The Jeffrey D. Clark Center for Entrepreneurship in the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business hosts a number of business competitions each year. Students can participate as individuals or as members of a team. Community members can participate in most competitions as members of a student-led team. Here is a list of our competitions and more information about each event.
Deadline: End of February 2014
The Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence identifies and acknowledges student-owned companies during spring semester each. The student winners are given cash awards to assist with the further development of their companies. All students acknowledged in this competition are encouraged to submit their financial information to the Utah Student 25, a state-wide event that celebrates and acknowledges student-owned businesses throughout the state of Utah.
Our Opportunity Quest Business Plan Competition is held during fall semester. We host a series of workshops and activities to help students develop ideas and write effective business plans. The plans are judged by a panel of business leaders. The top ten teams receive mentoring for six weeks and then present their final plans to the judges in January. Significant cash awards are given to the top three teams to assist with the further development of the businesses.
Our 72-Hour Competition is also held in April each year during Entrepreneurship Week. Students are presented with a business challenge on Monday (i.e., create a solution to a problem, sell specific items on campus, create and film an infomercial, etc.), and then given 72-hours to complete the challenge. The top three teams are announced on Friday of Entrepreneurship Week and given cash prizes.
Students who enter our Opportunity Quest Business Plan Competition are encouraged to submit these plans to the Utah Entrepreneur Challenge which is held during spring semester each year. Students interested in this competition are mentored by faculty members and community leaders so they can make strong presentations in this state-wide competition.
Our Elevator Pitch Competition is held in April each year during our Entrepreneurship Week. Students submit a one-page summary of their business idea, and the top 20 finalists pitch their idea to a panel of judges. Prize money is awarded to the top 3 participants.
There are competitions not sponsored by the Jeffrey D. Clark Center for Entrepreneurship, but available to students and/or community members to compete in.
Emerging Venture Competition Applications period opens February 15th, 2013
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The Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence supports the Dolphin Capital Marketing Competition which is held in the spring. Student teams work on a marketing challenge for one of Dolphin Capital’s portfolio companies and compete with student teams from other universities. Winning teams receive awards, cash prizes and state-wide recognition.
Arch grants is a startup competition that awards $50,000 grants to startups that are in St. Louis or that are willing to relocate to St. Louis.
The CU Cleantech New Venture Challenge is one of six regional competitions sponsored by the DOE—EERE. It is hosted at the University of Colorado Boulder and managed by CU Cleantech. The first place team receives the $100,000 prize and will move on to the national competition in Washington D.C. Previous participants have gone on to receive additional follow-on funding, including SBIR grants and other commercialization assistance from strategic partners. The top three teams will receive entrance into the NREL Industry Growth Forum and the Cleantech Open.
The real prize at these events can’t be measured. It’s the opportunity you get in networking with people who could end up mentoring you, advocating you or your business plan, or directly supporting you financially. To be successful, you should enter these competitions with the same kind of rigorous effort you would apply to a “real-world” pitch session, because that’s what this is: your shot at making an impression. You only have a short window of time to talk with your panel about your business, so it’s important that you know exactly what you’re talking about when you get the chance to present. Here are a few tips you should follow when preparing: