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High School Business Plan Competition

REQUIREMENTS TO ENTER:

Welcome to the 9th Annual West Virginia High School Business Plan Competition, hosted by West Virginia University’s John Chambers College of Business & Economics, the Encova Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and WV Secondary Education.
OPEN TO ALL STUDENTS AROUND THE STATE:
  • Grades 9th through 12th, including career and technical centers in West Virginia.

TIME COMMITMENTS:

The process extends through the entire academic year 2021, culminating in April 2022. There are 3 rounds and 3 online workshops, each time commitment is required and any changes that could occur will be emailed to you. Each deadline is also noon eastern time. Feedback and instruction are given for each round, so it is not necessary to have any business background to enter. It is helpful to have team members with different areas of expertise.
    • November 12: Round 1 entries due online by noon
    • November 29: Finalists will be notified

    • December 1: First online workshop for semifinalists

    • January 14: Round 2 submissions are due online by noon 

    • January 26:   Finalists will be notified  and  announced

    • February 11: Second online workshop for finalists 

    • February 18: Third online workshop for finalists 

    • March 29: Final Business Plans are due online by noon 

    • April 6: Round 2: Finals in Charleston, WV

ROUND ONE: SUBMISSION STEPS

1. CREATE A TEAM
  • Teams may consist of 1-4 members. Assign a team leader, who will submit the team business idea via YouTube video (see below). Teams should be diverse and be well-rounded with various skillsets. For example, a welding student may collaborate with business students.
  • Team members can be a mix of freshmen, sophomores, juniors, or seniors attending a West Virginia high school, career and technical center, private school, or home school program.
  • Each team leader may submit only one entry per year. This person will serve as the main point of contact for the team. The team leader may be on additional teams, but can only serve as the team leader for one team per year.

2. IDENTIFY A PROBLEM

Do not just start a business; find a way to solve a problem! Accelerate Economic Growth. Work to benefit your environment. This could include your community, state, and beyond.

3. MAKE A SHORT YOUTUBE VIDEO 

The video can be a maximum of 90 seconds and teams must address all three of the following in the video:

  • The business idea (product or service)

  • What problem or opportunity do you see? Why is it a problem?

  • Who is your customer and how does it solve their problem?

Considerations: the problem should be specific, do not say you will market to everyone (everyone is not your customer), be specific!

If the subjects above are not addressed, the entry will not be scored.

*Please note, if your school blocks YouTube, you may enter a Google Drive link.

4. REGISTER YOUR TEAM

Team leaders register the team via  VentureDash by November 12, 2021, at noon eastern time.

The team leader will create one account for their team.  Once the team leader creates an account, they will be prompted to enter all the specific information about each team member including; name, email, phone, institution and student ID number. 

ENTER ROUND 1

Due: November 12th at noon via  VentureDash

  • Teams will be notified via e-mail on or before   November 29 and must agree to compete at the finals by  November 29, 2021. Finalists’ names will be posted on our website and social media accounts on or before November 29.

  • 15 teams will advance to the final competition.  Should the top 10 teams not include representatives from each participating school, additional semifinalists will be chosen so that every institution will be represented in the finals .

  • Semifinalists are required to attend the online workshop on  December 1, 2021

SCORING RUBRIC AND INSTRUCTIONAL HELP

Each submission will be reviewed by a panel of judges comprised of various business professionals  and scored on a standard rubric,  view here .

DOWNLOAD ROUND 1 RUBRIC        VENTUREDASH INSTRUCTIONS   

ROUND TWO: SEMIFINALS

COACHES:

Semifinalist teams will be paired with a business coach from the WVU LaunchLab. The coach will mentor and support you in developing a complete business plan for your idea. In addition, teachers and/or business leaders in the community may coach/mentor teams.

If you have any issues obtaining a coach, please contact the Encova Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship for assistance:  dallas.mullett@mail.wvu.edu 

ONLINE WORKSHOP:

December 1st from 2:00–4:00 p.m. EST

There will be an informational online workshop to help teams prepare for the semifinals competition. Details will be emailed to the semifinalists.  

  • Missing the workshops will disqualify your team from the final competition.

  • All workshops will be recorded.
  • If a team member is unable to watch the workshop live, you will need to let HSBPC staff know in advance.

Required reading  prior to workshop Talking to Humans  by Frank Rimalovski and Giff Constable, available for free at:  https://www.talkingtohumans.com/

ROUND TWO SUBMISSION STEPS:

1. COMPLETE THE BUSINESS MODEL CANVAS TEMPLATE

In this round, you will complete the  Business Model Canvas, a high-level overview of what your business will be. This template provides you with a breakdown of each of the 9 sections that need filled out. Guiding questions have been provided to help you think about how to address each section thoughtfully. 

For visual learners a PDF of the Business Model Canvas is available. We encourage anyone to fill this out before submitting your answers to get a visual layout of your business idea. If you want to practice with this method before finalizing your thoughts in the final word document. Follow these steps:

  1. Download and print out the  visual pdf below.

  2. Brainstorm your answers, listing them out in each block.

  3. Finalize and clean up your answers. 

  4. Then type up your answers in the  submission template below.

  5. Save and submit on  VentureDash

DOWNLOAD VISUAL TEMPLATE     

If you want to get straight to it this is your preferred method directly begin typing out your answers into the business model canvas template below:

  1. Download the word doc. 

  2. Brainstorm your answers, listing them out in each category.

  3. Finalize and Clean up your answers. 

  4. Save and submit on  VentureDash

DOWNLOAD SUBMISSION TEMPLATE       HELPFUL RESOURCES  


Due: January 14th at noon via  VentureDash

  • Finalists and alternates will be announced on or before November 29th, 2021

  • 5 teams will be chosen to compete in the final competition
  • Finalists are required to attend the online workshops on  February 11th,  9:00 am - 12:00 pm and February 18th,  9:00 am - 12:00 pm via zoom.
  • Teams will meet and work with marketing, financial, legal, and business professionals on their business idea, to learn valuable information related to starting a business in West Virginia.

ROUND THREE: FINALS

FINALISTS ONLINE WORKSHOPS:

February 11th and 18th from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. EST

  • Teams will virtually meet and work with business professionals including information related to starting a business in the state of West Virginia
  • These events are   mandatory for all finalist

  • Coaches are encouraged to attend

Teams may attend the live-streamed workshops at the WVU LaunchLab as well. View schedule here. 

ROUND THREE SUBMISSION STEPS:

FINAL BUSNESS PLANS 

Due: March 29, 2022 at noon  via  VentureDash

  • 10-page maximum PDF

  • Double-spaced, 12 pt. font
  • Include a Cover Page (no names or schools should be mentioned)  

  • Submit as a PDF file 

  • Page count does not include Cover Page, appendices, or Table of Contents.

HELPFUL RESOURCES  

FINAL COMPETITION

April 6, 2022 in Charleston, West Virginia 

  • Practice presentations will be the morning of April 6

  • A 5-minute video presentation followed by 10-minute Q&A with investors

  • Only one (1) team member is required to speak during this presentation

  • Presentations are open to the public, business plans are not. 

*Mentors and/or family are permitted in the presentation room during their respected team’s presentation, but non-team members may not speak during the presentations or Q&A.

Should a non-team member speak any time the judges are present, the team will be disqualified

TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE FUNDS
  • Technical assistance funds will be given via check over disbursements agreed upon with the Encova Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.  

*All prize proceeds may be revoked if the recipients are found to have violated any of the competition’s rules and regulations. West Virginia University is not responsible for the content or quality of any in-kind services that may be provided as awards for this competition.  

*The Statewide High School Business Plan Competition is committed to undertaking a practical and reasonable effort to protect any confidential and proprietary information provided by participants. Finalists will receive guidance on intellectual property and an overview of best practices will be included in the workshop materials. Judges in all rounds are asked to acknowledge and agree to be bound by confidentiality terms. Final round judges and semifinal judges will sign hard copy confidentiality agreements at the event. All participants do acknowledge the public nature of a business plan competition and assume all risks associated with any disclosure during the course of the competition.