The total purse for the event is $21,000 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.
Judging Process & Key Dates
Round 1: Executive summary
Due by January 21, 2017
The first round of judging is based only on the written completion of the event application which highlights the summary of the business idea or concept. Judging will be based on the following criteria:
- 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 money (profit, not just revenue)?
- Who is on your team? Why are you/they qualified to do this?
The judges will select the top twenty (20) teams to enter Round 2 based on the completeness and clarity of the criteria outlined above.
Round 2: Final business plan
Due by February 6, 2017
Teams in Round 2 will prepare full business plans utilizing LivePlan business planning software. LivePlan software will be provided at no cost to the participants.
Plans will be due via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org by 5 p.m. February 6. Judges will then select the top 10 business plans to advance to the competition finals.
Round 3: Live pitch
On February 15, 2017
During the final event, students will participate in a marketplace style presentation format to a public audience consisting of peers, friends, family, alumni, and faculty at the Wharton Center from 6-8:30 p.m. on February 15, 2017.
Each team will have a display area for marketing material and will proactively network with the audience to share their vision and goals for their business venture.
A panel of judges consisting of distinguished alumni, as well as respected members of the Michigan investment and business communities will be in attendance to determine the winning teams.
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 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 https://msu.startuptree.co/ and all applicants will be prompted to make a user profile.