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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.
Teachers, share the High School 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 Lean Canvas, a high-level overview of what your business will be.
Using the Lean Canvas
- Round 1 Lean Canvas Template
- An Introduction to Lean Canvas
- The Lean Canvas (free download)
- Lean Canvas: Uber Example
- How to Create Your Lean Canvas
- What Is a Social Enterprise?
- 5 Reasons Why Social Entrepreneurship Is The New Business Model (Forbes)
In the final round, teams write and submit a complete business plan and present their business idea to a panel of judges, followed by a Q&A session.
Pitching a Business Idea
Writing a Business Plan
- SBDC: The Winning Business Plan
No matter how far you advance in the competition, these resources are useful to startups or businesses in any stage.
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
- 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
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.