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Any full-time college student attending a four-year, degree-granting West Virginia institution OR a full-time community college student at a West Virginia degree granting institution. *Open to all majors! Full time status will be verified.

Students participating in university-approved co-op programs are considered to be full-time students for the purpose of this competition.

Students that graduate in December 2018 are eligible to compete, but MUST attend all mandatory functions related to the competition during the spring of 2019. To be eligible for advancement in the competition, all submitted business proposals must be incorporated and based in West Virginia, but there are no restrictions of the geographic location(s) as to where business operations shall occur.

Entries are divided into three categories:

  • Lifestyle and Innovation: These can be products or services that are part of daily life or new innovations. They can be the introduction of new products or services, or new methods or techniques on existing products or services.
  • Hospitality and Tourism: Products or services with relevance to hospitality, restaurants, hotels, tourism or related fields.
  • STEM/Technology (NEW): Emphasis in engineering, technology, energy, and healthcare

The Statewide Collegiate 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 semi-final 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 risk associated with any disclosure during the course of the competition.

The Process

1. Create a Team

Teams may consist of 1-3 members. Assign a team leader.

All members must be full-time college students at West Virginia institutions of higher education, but they do not need to be from the same institution.

2. Select a Business Idea

All business ideas must be FOR-PROFIT WV businesses. Non-Profit ideas are not eligible. All business ideas must have the potential to be viable legal entities eligible to operate under the laws of West Virginia.

Teams who have previously received external funding (family, friends, private investors, loans) of $25,000 or greater are not eligible.

Teams with a business plan affiliated with an existing business are NOT eligible UNLESS the scope of the entry covers expansion into a significantly different industry or customer base, OR a major geographic expansion.

All businesses must be based in West Virginia to be considered eligible for consideration in the Competition.

3. Register and submit your idea online by October 12th at noon

Determine the category that best suits your idea: Lifestyle & Innovation, Hospitality & Tourism, or STEM.

Team leaders  Deadline is October 12th at noon.

4. Scoring

Each summary will be reviewed by a panel of judges comprised of business professionals. Summaries will be scored on a standard rubric.

(10) Lifestyle & Innovation (10) Hospitality & Tourism and (10) STEM teams will be chosen to compete in the Semifinals.