The format for the draft mini-business plan and pitch presentation is up to you.  You will have a total of 7-10  pages, and 10 minutes, respectively, to make your case to the judges.  Because this will not be a complete business plan, I encourage you to choose the most important elements for describing your project specifically, including its value proposition and long-term sustainability plan.  Having a good mock-up or prototype will also go very far in conveying your ideas concretely to the judges.

All ventures should address the following questions:

  • Mission: What does your “company” or entity do?  What is your ultimate goal?  What is your vision?
  • Market Opportunity: Describe the problem, and how large the problem is.
  • Your Solution: What exactly are you going to do to solve it?
  • Users: Who (users or organizations) will use your project?
  • Customers: Who (users or organizations) will pay for your project?
  • Partners: Who will you work with to achieve your goals?
  • Plan: What time period does the plan cover?  How much money do you need?  How much money will you earn?  Include a yearly breakdown of approximate costs and revenues, and their sources.  What will you achieve in that period?  Include a schedule for various deliverables or milestones you hope to achieve.
  • Prototype: What is the current status of your solution?  Are there any visuals you can share to show how far along you are, and just to convey a better idea of your solution?

If possible, adding the following will strengthen your pitch:

  • Competitive Landscape: What other players are trying to solve the problem.  There is always competition.  If its not another player, it is the status quo.
  • Evaluation: How will you demonstrate what you have achieved?  For any milestones that include an empirical evaluation, how you will conduct this evaluation?  Include your target population, your control (if any), what impacts you will measure, how you will collect this data, etc.
  • Management Team: Who is your team and why are you equipped to bring this solution to market.

The winning business plan, as chosen by the judges, will receive $5000 towards reimbursing any travel expenses for further developing your ideas over winter break or the next year.