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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 2019 are eligible to compete, but MUST attend all mandatory functions related to the competition during the spring of 2020. 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 twocategories:
- Lifestyle and Hospitality: Products or services that are part of daily life or relevant to hospitality, restaurants, hotels, tourism or related fields. They can be the introduction of new products or services, or new methods or techniques of existing products or services.
- STEM and Innovation: Products or services with an emphasis in science, technology, engineering, math, energy, and healthcare, or any new innovations. They can be the introduction of new products or services, or new methods or techniques of existing products or services.
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.
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. Building a team with diverse skill sets is recommended.
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.
- Businesses who have generated revenues of $10,000 or more on the sale of goods and/or services produces by their business prior to Round 1 submission date are NOT eligible.
- Past winning participants are not eligible for re-entry of the same business idea.
- Past non-winning participants are eligible for re-entry into the competition.
- Businesses MUST be registered and compliant with the laws in the state of West Virginia, but there are no restrictions on the geographic location(s) where the business operations shall occur.
3. Register and submit your idea online by November 15 at noon
Determine the category that best suits your idea: Lifestyle & Hospitality or STEM & Innovation.
Each summary will be reviewed by a panel of judges comprised of business professionals. Summaries will be scored on a standard rubric.
Ten (10) Lifestyle & Hospitality and ten (10) STEM & Innovation teams will be selected to compete in the Semifinals. Should the top 10 teams in each category not include representation from each participating school, additional semifinalists will be chosen so that every institution will be represented in the semifinals.