Growing Importance of Business Plan Competitions

By Tim Berry Are you aware of business plan competitions? If you’re an entrepreneur, they’re an excellent opportunity to present your business and compete for cash and in-kind prizes or, worst case, really good feedback from serious business people. If you’re lucky enough to be invited to judge, it’s a chance to spend a few days reviewing real-world startups. I’ve been judging business plan competitions for almost 20 years. As I write this I’m looking forward to another season judging venture competitions including the University of Texas’ Venture Labs Investment Competition, the Rice University Business Plan Competition, and the University of Oregon New Venture Championship. Each of these three events pit grad-level business students from all over the world against each other as they compete for cash and in-kind prizes. They submit business plans, do business pitches and answer detailed questions. I find judging these competitions fun, interesting and for me a great way to keep up with the evolution of high-level startups, business planning and entrepreneurship education. The University of Texas started this, as far as I know, with the first “Moot Corp” in 1984. Moot Corp became Venture Labs Competition three years ago. It’s the oldest and possibly […]

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