Competitions

The Jeffrey D. Clark Center for Entrepreneurship in the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business hosts a number of business competitions each year. Students can participate as individuals or as members of a team. Community members can participate in most competitions as members of a student-led team. Here is a list of our competitions and more information about each event.

Utah Student 25 Logo

Top 25 Utah Student Competitions

Judged on financial statements

Deadline: End of February 2014

$8,000

The Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence identifies and acknowledges student-owned companies during spring semester each. The student winners are given cash awards to assist with the further development of their companies. All students acknowledged in this competition are encouraged to submit their financial information to the Utah Student 25, a state-wide event that celebrates and acknowledges student-owned businesses throughout the state of Utah.

Opportunity Quest Logo

Opportunity Quest

Write a Business Plan

Deadline: November 2013

$8,000

Our Opportunity Quest Business Plan Competition is held during fall semester. We host a series of workshops and activities to help students develop ideas and write effective business plans. The plans are judged by a panel of business leaders. The top ten teams receive mentoring for six weeks and then present their final plans to the judges in January. Significant cash awards are given to the top three teams to assist with the further development of the businesses.

72 Hour Innovation

72 Hour Innovation

Innovative Idea Challenge

Deadline: March 2014

$2,000

Our 72-Hour Competition is also held in April each year during Entrepreneurship Week. Students are presented with a business challenge on Monday (i.e., create a solution to a problem, sell specific items on campus, create and film an infomercial, etc.), and then given 72-hours to complete the challenge. The top three teams are announced on Friday of Entrepreneurship Week and given cash prizes.

Opportunity Quest Logo

Utah Entrepreneur Challenge

Statewide Business Plan Competition

Deadline: January 2014

$40,000

Students who enter our Opportunity Quest Business Plan Competition are encouraged to submit these plans to the Utah Entrepreneur Challenge which is held during spring semester each year. Students interested in this competition are mentored by faculty members and community leaders so they can make strong presentations in this state-wide competition.

More Information about Utah Entrepreneur Challenge

Elevator Pitch Logo

Elevator Pitch

2 Minutes

Deadline: March 2014

$3,500

Our Elevator Pitch Competition is held in April each year during our Entrepreneurship Week. Students submit a one-page summary of their business idea, and the top 20 finalists pitch their idea to a panel of judges. Prize money is awarded to the top 3 participants.

OTHER COMPETITIONS

There are competitions not sponsored by the Jeffrey D. Clark Center for Entrepreneurship, but available to students and/or community members to compete in.

Innovation Challenge

Innovationchallenge.com

Energy Commercialization Center

Emerging Venture Competition Applications period opens February 15th, 2013

Have a Sustainable Energy / Cleantech Idea or Business?

Submit today for your Chance to Win $10,000 Cash

Dolphin Capital Marketing Competition

The Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence supports the Dolphin Capital Marketing Competition which is held in the spring. Student teams work on a marketing challenge for one of Dolphin Capital’s portfolio companies and compete with student teams from other universities. Winning teams receive awards, cash prizes and state-wide recognition.

More information about Dolphin Capital Marketing Competition

Arch Grants Global Business Plan Competition

Arch grants is a startup competition that awards $50,000 grants to startups that are in St. Louis or that are willing to relocate to St. Louis.

More information about Arch Grants Global Business Plan Competition

CU Cleantech New Venture Challenge

The CU Cleantech New Venture Challenge is one of six regional competitions sponsored by the DOE—EERE. It is hosted at the University of Colorado Boulder and managed by CU Cleantech. The first place team receives the $100,000 prize and will move on to the national competition in Washington D.C. Previous participants have gone on to receive additional follow-on funding, including SBIR grants and other commercialization assistance from strategic partners. The top three teams will receive entrance into the NREL Industry Growth Forum and the Cleantech Open.

More information about entering the challenge.

More information about eligibility.

Competition Resources

How to prepare your team for a business plan competition

The real prize at these events can’t be measured. It’s the opportunity you get in networking with people who could end up mentoring you, advocating you or your business plan, or directly supporting you financially. To be successful, you should enter these competitions with the same kind of rigorous effort you would apply to a “real-world” pitch session, because that’s what this is: your shot at making an impression. You only have a short window of time to talk with your panel about your business, so it’s important that you know exactly what you’re talking about when you get the chance to present. Here are a few tips you should follow when preparing:

  • Start planning early: The more you work on your business plan, the more refined it will be when you finally present it to the panel. Judges recommend that teams take months, if not over a year to work on the business models, financials plans, and market research it takes to compose a comprehensive plan. You shouldn’t enter into a competition if you just came up with an idea.
  • Assemble the best team possible: Most successful teams at these competitions are composed of students from diverse disciplines. There are business majors, but there are also students from other areas present to offer their expertise depending on the subject and angle of the business plan. A team pitching a new smartphone app might have computer science and mathematics experts on board in addition to business majors.
  • Test your idea: Whether your test is a prototype of a product or a rough trial run of a service, it’s important that you test your business plan with real people before you present it to a panel of judges. Doing so will bring your business plan from the theoretical to the practical realm. Your business plan will no longer be an abstract idea, but something that you can visualize in an actual market. After testing your idea, you can refine your business plan based on how people responded.
  • Always keep the consumer in mind: You will hear from judges in these competitions that an enterprise will fail if it doesn’t keep a consumer in mind at all times during the development stages. When designing a business, you have to think about the market that you want to target and the viability of your product or service within that market. Your product might be a really interesting in theory, but will people actually buy it? Will your business meet the needs of customers that actually exist? You should be absolutely certain of these points before presenting to the panel.
  • Profitability: Above all, make sure that your business plan can generate revenue. There will be countless investors and venture capitalists searching for entrepreneurs with ideas worth investing in. If you can’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt that your business plan could be profitable, there’s no way people will invest in it