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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 teams selected to participate in the $100,000 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 Opens: Friday, 1 November 2019, at noon
  • Priority Application Deadline to be Assigned Mentor: Saturday, 13 December 2019, at 11:59pm
  • Final Application Deadline: Saturday, 25 January 2020, at 11:59pm
  • Top 10 Teams Selected: Wednesday, 29 January 2020, via Social Media and Email
  • Presentation to the Judges: Tuesday, 4 February 2020, at 6pm in Huntsman Hall
  • Winners Announce and OQ Banquet (for top 10 teams): Wednesday, 5 February 2020, at the Entrepreneur Leadership Series Class
  • UEC Mentoring for All teams: 5 February to the 12 February 2020 (UEC Application Deadline, 12 February 2020)

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 an award winner in past Opportunity Quest competitions from previous years.
  • 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 Sept. 1, 2019, 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 Sept. 1, 2019.
  • If you need us to consider an exception, please contact russell.fisher@usu.edu.

 

Opportunity Quest Enrollment:

Apply