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Having a winning idea is one thing, but making enough money at it to support your ambitions and lifestyle is another. Start with a good idea that fills a need or void in the marketplace. Add a strong team, sound strategy and add a little capital, and watch your dreams become reality. As this competition evolves, visit this section to review timely information to help you turn your idea into a reality.
Professors, share the Collegiate Business Plan Competition with your students! Below you will find a downloadable deck to learn more about the competition itself and share with your classroom.
In Round 1, you will formulate your business idea, build a team, and complete the Business Model Canvas, a high-level overview of what your business will be. Successful teams are able to competently convey an innovative business idea in a few words.
Idea Generation - click here to visit our "Get Inspired" page
The Business Model Canvas
- Round 1 Business Model Canvas Template
- Business Model Canvas Explained (video)
- The Business Model Canvas
- Item-by-Item Help Guide for the Business Model Canvas
- Business Model Generation (Alex Osterwalder)
- Empathy Mapping: The First Step in Design Thinking
From Big Idea to Validation
Social Entrepreneurship Launch Lab Webinars
- What Is a Social Enterprise?
Launch Lab Webinars
In Round 2, semifinalists submit a customer discovery and a 2-minute elevator pitch to judges for review. Successful teams can showcase enthusiasm for their business and ultimately convince judges that their business is needed in the market and who their potential customer is.
Pitching a Business Idea
- How to Write a Powerful Elevator Pitch
- 5 Ways to Win Your Pitch, According to…Robert Herjavec
- Dressing for Interviews
Launch Lab Webinars
In the final round, teams write and submit a complete business plan, and give a presentation to a panel of judges followed by Q&A. Successful teams in the final round have well-thought-out business ideas, can clearly convey the market's need for their business, and can demonstrate their commitment to the success of the business.
Writing a Business Plan
- Writing a Business Plan
- Free Business Plan Software & Templates
- SBDC: The Winning Business Plan
- WV Jobs Investment Trust
- National Venture Capital Association
NACE Salary Calculator
- Bureau of Labor Statistics Compensation Wage Calculator
- Small Business Administration Start-Up Costs Checklist
- Bplans.com Starting Cost Estimator
Bplans.com Financing a Business
- NYU Industry Financial Data
- What Is A Cost Structure? (video)
- Managing Your Finances
- Tax Season Guide to Small Business Expense Deductions
Launch Lab Webinars
No matter how far you go in the competition, these resources are helpful to startups and businesses in any stage of development.
West Virginia Business Information
- Business for West Virginia: For resources about West Virginia regulations and laws, as well as links to other resources.
- West Virginia Secretary of State
- WV Small Business Development Center
- Business Incubators in WV
- WV Department of Commerce: Information about business assistance, taxes, information by region, etc.
- WV Young Entrepreneur Waiver
National Business Information
- Center for Rural Entrepreneurship
- Small Business Resource Center
- US Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship
- U.S. Small Business Administration
- US Economic & Population Data
Starting a Business
- A 30-Point Checklist for Your Startup
- 10 Steps to Open For Business
- Startup How-To Guides
- Startup Business Blog
- How to Make a Business Website
- Business Encyclopedia
- AmEx's open forum, Resource center and forum to ask questions and get feedback from other small business owners
- Free business tools, for both offline & online businesses; offers useful tools for various phases of running and growing a small business
- Marketing planning tips & templates
- Key Business Metrics
Intellectual Property, often known as IP, allows people to own their creativity and innovation in the same way that they can own physical property. The owner of IP can control and be rewarded for its use, and this encourages further innovation and creativity to the benefit of us all.
The four main types of IP are:
- patents for inventions - new and improved products and processes that are capable of industrial application
- trade marks for brand identity - of goods and services allowing distinctions to be made between different traders
- designs for product appearance - of the whole or a part of a product resulting from the features of, in particular, the lines, contours, colors, shape, texture or materials of the product itself or its ornamentation;
- copyright for material - literary and artistic material, music, films, sound recordings and broadcasts, including software and multimedia
For more information, visit the
US Patent and Trademark Office website.
Contact Marian Armour-Gemmen (Marian.Armour-Gemmen@mail.wvu.edu) at the WVU Patent & Trademark Resource Center at the Evansdale Library (304)-293-9758. This is a free resource to all West Virginia students.
WVU Library Research Services Department
PO Box 6069, Morgantown, WV 26506
- Tough Things First (Ray Zinn)
- The Ten Day MBA (Steven Silbiger)
- The Millionaire Next Door (Stanley & Danko)
- Seven Habits of Highly Successful People (Stephen Covey)
- Talking to Humans (Giff Constable)