where teams of students begin by creating growth-oriented business models. These teams go on to research and produce rough drafts to complete business plans. 
  • Eligibility: Students can enter the competition individually or form teams. The team leader must be an enrolled student at any college or school at UF A business plan is not required to register. 
  • Location: University of Florida, Gainesville

Georgia College Business Plan Competitions

Georgia State University College of Business logoGeorgia State uVenture Challenge

  • Entry Deadline: N/A
  • Prizes / Awards: N/A
  • Year Started: 2016
  • Description: The uVenture Challenge is a competition for student teams to craft innovative solutions and apply innovative business model concepts to real-world business problems.
  • Eligibility: All currently enrolled Georgia State undergraduate and graduate students with an interest in entrepreneurship and business problem solving are invited to participate. It is preferred, but not required, that participating students are familiar with one or more of the following: business model design, design thinking, innovation techniques, marketing/branding and general problem solving.
  • Location: Georgia State University, Atlanta

Idaho College Business Plan Competitions

University of Idaho logoBusiness Plan Competition

  • Entry Deadline: N/A
  • Prizes / Awards:  Three competition tracks: Innovative Venture, Entrepreneurial Venture, New Product Development
  • Year Started: N/A
  • Description: This student competition was created to resemble the real-world process of launching a business.
  • Eligibility: Students at University of Idaho
  • Location: University of Idaho, Moscow

Illinois College Business Plan Competitions

Chicago Innovation Challenge logoChicago Innovation Challenge@Knapp Center

  • Entry Deadline: October 1, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: 1st Place Prize: $2,500, 2nd Place Prize: $1000, 3rd Place Prize: $500
  • Year Started: N/A
  • Description: The Knapp Entrepreneurship Center, at the Illinois Institute of Technology, strives to be Chicago’s premier entrepreneurship center. The Center focuses on helping launch, expand and strengthen businesses created by students, faculty, alumni and the community at large. The Center is part of a collaborative community of supporters of entrepreneurs, which provides effective, affordable, and expert resources to help create and grow successful commercial ventures.
  • Eligibility: Currently enrolled Illinois Tech students Currently enrolled students enrolled in a college or university with a physical presence in Chicago Currently enrolled high school students attending any Chicago Public School, Chicago Charter School or Chicago Selective School
  • Location: Illinois Tech, Chicago

Edward L. Kaplan New Venture Challenge logoEdward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge

  • Entry Deadline: October 24, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $600K in cash prizes and in-kind services, such as legal and professional consulting services and office space.
  • Year Started: 1996
  • Description: The New Venture Challenge at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business is not just a competition. Instead, it is a year-long business launch program that they believe is the #1 university accelerator program in the nation.
  • Eligibility: Teams must have at least one currently enrolled MBA students at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business as an integral part of the team. 
  • Location: University of Chicago

Cozad New Venture CompetitionCozad New Venture Competition

  • Entry Deadline: October 27, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: N/A
  • Year Started: N/A
  • Description: The Cozad New Venture Competition (CNVC) is designed to encourage students to create new businesses. Teams are invited to create a venture around a topic of their choice.
  • Eligibility: N/A
  • Location: University of Illinois, Urbana

Indiana College Business Plan Competitions

Grant County Economic Growth Council logoGrant County I-69 Collegiate Innovation Challenge

  • Entry Deadline: February
  • Prizes / Awards: $500 gift card per winning student
  • Year Started: 2006
  • Description:  I-69 is a weekend-long collegiate business plan competition hosted by the Grant County Economic Growth Council. At the beginning of the weekend, five teams are composed with one student from each school to collaborate. The students choose a social problem for which they must come up with a for-profit solution. Within 24 hours the teams must present a finished plan to a panel of esteemed judges who will select the top three teams to win cash prizes.
  • Eligibility: Teams must be from one or more of these six Indiana Universities: Anderson University, Ball State University, Huntington University, Grace College, Indiana Wesleyan University and/or Taylor University.
  • Location: Marion, Indiana

Ivy Tech Community College New Venture Competition logoIvy Tech Community College New Venture Competition

  • Entry Deadline: June
  • Prizes / Awards: $35,000
  • Year Started: N/A
  • Description: Ivy Tech Community College Northeast’s New Venture Competition is a business plan competition that offers students and alumni the chance to earn $35,000 in capital to launch a new business.
  • Eligibility: The New Venture Competition is open to Ivy Tech Northeast students and alumni who are interested in starting their own business.
  • Location: Ivy Tech Community College, multiple campuses

McCloskey Business Plan Competition logoNotre Dame McCloskey Business Plan Competition

  • Entry Deadline: October 30, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $25K with potential award of up to $250K.
  • Year Started: 2001
  • Description: Do you have an idea for a new product, service or technology? If so, you are the perfect candidate for the McCloskey New Venture Competition! Tremendous resources are made available through the Competition including mentors, networking, extensive feedback and business planning software. We will surround you with resources to help set you up for success, as you build your idea into a profitable business solution!
  • Eligibility:  All undergraduate and graduate Notre Dame students may enter the McCloskey Competition. Students from all Colleges, all majors and all programs are encouraged to enter. Notre Dame faculty and alumni may compete as long as a current Notre Dame student is leading the team effort: student(s) must be integrally in the business planning process, leading efforts to conduct market research, develop the business model, write the business plan and present/represent the venture in the semifinal and final rounds.
  • Location: University of Notre Dame

Purdue Business Model CompetitionBurton D. Morgan Business Model Competition

  • Entry Deadline: September 25, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: Three tracks, 3 prizes in each: $25,000 (Open 1st prize), $15,000 (Social 1st prize), $15,000 (Small Business 1st prize)
  • Year Started: 1987
  • Description: The new competition format (business model vs. business plan) will also provide participants with an opportunity to develop and improve transferrable skills that will serve them well within this specific competition, but also be valuable throughout their career journey. The workshops, seminars and training provided for participants will be delivered by different organizations across Purdue University,
  • Eligibility: All currently enrolled Purdue students are eligible to participate in the competition. Non-students such as Purdue alumni, faculty, staff and local residents can also be team members (if they can demonstrate a connection to Purdue University), but currently enrolled Purdue students must make the final presentations to the judges.
  • Location: Purdue University, West Lafayette

Kentucky College Business Plan Competitions

Western Kentucky University entrepreneurship center logoWestern Kentucky University Business Plan  Competition

  • Entry Deadline: February 14, 2018 (also a round in the fall)
  • Prizes / Awards: Cash awards of up to $1,500 will be given to winning entries in 1st through 3rd place.
  • Year Started: 2008
  • Description: Three rounds of business plan writing, using the Kentucky State Business Plan format.
  • Eligibility: Any fully matriculated WKU student.
  • Location: Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green

Maryland College Business Plan Competitions

Johns Hopkins University Business Plan Competition logoJohns Hopkins University Business Plan Competition

  • Entry Deadline: February 5, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: N/A
  • Year Started: 1998
  • Description: The nationally recognized Johns Hopkins University Business Plan Competition, hosted by the Center for Leadership Education, provides an opportunity for students to take a novel idea or innovative technology and develop a business plan based around it.
  • Eligibility: Be a current part-time, full-time or Postdoctoral student of any of the nine divisions of Johns Hopkins University during the current academic year and be a member of the venture’s startup management team.
  • Location: Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore

Cangiolini Business Innovation Contest logoU. Maryland Cangiolini Business Innovation Contest

  • Entry Deadline: March 8, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: First Prize $3,000, Second Prize $2,000, Third Prize $1,000
  • Year Started: 2005
  • Description: The CBIC is designed to attract the real entrepreneurs at UMBC, the ones who know they are going to start a company, or in some cases have already. You’re the ones this entrepreneurship program was designed for! Are you ready to start living your dream.
  • Eligibility: Any UMBC student (full or part time, graduate or undergraduate) with a dream of launching their own business soon.
  • Location: University of Maryland Baltimore Campus

Massachusetts College Business Plan Competitions

Boston College Carroll School of Management logoBoston College Venture Competition

  • Entry Deadline: October 12th, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $10,000
  • Year Started: 2012
  • Description: The Venture Competition@Shea is a university-wide business plan competition designed to promote and support entrepreneurship at Boston College. With mentoring from experienced alumni and faculty, students develop and implement the skills necessary to start successful businesses. Several sessions throughout the year offer additional coaching and advice from entrepreneurs, law partners, venture capitalists, and other executives.
  • Eligibility: N/A
  • Location: Boston College, Chestnut Hill

Buzz Lab logoBUzz Lab New Venture Competition

  • Entry Deadline: February
  • Prizes / Awards: $100,000
  • Year Started: 2008
  • Description: An important part of the BUzz Lab program is the New Venture Competition. This competition starts with pitch and pizza, which requires teams to pitch their idea for one minute. Pitch and Pizza is held in the fall and spring semester.
  • Eligibility: N/A
  • Location: Boston University

Harvard Business School logoHarvard Business School New Venture Competition

  • Entry Deadline: September 29, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $300,000 total
  • Year Started: 1997
  • Description: The New Venture Competition is an annual student competition sponsored by Harvard Business School’s Rock Center for Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise Initiative.
  • Eligibility: Participating teams require at least one Harvard Business School MBA student who plays a primary role in the business. The HBS student should be a part of the founding team and a significant equity holder, if equity has been distributed.
  • Location: Harvard Business School, Boston

MIT $100K logoMIT 100K

  • Entry Deadline: October 11, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $100K
  • Year Started: 1991
  • Description: One competition – three independent contests – from October through May. For 28 years, the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition has been bringing together students and researchers from across MIT and Greater Boston to launch their talent, ideas, and technology into leading companies.
  • Eligibility: Teams are encouraged to seek the involvement of MIT faculty, alumni, post-docs, researchers, staff, students from other schools, and people from outside the MIT community. All team members must be full-fledged members of the team. Teams must not have accepted any non-institutional funding in excess of $150,000.
  • Location: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge

Husky Startup Challenge logoNorthestern Husky Challenge

  • Entry Deadline: early February
  • Prizes / Awards: N/A
  • Year Started: 1997
  • Description: Through a series of bootcamps, workshops, networking events, and a final Demo Day participants will get support to finish the program with a functioning business and plans to grow.
  • Eligibility: Northeastern University students
  • Location:  Northeastern University, Boston

Tufts Gordon Institute logoTufts $100,000 Business Plan Competition

  • Entry Deadline: January 26, 2018
  • Prizes / Awards:  $100K
  • Year Started: 2005
  • Description: Organized by the Gordon Institute’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Program at Tufts University, the annual competition has three tracks: Classic (for profit business), Social (creating social value), and Medical/Life Science.
  • Eligibility: The annual competition draws entries from alumni, faculty, staff, and undergraduate and graduate students from across the university. 
  • Location: Tufts University, Medford

Michigan College Business Plan Competitions

University of Michigan Ross Center logoMichigan Business Challenge

  • Entry Deadline: November 6, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $85,000
  • Year Started: 1985
  • Description: The Michigan Business Challenge (MBC) is a campus-wide, multi-round business plan competition where student teams have the opportunity to win cash prizes totaling over $85,000, gain feedback from leaders in the business community, and expand their business network.
  • Eligibility: The Michigan Business Challenge is open to all current UM undergraduate and graduate students. Teams may add or remove members throughout the competition.
  • Location: Arbor, Michigan

MWest Challenge logoMwest Student Challenge

  • Entry Deadline: Feb 24, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $45,000
  • Year Started: N/A
  • Description: MWest Challenge, a student venture competition designed to create cross collaboration between students that span across several universities from West Michigan. Through MWest entrepreneurially minded students are able to develop and grow new ventures based on their own ideas.
  • Eligibility: Students enrolled in the following universities: Aquinas College, Calvin College, Cornerstone University, Davenport University, Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Valley State University, Hope College, Kendall College, Kuyper College
  • Location: Grand Rapids City, Michigan

Northern Michigan University logoNew Business Venture Competition

  • Entry Deadline: October 27, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: N/A
  • Year Started: 2013
  • Description: This Competition is designed to encourage entrepreneurial activism among students by recognizing and rewarding those who present detailed plans on designing and creating new business enterprises, drawing on their own ideas and inventions or those of others.The Competition provides a forum for these students to present their new venture plans to investors, receive meaningful feedback, have the opportunity to start a new business, and apply classroom learning to real world projects.
  • Eligibility: Northern Michigan University students, and high school students, irrespective of their major, are invited to participate in the New Business Venture Competition. Students working individually, or in teams of up to five, can submit a plan to start a new business and compete for prizes.
  • Location: Northern Michigan University, Marquette

Minnesota College Business Plan Competitions

Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation logoEntrepreneurial Bridge Student Business Plan Competition

  • Entry Deadline: May 7, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $5,000 | Second prize: $3,000 | People’s Choice: $2,000
  • Year Started: 2015
  • Description: This event enables young entrepreneurs from southern Minnesota to not only engage with high-level CEO’s from our region, but to get feed-back from them as well.
  • Eligibility: College students from Southern Minnesota colleges and universities.
  • Location: Austin, Minnesota

Nebraska College Business Plan Competitions

Nebraska New Venture Competition logoUniversity of Nebraska
New Venture Competition

  • Entry Deadline: March, 2018
  • Prizes / Awards: Two grand prizes of $25,000, along with additional cash prizes.
  • Year Started: 2009
  • Description: The New Venture Competition is a celebration of entrepreneurial learning and competition. The competition is for student-created, managed and owned ventures. Open to Nebraska students, graduate and undergraduate competitions will be held during the two-day event.
  • Eligibility: All university students are eligible to participate, including executive MBAs.
  • Location: Lincoln, Nebraska

New Hampshire College Business Plan Competitions

UNH Holloway Competition logoPaul J. Holloway Prize Competition (UNH)

  • Entry Deadline: February 26, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $100,000
  • Year Started: 1988
  • Description: The multi-track competition takes students out of the classroom and into the real world. It challenges students to develop products or services and present their plans to bring them to market.
  • Eligibility: Open to all students in all majors at the University of New Hampshire, Plymouth State University, Keene State College and Granite State College.   
  • Location: Durham, New Hampshire

New Jersey College Business Plan Competitions

Mayo Business Plan Competition logoMayo Business Plan Competition

  • Entry Deadline: November 28, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $50,000
  • Year Started: 2011
  • Description: Mayo Business Plan Competition is designed to increase student appreciation for the challenge of developing a viable business. Through an iterative process the MBPC recognizes those students best able to articulate a plan that addresses these challenges. In recognition of both the time involved and difficulty of the task, the competition provides a substantial reward for the successful teams.
  • Eligibility: All TCNJ students are invited to participate. Students with ideas that translate into viable business products or services can come from virtually any School and major. Each team must be comprised of no less than two and no more than four current TCNJ students.
  • Location: The College of New Jersey, Pennington

Essex Community College Business Plan Competition logoEssex County College Allen J. Singleton Business Plan Competition

  • Entry Deadline: December 1, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $1,000
  • Year Started: N/A
  • Description: Essex County College is an open-door public community college that is committed to providing quality educational programs and life long learning activities at the most affordable cost. The College is open to students with a wide variety of backgrounds and abilities. We take pride in the richness of our diversity and our nurturing atmosphere, which encourages people who otherwise might not aspire to higher education to enroll and excel.
  • Eligibility: Prior to submitting your application, please review eligibility requirements and submission guidelines. To enter, you must be an Essex County College student currently enrolled, The competition is for Essex County College students currently enrolled in any academic program or certificate in the college.
  • Location: Newark, New Jersey

Rutgers Business School logoRutgers Business Plan Competition

  • Entry Deadline: December 4, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $45,000
  • Year Started: 2008
  • Description: The objective of the annual Business Plan Competition is to encourage student entrepreneurs and support the growth of jobs in New Jersey. In order to compete for the business competition prizes, there must be a serious intent to launch the proposed business.
  • Eligibility: You can compete in the Rutgers Business School Business Plan Competition as an individual or as a member of a team. Teams can have up to five members.
  • Location: Newark, New Jersey

New Mexico College Business Plan Competitions

University of New Mexico Anderson School logoUNM Technology Business Plan Competition

  • Entry Deadline: February 2, 2018
  • Prizes / Awards: $25,000 Technology Track, $10,000 Entrepreneurial Track
  • Year Started: 2005
  • Description: The UNM Business Plan Competition is a 7 month program that helps students become entrepreneurs and launch their business. The program culminates in a competition in the spring with prizes awarded to student teams with the best business plans.
  • Eligibility: Any UNM student from any UNM branch that has taken 3 or more credit hours in the academic year (Fall 2017 or Spring 2018) is eligible to participate.
  • Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico

New York College Business Plan Competitions

Eship at Cornell logoBig Idea Competition

  • Entry Deadline: February 28, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: 1st Place Business Category- $3000, 2nd Place Business Category- $1000, 3rd Place Business Category- $500, 1st Place Social Category- $3000, 2nd Place Social Category- $1000, 3rd Place Social Category- $500
  • Year Started: 2009
  • Description: Eight finalists will be determined by a group of experienced entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs, non-profit, and business professionals. 25 semi-finalists will also receive consultations with a mentor/coach about their idea and ways to improve their submission.
  • Eligibility: Open to all current Cornell Undergraduate Students.
  • Location: Cornell University, Ithaca

300K Entrepreneurs Challenge logo

NYU Stern $300K Challenge

  • Entry Deadline: Early October
  • Prizes / Awards: $100,000 top prize in 3 different tracks: New Venture Competition, Social Venture Competition, Technology Venture Competition
  • Year Started: 1999
  • Description: The $300K Entrepreneurs Challenge at the NYU Stern School of Business is one of the largest and most innovative accelerator programs in the world. The Entrepreneurship Team at the W. R. Berkley Innovation Labs provide programs and services that create and nurture serial innovators capable of launching and leading transformational organizations, organizations that challenge assumed boundaries and inspire a sense of what’s possible.
  • Eligibility: Teams must have at least one qualifying NYU representative who holds a significant equity share of the venture and intends to play a material role in the development of the venture both during the Challenge and afterwards.
  • Location: New York University, New York

SUNY Oswego logoSUNY Oswego Launch It

  • Entry Deadline: September 8, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: N/A
  • Year Started: N/A
  • Description: SUNY Oswego’s Enactus chapter, the Office of Business and Community Relations and the School of Business host “Launch It,” a business start-up competition. This is a two-part event starting Sept. 8 and finishing Sept. 15. The top three teams will receive cash prizes and the first-place team will qualify to enter the Oswego County business competition..
  • Eligibility: Students attending State University of New York at Oswego.
  • Location: State University of New York, Oswego

North Carolina College Business Plan Competitions

Duke Startup Challenge logoDuke Start-up Challenge

  • Entry Deadline: October 30, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $50,000
  • Year Started: 1999
  • Description: The Duke Startup Challenge is designed to help Duke’s entrepreneurship community flourish, with a year long entrepreneurship competition followed by an accelerator program. Hosted by the Fuqua School of Business and the Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative.
  • Eligibility: Student Challenge (winners selected, cash prizes) Open Challenge: for Alumni / Faculty / Staff and Students with non-student ideas (winners selected, separate pool of cash prizes) For the sake of simplicity, there is only one set of rules written. The rules below are written with students in mind, exceptions are noted.
  • Location: Duke University, Durham

Ohio College Business Plan Competitions

University of Dayton logoFlyer Pitch

  • Entry Deadline: October 13, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards:  $1,250 1st, cash prizes for top 10 first round Flyer Pitch. New Venture Creation round 2: $1,000 for EACH of 10 entries. New Venture Creation Final Round: $25,000 1st place, $15,000 2nd place, $10,000 3rd place,$5,00 each 4-6 place
  • Year Started: 2011
  • Description: Three rounds: First, a Shark Tank style elevator pitch competition. Next, a 5-minute 5-slide pitch. Final round: business plan, which also includes students from Suzhou, China and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
  • Eligibility: Anyone may participate in the Shark Tank Style and New Venture Creation stages of the competition. But if your entry is selected to be one of the five finalist teams, your team MUST include at least one currently enrolled UD student in any undergraduate or graduate degree program, OR at least one alum who has earned a UD degree (graduate or undergraduate).
  • Location: University of Dayton

Pennsylvania College Business Plan Competitions

McGinnis Carnegie Mellon Competition logoMcGinnis Venture Competition

  • Entry Deadline: December 5, 2017 (intent to compete)
  • Prizes / Awards: First Place $25,000, Second Place $15,000, Third Place $10,000 Undergraduate Track First Place $4,000, Second Place $2,500
  • Year Started: 2004
  • Description: The McGinnis Venture Competition brings together Carnegie Mellon’s best and brightest student entrepreneurs to compete for $60K in investments. All participants receive crucial interaction with alumni entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.
  • Eligibility: Carnegie Mellon Students
  • Location: Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh

Penn State Altoona logoPechter Business Plan Competition

  • Entry Deadline: November 10, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $5,000 first prize, $2,500 second prize, $1,000 third prize
  • Year Started: 2011-12
  • Description: The Pechter Business Plan Competition provides a process for students to turn great ideas into great businesses. Competitions encourage students to form interdisciplinary teams, to take ideas from the concept phase, through a feasibility study/market analysis to a full business plan, and to build a new venture.
  • Eligibility: These competitions are designed for students across all programs at Penn State Altoona, and welcome the participation of students not enrolled in the entrepreneurial or business curriculum.
  • Location: Penn State, Altoona

Wharton Startup Challenge logoWharton Startup Challenge

  • Entry Deadline: January 21, 2018
  • Prizes / Awards: $30,000 top prize, $135,000 in cash and prizes
  • Year Started:  2000
  • Description: We’re looking for the very best Penn student entrepreneurs who can show that their startups are ready to become the next big thing in any industry.
  • Eligibility: The Team Leader must be a currently enrolled, degree-candidate student of the University of Pennsylvania at the time of the first round deadline. The Team Leader must have played a significant role in conceiving the venture, hold a key management role in the venture, be actively involved in the business venture. Teams are permitted to have members who are not students at the University of Pennsylvania, but the team leader must lead the team and drive the venture development.and may be required to be the primary presenter for the pitch events related to the PWSC.
  • Location: Wharton  School, University of Pennsylvania

Tennessee College Business Plan Competitions

Pam Wright Chair Business Plan Competition logoPam Wright Chair in Entrepreneurship Business Plan Competition

  • Entry Deadline: February 22, 2018
  • Prizes / Awards: Grand Prize ($7,500) 2nd Place Winner ($5,000) – 3rd Place Winner ($1,000)
  • Year Started: 2015
  • Description: The Pam Wright Chair in Entrepreneurship Business Plan Competition is the year’s main Entrepreneurship event through Jones College of Business at Middle Tennessee State University. Prominent early-stage company investors, entrepreneurs and business leaders from the Middle Tennessee area judge presentations by the final four student teams.
  • Eligibility: Limited to teams that include active MTSU students or alumni. 
  • Location: Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro

Texas College Business Plan Competitions

Southern Methodist University logoSMU Business School Big Ideas Competition

  • Entry Deadline: Dec 15, 2017
  • Prizes / Awards: $5000 in prize money
  • Year Started: 2001
  • Description:  The Big iDeas has contests, seed money, training, mentoring and CUBE access. 
  • Eligibility: Undergraduates
  • Location: Southern Methodist University, Dallas

Washington College Business Plan Competitions

Northwest Entrepreneur Competition logoNorthwest Entrepreneur Competition

  • Entry Deadline: February 23, 2018
  • Prizes / Awards: $30,000
  • Year Started: 2016
  • Description: The Northwest Entrepreneur Competition (NEC) is a collaborative student startup competition dedicated to providing students with the invaluable academic exercise of implementing their innovative ideas for new businesses.
  • Eligibility: Students at Eastern Washington University, University of Idaho, Gonzaga University, Spokane Community College, Washington State University and Whitworth University.
  • Location: Hosted at Whitworth University, Spokane, Washington

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