High School Business Plan Competition
Rules and Regulations
Welcome to the 10th Annual West Virginia Statewide 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.
Goal: Engage young minds to solve problems in their community, state, or beyond. The future of West Virginia is at hand, and we are working to involve young talent from across to share their ideas.
Opportunity: Students will pitch their idea to potential investors. Higher education institutions will be present at the final competition with scholarship opportunities. Students will receive consulting services from WVU Launch Lab coaches, Access to Fab Lab, Mobile Maker Space, Investors, Seat time at RCBI.
Eligibility: Open to all students, grades 9-12, including career and technical centers in West Virginia.
- Round 1: 90-seconds (maximum) YouTube video entry
- Round 2: Business Model Canvas (semifinals, online)
- Round 3: Business Plan (finals, in-person)
Round 1: Entry1. 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 the 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. Submit 90-seconds (maximum) YouTube video
Teams must address all three of the following in the video:
- Business idea (product or service)
- What problem/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.4. Register Online
Due: November 11, 2022, by noon (EST)
Once your video is complete, register your team online (link below) and submit your proposal via VentureDash by November 11, 2022, at noon (EST).5. Scoring
Each submission will be reviewed by a panel of judges comprised of various business professionals. Judges will evaluate each submission based on a scoring rubric provided online. Ten (10) teams will advance to the semifinals competition and five (5) will move from there to the finals. Teams will be notified via e-mail and semifinalists’ names will be posted on our website and social media accounts on or before December 1.
Coaching and Workshops
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: Tara.StClair@mail.wvu.edu
- 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: Talking to Humans by Frank Rimalovski and Giff Constable, available for free at: https://www.talkingtohumans.com/
Semifinals Online Workshop:
December 1, 2022
- There will be an informational online workshop to help teams prepare for the semifinal competition on December 1, 2022, from 2:00-4:00 p.m. (EST). Details will be emailed to the semifinalists.
Round Two - Semifinals (online)
January 20, 2023
Round 2 submission by noon (online)
Round 2 Submission Guide
This guide provides you with a breakdown of each section that you will be scored on. Guiding questions have been provided to help you think about how to address each section thoughtfully. Please do not just answer each question, use them as a guide to address the section. Be creative! You may use illustrations, graphs and infographics to help convey your answer.
- Must be filled out with full sentences
- 5-page maximum PDF
- Double-spaced, 12 pt. font
- Pictures are permitted
*Page count does not include Cover Page, TOC, or appendices
Briefly describe your company and why it will be successful. May include your mission statement, product or service, and basic information about the company’s leadership team and location.
- Which customer needs are we satisfying?
- Which one of our customer's problems are we helping to solve?
- What value do we deliver to the customer?
- What bundles of products and services are we offering to each Customer Segment?
- For whom are we creating value?
- Who are our most important customers?
- Mass Market
- Niche Market
- Multi-sided Platform
- What type of relationship does each of our Customer Segments expect us to establish and maintain with them?
- Which ones have we established?
- How are they integrated with the rest of our business model?
- How costly are they?
- Personal assistance
- Dedicated Personal Assistance
- Automated Services
- Through which Channels do our Customer Segments want to be reached?
- How are we reaching them now?
- How are our Channels integrated?
- Which ones work best?
- Which ones are most cost-efficient?
- How are we integrating them with customer routines?
- What Key Activities do our Value Propositions require?
- Our Distribution Channels?
- Customer Relationships?
- Revenue streams?
- Problem Solving
- Who are our Key Partners?
- Who are our Key Suppliers?
- Which Key Resources are we acquiring from partners?
- Which Key Activities do partners perform?
- Motivations for partnerships:
- Optimization and economy
- Reduction of risk and uncertainty
- Acquisition of particular resources and activities
- What Key Resources do our Value Propositions require?
- Our Distribution Channels? Customer Relationships?
- Revenue Streams?
- Types of Resources
- Intellectual (brand patents, copyrights, data)
- What are the most important costs inherent in our business model?
- Which Key Resources are most expensive?
- Which Key Activities are most expensive?
- Is your Business more:
- Cost Driven (leanest cost structure, low price value proposition, maximum automation, extensive outsourcing)
- Value-Driven (focused on value creation, premium value proposition)
- Fixed Costs (salaries, rents, utilities)
- Variable costs
- Economies of scale
- Economies of scope
- For what do they currently pay?
- For what value are our customers really willing to pay?
- How are they currently paying?
- How would they prefer to pay?
- How much does each Revenue Stream contribute to overall revenues?
Summary of Interviews
- What feedback did you receive?
- What changes have you made/are you going to make as a result of the interview?
Other Things you May Include
- Pictures of prototypes
- Finalists and alternates will be announced on or before February 1, 2023
- Five (5) teams will be chosen to compete in the final competition
- Finalists are required to attend the online workshops on February 10, 2023, and February 24, 2023
Teams will participate in the finalist online workshops on February 10th, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm and February 24th, 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. Coaches are encouraged to attend.
*Teams may attend the live-streamed workshops at the WVU LaunchLab
Wednesday, April 19, 2023
- Final Business Plans
Due: April 12, 2023, by noon (EST)
Final Business Plans must:
- Be no more than 10 pages in length
- Be double-spaced, 12 pt. font
- Include a Cover Page (no names or schools should be mentioned)
- Be saved and submitted as a PDF file
- Be submitted via VentureDash
Judges will score business plans using VentureDash before the final competition.
- Final Competition - April 19
- Practice presentations will be offered April 18, evening or April 19, morning
- 5-minute presentation
- 10-minute Q&A with investors
*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 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 Community 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.
All Contest Winners are subject to verification, including without limitation, verification of eligibility, compliance with these Official Rules and completion of release forms. In addition, Sponsors reserve the right to require a confidential background check be conducted on any Contest Winners selected to help ensure that the use of any such person in advertising or publicity for the Contest will not bring Sponsors into public disrepute, contempt, scandal or ridicule or reflect unfavorably on the Contest or Sponsors, as determined by Sponsors in their sole and absolute discretion, and that the awarding of any prize to any of the Contest Winners will not violate applicable U.S. or State laws or regulations.
If any Contest Winners have been convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor of moral turpitude or have filed a petition in bankruptcy within the previous ten (10) years, or Sponsors determine in their sole discretion that use of any Contest Winners in advertising might reflect unfavorably on the Contest or Sponsors or that the awarding of any prize may violate applicable U.S. or State laws or regulations, the Sponsors may disqualify such Contest Winners. If attempted notification is returned as undeliverable, if a Contest Winner is not verified as eligible or a Contest Winner is otherwise ineligible to receive a prize, the applicable prize will be forfeited and may be awarded to an alternate Contest Winner in the Sponsors’ sole discretion.
Entrants agree that the Sponsors reserve the right, in their sole discretion, to overrule whatever Entries are deemed to have received the highest judgments and award any prizes to Entries that are determined to be acceptable to the Sponsors. Entrants agree that the Sponsors have the sole right to decide all matters and disputes arising from this Contest and that all decisions of Sponsors are final and binding.
GENERAL CONDITIONS: Contest Winners are solely responsible for any taxes on the prizes, and will receive an IRS Form 1099 for prizes awarded. No substitution of prizes is offered, except at the sole discretion of the Sponsors. Prizes are non-transferable and non-refundable. No cash equivalent of in-kind prizes is offered by Sponsors. Sponsors will not be responsible for the services or advice provided as part of the in-kind prizes. By participating, entrants agree to these Official Rules and Sponsors’ Web Site terms and conditions which are final and binding in all respects.
If for any reason the Contest is not capable of running as planned, including infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes which corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of the Contest, Sponsors reserve the right, in their sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who is responsible or who tampers with the entry process, and to cancel, modify or terminate the Contest. This Contest is offered only in the State of West Virginia, United States, and is governed by the laws of the State of West Virginia, with jurisdiction being in a court of competent jurisdiction in the federal or state courts located in the State of West Virginia.
LIMITATIONS OF LIABILITY AND RELEASE: No liability or responsibility is assumed by Sponsors resulting from any entrant’s or user’s participation in or attempt to participate in the Contest or download of any information in connection with participating in the Contest. No responsibility or liability is assumed by the Sponsors for technical problems or technical malfunction arising in connection with any of the following occurrences which may affect the operation of the Contest: hardware or software errors; faulty computer, telephone, cable, satellite, network, electronic, wireless or Internet connectivity or other online communication problems; errors or limitations of any Internet service providers, servers, hosts or providers; garbled, jumbled or faulty data transmissions; failure of any e-mail transmissions to be sent to or received; lost, late, delayed or intercepted e-mail transmissions; inaccessibility of the Web Site in whole or in part for any reason; traffic congestions on the Internet or the Web Site; unauthorized human or non-human intervention of the operation of the Contest, including without limitation, unauthorized tampering, hacking, theft, virus, bugs, worms; or destruction of any aspect of the Contest, or loss, miscount, misdirection, inaccessibility or unavailability of an account used in connection with the Contest. No responsibility or liability is assumed by the Sponsors with respect to any services or advice provided as part of the in-kind prize awards, and each recipient will be solely responsible for the selection and designation of services to be provided, and for the consequences of utilizing such services or advice.
Sponsors are not responsible for any typographical errors in the announcement of prizes or these Official Rules, or any inaccurate or incorrect data contained on the Web Site. Use of the Web Site is at the user’s own risk. Sponsors are not responsible for any personal injury or property damage or losses of any kind which may be sustained to any user's or any other person's computer equipment resulting from participation in the Contest, use of the Web Site or the download of any information from the Web Site. By participating in the Contest, the entrant thereby releases and agrees to hold harmless Sponsors from any and all claims, damages or liabilities arising from or relating to such entrant’s participation in the Contest or the use or application of any prizes awarded. By accepting a prize in the Contest, Contest Winners agree that the Sponsors and Contest Parties shall not be liable for any loss or injury resulting from participation in the Contest, acceptance or use of any prize, or any travel related thereto.
BUSINESS USE: If you are a Contest Winner, you represent and warrant that the prizes will be used by you solely in connection with implementation, support or funding of the Contest Concept which formed the basis of your winning Entry.
NON DISCRIMINATION: The Sponsors do not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any aspect of the Contest.
SPONSORS: The primary Sponsor of the Contest is West Virginia University, an agency and higher education institution of the State of West Virginia, PO Box 6201, Morgantown, West Virginia, 26506. Other Sponsors, if any, are indicated elsewhere on the official Web Site.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS. Participation in the Contest is subject to the terms and conditions set forth below.
Tara St. Clair
High School BPC Important Dates
November 11, 2022 Round 1: videos due by noon (online)
November 22, 2022 Finalists notified
December 1, 2022 Semifinalist Workshop (online)
January 20, 2023 Round 2: submission by noon (online)
January 31, 2023 Finalists Announced
February 10, 2023 Finalist Workshop (online)
February 24, 2023 Finalist Workshop (online)
April 12, 2023 Final Business Plans due by noon (online)
April 17, 2023 Round 3: Finals (live)