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Opportunity Quest

What is the Opportunity Quest?

Opportunity Quest is a business model competition at USU that seeks to find the most innovative business ideas with a high potential for growth. It is part of the Utah Entrepreneur Challenge, a state-wide, university entrepreneur competition and is made possible by a generous donation from Zions Bank. 

The competition is open to all students—any major—at Utah State University. Ideas can be submitted, but existing businesses should be in early stages (see below for qualificiations).

  • Each year $8,000 in prize money is given away (1st Place = $4,000, 2nd Place = $2,000, 3rd = $1,000, plus a $1,000 prize for Social Impact)
  • Early entries will be assigned a mentor from The Center for Entrepreneurship, to include members of the Founders Board
  • USU winner is automatically advanced as one of the 20 finalists selected to participate in the statewide Utah Entrepreneur Challenge

Why Join / Participate

Participating students will organize, direct, and present a business idea to a panel of judges. Opportunity Quest provides teams with an educational forum to prepare them for the competition and aid them in the creation and implementation of their business idea. By joining you will:

  • Get helpful feedback in order to move forward with you business opportunity 
  • Receive mentoring to coach you on how to present the different aspects of a business plan
  • Build your network by meeting like-minded students and faculty
  • Get the cash you need to jump start your business venture
  • Gain skills and resources you need to be an entrepreneur 

What is needed to participate

You simply need to write out a business model for your idea/business in order to participate.

Business Model Guidelines & Requirements*

The business model is a brief document that outlines the fundamental problem and solution your business is addressing. The purpose of the document is to convince the reader that the business is viable and could operate in the real world. It includes the most interesting and important aspects of the business.

The executive summary cannot be longer than 3 pages (not including the cover sheet). The document must have 1-inch margins and a 12-point font size. All pages, except the cover page, should be numbered. Compressed type is not permitted.

Here is suggested content for the business model:

  • Company overview: Include the most important points about your business idea — your history, product or service, mission statement and legal structure if applicable.
  • Product or service: Describe product or service for sale, stage of development, market differentiation and intellectual property if applicable.
  • Market: Describe the market where you aim to sell your product or service. Include target market, competitors in the market and an analysis of your competitive advantage.
  • Sales strategy: Explain how you will go about selling your product or service while increasing profits. Include marketing strategy, distribution channels, key partners and relationships.
  • Revenue model: Describe how your business generates revenue. Include the cost to produce, cost to sell, customer acquisition strategy and market price for the product or service.
  • Team: Describe who is currently on your team, their role, education and experience. Detail current and future personal needs.

*Taken from the Utah Entrepreneur Challenge eligibility

Schedule

  • Application Deadline: Saturday, 8 January 2021, at 11:59pm
  • Top 10 Teams Selected: Friday, 21 January 2021, via Social Media and Email
  • Virtual Presentation to the Judges: Friday, 5 February 2021, via Zoom (scheduled times)
  • Winners Announce: Monday, 8 February 2021, via Social Media and Email
  • UEC Application (all teams may submit): Friday, Nov. 20, 2020 to Monday, 8 February 2021 at UEC Application Deadline

UEC Deadlines

Online Judging: Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021, to Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021

Top 20 Announced: Friday, Feb. 26, 2021

Top 20 Video Submission Deadline: Thursday, March 11, 2021

Top 20 Video Voting Begins: Monday, March 15, 2021

Top 20 Powerpoints Due: Thursday, March 25, 2021

Video Voting Ends: Friday, March 26, 2021

[Online] Competition Event: Saturday, March 27, 2021


Eligibility

  • The team must be organized and directed by a student from USU.
  • The founding student must be registered for a minimum of six (6) credit hours during both semesters of the competition year
  • The student team members must be involved in all aspects of the competition.
  • The team must not have been a top-8 finalist in past Utah Entrepreneur Challenge competitions from previous years. (This eligibility requirement refers exclusively to the Utah Entrepreneur Challenge and does not include Opportunity Quest).
  • There are no restrictions regarding other team members; however, we suggest building a balanced team with a strong combination of finance, marketing, engineering and technology skills.

For existing companies:

  • If the company has been registered in any state longer than 24 months as of 1 September 2020, a brief history of the company is required in the application.
  • The cumulative revenue, debt, grant, or third-party-financing for the company has not exceeded $100,000 as of 1 September 2020.
  • If you need us to consider an exception, please contact russell.fisher@usu.edu.

Opportunity Quest Enrollment:

Apply