School of Management’s Business Plan Competition

November 16, 2012

Events, General, Majors & Minors

We are pleased to announce that this semester the School of Management’s Business Plan Competition will be open to student teams from across Mason, in any major or discipline.

The School of Management has established a new Student Venture Fund and will be awarding $30,000 in cash and in-kind services to winners in the Competition.

On Saturday, December 8, 2012, selected teams will present their plans for a new business or venture before a live audience and panel of judges comprised of successful entrepreneurs. Presentations are limited to 8 minutes in length, and are typically accompanied by PowerPoint slides or similar visual aids.

This is a two stage contest:

Stage 1: Turn in Executive Summary (no more than 5 written pages) by Friday, November 23, 2012.  Summaries should be sent to Dr. Mahesh Joshi, School of Management:

Stage 2: Eight teams will be chosen to pitch their ideas on Saturday, December 8, 2012. Representatives from each team will have up to 8 minutes to present their idea before a panel of judges and live audience.

Competition Rules:

A. Entrants must be teams of at lease two persons, with 50% or more team members currently enrolled (full or part-time) in any Mason degree granting program.

B. Existing student-run businesses may apply, but are limited to $100,000 in annual revenue.  Student members of the team must be equity owners in the business.

C. Entrants must provide a written executive summary of their business concept (maximum of 5 pages) that addresses the following questions:

  1. What problem are you trying to solve?
  2. How big is this problem? How do you know this? Can you validate that this is a real problem? (For example do you have market research, or current customers?)
  3. How big is your market size? Who can you reach in the first 2 years?
  4. What is your solution to the problem? What is the value proposition for the customer? (For example, cheaper, more convenient, better quality?)
  5. Who are your competitors, and why is your solution better?
  6. How will you make money (what is your business model)? What are your revenue stream(s)? How will you market and sell? What are your costs?
  7. Who is on your management team? What backgrounds and experiences do they bring?
  8. Use of funds – how would you use the $10,000 in first place prize money should you win the competition?
  9. Please include a 100 word summary of your venture.

D. The written Executive Summary should be emailed to Prof. Mahesh Joshi by close of business Friday, November 23, 2012:

E. Entrants should be available to answer questions of the judges by telephone, after Mason’s Thanksgiving break. Up to 8 final teams and an alternate team will be chosen for the Competition by Friday, November 30.

F. Finalists will present in-person to a panel of judges and a live audience on Saturday, December 8, 2012, starting at 8:30am. Teams are encouraged to bring their friends, supporters and parents to the Competition. Finalists must be present to win. An awards lunch will be served following the competition.


About Mary Byerley

Mary Byerley works for the School of Management in the Office of Academic and Career Services. She has been with George Mason University for 15 years.

View all posts by Mary Byerley

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