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Eli Broad College of Business

Broad Business Model Competition

Powered by the Burgess Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Now entering its eighth year, the Broad Business Model Competition is MSU’s premiere showcase for student business innovation. With $50,000 in scholarship winnings available, the event serves as the ideal launching point for student ventures at MSU. The competition is open to all registered MSU students regardless of major or class status (graduate or undergraduate.)


The total purse for the event is $50,000 which is divided over the top five ventures, as well as two People’s Choice Awards.

Note: Awards are granted to the winning teams in the form of scholarships that are refunded to the students as long as they do not have any outstanding balances (tuition, tickets, etc.) with the University.

What are the Prize Values?


1st Place: $25,000

2nd Place: $15,000

3rd Place: $5,000

4th Place : $2,500

5th Place: $1,000

People’s Choice: $500 (2x)

Key Dates & Judging Process

Phase 1: Intent to Compete

Due by January 31, 2018

The first phase of the competition requires the completion of an Intent to Compete form which provides a summary of the business idea or concept. Applicants will be asked to answer questions related to the following aspects of the business or idea:

  • What opportunity or problem are you addressing?
  • What is your proposed product/service and how does it address the opportunity/problem?
  • Who wants your solution? How big and valuable is the potential market?
  • How do you make (or plan to make) money?
  • What costs are associated with your business or creating your idea?
  • Who is on your team? Why are you/they qualified to do this?

All applications will be reviewed for completeness and clarity of the criteria outlined above.

Phase 2: Business Plan Development

Due by March 9, 2018

In Phase 2 applicants will be tasked with preparing a professional business plan for their company or idea.

Teams that choose to participate will be supported in numerous ways to ensure that a high quality plan is produced in this process.

  • Applicants will be assigned an alumni mentor with experience in business planning (and likely their given industry) to serve as a sounding board for plan development.
  • Applicants will be required to attend at least one business planning workshop conducted by Burgess Institute instructors.
  • Applicants will receive complimentary access to LivePlan business planning software.

 Plans will be due via email to: by 5 p.m., March 9, 2018.

Phase 3: Judging & Marketplace Final

On April 20, 2018

Judging Process: Upon receipt of the completed business plans each plan will be distributed to a network of judges who will score the plan according to strengths and weaknesses. Applicants will receive written feedback for areas of improvement. The judges’ scores will be compiled and the top twenty (20) applicants will be notified on April 6, 2018 of their acceptance to the Marketplace Final.

Marketplace Final (April 20, 2018): Unlike traditional business plan competitions the Broad Business Model Competition does not require a live Power Point presentation in front of a large audience. Instead finalists will attend a “tradeshow format” event in which each team will have a display area for marketing material and will proactively network with the audience (including judges) to share their vision and goals for their business venture or idea. 

  • Key Information:
    • Date: April 20, 2018
    • Location: MSU Union – Ballroom (2nd Floor Concourse)
    • Schedule:
      • 1:00 p.m.: Participant setup.
      • 2:00 p.m.: Judges arrive and begin meeting with participants.
      • 3:00 p.m.: Marketplace opens to public and guests.
      • 4:30 p.m.: Remarks and Announcement of Winners.
      • 5- 6:30 p.m.: Hors d'oeuvres & Reception.

A panel of judges consisting of distinguished alumni, as well as respected members of Michigan’s investment and business communities will be in attendance to determine the winning teams. (Note - this panel will be made up of different individuals than those that participated in choosing the top 20.)

Application Process

In the application form you will be asked to provide answers to a few questions about your venture. You can participate in the competition irrespective of your company’s stage, but you cannot have received an award in the Broad Business Model Competition in the last four years for the same business concept. Individuals or teams at the idea/concept stage of development are also encouraged to participate. Every team has an equal chance. The application process is run through and all applicants will be prompted to make a user profile.

Applications close January 31, 2018

About Us

The mission of the Burgess Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation is to advance and promote entrepreneurship at the Broad College of Business, Michigan State University, and in the State of Michigan through research, education and outreach.

Eli Broad College of Business

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