Santa Clara University

Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Business Plan Competitions

Business Plan competitions allow students to gain experience in not only as competitors for a prize, but also in working together as a team, public speaking, strategy, planning ahead and making contacts.  

In addition, the CIE provides information, coaching and advice to students enrolled in the Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Program on both regional competitions and national competitions and also works with the SCEO on other student-run competitions and team prep.



2014-2015 Competitions



CIE Presents:  $5,000 Business Plan Pitch Competition-Open to Graduate and Undergraduate SCU Students!

Monday, May 4, 2015
6-9 pm
Lucas Hall 126-Forbes Family Conference Center


The CIE is pleased to host a Business Plan Pitch Competition with a $5,000 grand prize.  The event is scheduled for Monday, May 4, 2015, 6-9 pm, Lucas Hall 126-Forbes Family Conference Center.    Share your game-changing business plan and prepare a team presentation (team comprised of 2-5 people).     Prizes will be awarded as follows:
$5,000 Grand Prize
$1,000 Second Place
$500 Third Place

Presentations may be up to 10 minutes, with a 5 minute Q&A.  Judges will be scoring based on the following criteria:

  • Is the business fundable?
  • Quality of the product(s), service(s), and/or solution(s)
  • Market opportunities and competition
  • Team qualifications
  • Overall attractiveness of the venture
  • Quality of the pitch/presentation
In addition, please note:
  • Apply online to compete (link is to a Wufoo form) before midnight Wednesday, April 15.
  • Teams must consist of 2-5 active members.
  • All teams must include current students-alumni are welcome; however, each team must have a current student in good standing.
  • Proposed business should be fundable.
  • Proposed business plan should not be in violation of any IP rights.
  • The registration form includes an upload of your executive summary, 5-10 slide deck (overview), 5 page (or more)plan, and team resumes.
  • Given the nature of a pitch competition with time restraints, space is limited-not all who apply will be selected to compete. 
Don't wait, register your team application of 2-5 people before midnight on April 15!    We see a lot of student business plans here in the CIE, so we know that there are so many of you are ready to compete-Good Luck!  

Spectators are WELCOME and encouraged!  Stop by for some free food and beverages, watch the excitement and cheer on your friends!

This event is co-sponsored by the SCEO:   SCEO Logo 2014




SCU Undergraduate & MBA Students Invited To Compete:
Pacific Venture Capital Conference & Competition (PVCC):  February & March, 2015

Registration Deadline:  January 29, 2015
Fee:  $100/Team

Pacific Venture Capital Conference & Competition (PVCC) invites SCU undergraduate and MBA students to compete in their 7th annual competition-registration deadline is January 29.

The PVCC is a national stage designed for undergraduate and MBA students to present business ideas and financial valuations to an audience of entrepreneurial leaders, senior venture capitalists, and top industry professionals across North America.  Students are welcome to compete as an Entrepreneur Team.  Each E-Team may be comprised of 3-5 members.  Finalists will receive mentorship from experienced entrepreneurs.  The top E-Team will receive $2,000 prize money. 


Registration Deadline:  January 29, 2015 (11:59 pm PST)
Entrepreneurship Submissions:  First Round (Business Plan & Video Submissions): February 5, 2015
   Second Round (Presentations):  February 16, 2015
   Mentorship Stage:  February 17-24
   Final Round (Live Presentations):  March 5

For more information, including plans and the schedule from 2014, please visit the competition page.  Good Luck!




SCU Undergraduate Students Invited To Compete: 5th Annual Richards Barrentine Values and Ventures® Business Plan Competition at TCU (Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, TX):  April 10-11, 2015

Intent to Compete & Executive Summary Deadline:  February 16, 2015
Application & Business Plan deadline: March 24
Competition:  April 10-11

The Neeley School of Business Entrepreneurship Center at TCU invites you to compete for the grand prize of $25,000 in their 5th Annual Richards Barrentine Values and Ventures Business Plan Competition in April, 2015, in Fort Worth, Texas. 

This event is an annual competition for undergraduate students around the world to pitch plans for for-profit enterprises that impact society in meaningful ways.  Plans must demonstrate a societal or environmental need to be filled, as well as the profitability of the business.  Nonprofit enterprises are not eligible.  Consider contributions to sustainability, innovations in health and life sciences, innovations in energy, or opportunities for under-represented groups in businesses.  Winning examples may be found here on the competition's 2014 recap

For more information, including plans and the schedule from 2014, please visit the competition page.  Good Luck!



SCU School of Engineering's Fall 2014 Innovation Competition:  The Intel Edison Product Challenge

Invitation to compete-Deadline is Friday, October 31, at 5 pm!
Teams must consist of at least 50% undergraduate Engineering students and must include at least 1 non-Engineering undergraduate student.

Intel has just launched its new Edison development platform, a low-cost, product-ready, general purpose compute platform that helps lower the barriers to entry for entrepreneurs interested in rapidly prototyping and producing new smart products for markets such as wearables, Internet of Things, home automation, robotics, etc.

For this competition, Intel is interested in creative and compelling product ideas in the area of home (or office) automation which can solve real problems for real people (you aren’t just inventing something for the sake of using technology) while uniquely exploiting the advanced embedded processing capabilities of the Edison platform.  In particular, Intel is looking for products and applications that can exploit Edison’s device-to-device and device-to-cloud capabilities (e.g., we’re looking for home/office automation devices that must communicate with each other – not just one device that acts alone).

Students are invited to propose such ideas in the form of a 2-minute YouTube “storyboard” presentation that showcases the opportunity they have identified, their understanding of the selected customer segment / market, the functionality of and ecosystem surrounding the proposed product / service, and data supporting their attempts to validate their concept.  No functional prototype – or detailed knowledge about embedded processing - is required to do this.

Videos will be posted on YouTube, with teams sending competition organizers a link to their video no later than12:00 noon on Monday, November 10.  A grand prize of $1,000 will be awarded to the top video, as judged by Intel personnel as well as SCU and industry reviewers.  Top entrants will also be entered in a multi-university storyboard competition with the same objectives as part of the Kern Entrepreneurship Education Network for a chance to win further cash prizes of up to another $1,000.

For full details on rules, including the competition schedule and requirements as well as how to enter,please click here to read the full release.  Good Luck to you!!



SDSU LogoSDSU LeanModel™ Start-Up Competition Open to Students from California Universities-Registration Deadline November 4, 11:59 pm

**UPDATE**-Registration Deadline Extended to November 17th by 11:59 pm PST--see below!

San Diego State University invites students to enter a team for their third annual LeanModel™ Start-Up Competition, open to students from four-year universities globally, Executive MBA students are also eligible.  This competition, sponsored by the Entrepreneurial Management Center at SDSU, is not a traditional business plan competition and is designed to assist and reward student based start-ups that utilize the business model canvas.

In the true world of the entrepreneurial start-up, it is not the business plan that leads to success. An oft-quoted term from venture capitalists is that, "As soon as the business plan is written, it is obsolete." We believe that early on, the start-up must move quickly to prototype and test their product or service and that customer interaction is critical. Too often, teams focus on writing a business plan and never actually interact with their target customers.

The LeanModel Competition rewards students for identifying and defining assumptions, testing those assumptions in the marketplace, and then pivoting their business model based on customer interactions. Unfamiliar with the business model canvas? Check out"Business Model Generation"by Alexander Osterwalder.

Event: March 6 & 7, 2015
Location:  San Diego State University campus
Team Information:  Enrolled students at a four-year California (including Baja California) universities, freshman to PhD and a team cannot exceed five members. Full Eligibility Rules Here

The LeanModel™ Competition is for student-created, -managed and-owned startups.  Teams must represent new, independent ventures in the seed, startup or early-stage process.  All ventures must be seeking outside equity capital.  Students are to have played a major role in conceiving the venture, to have key management roles and to own significant equity. 

For more information, or to register, please visit the SDSU Lean Model Competition website--good luck!


**UPDATE**-Registration Deadline Extended to November 17th by 11:59 pm PST!

The SDSU Lavin Entrepreneurship Center received an overwhelming response of extension requests for the LeanModel Competition preliminary application. As one of the busiest times in the semester, we are allowing students just a little more time to register.

Registrations are now dueNovember 17thby11:59 PM PST!

While we appreciate the applications we’ve received from teams nationwide, our goal is to make this the best competition possible. Even though the application deadline has been pushed back toNovember 17th, team multimedia presentations are still due onDecember 2nd!

TheLeanModelcompetition rewards students for identifying and defining assumptions, testing those assumptions in the marketplace, and then pivoting their business model based on customer interactions. The SDSU Lavin Entrepreneurship Center will be selecting 20-25 teams to compete for prizes totaling$20,000 in cash and in kind services.

Schools applying so far include: University of Arizona, University of California, Michigan State University, San Diego State University, University of Louisville, Drexel University, and many more. Is your university competing?

Register button


Korean Government Agency Non-Profit Invites SCU Students To Pitch in KOTRA's UniKamp Incubator

Application Deadline is November 4


Event Information:
Friday, November 14
2-5 pm
Mountain View (Location TBD)

 An Invitation from UniKamp: 

Are YOU in a hot STARTUP?

Come pitch with the best of 'em at UniKamp Pitch Night - a showcase of the top university student startups from the Bay Area.

We're inviting the brightest student startups across Silicon Valley to pitch, engage and demonstrate what's they've got.  There's $2000 in prize money and you'll have the opportunity to pitch to high-profile judges like Christine Tsai from 500 Startups.

UniKamp Pitch Night is organised by KOTRA Silicon Valley, a non-profit Korean government organization, but the event itself is open to any and all startups - Koreans and non-Koreans alike - who want to strut their stuff!  We are concentrating, however, on inviting the most promising university student startups.  Do you think you're the next Zuckerberg?  Show us!

It'll be held onFriday, November 14th, 2 pmto 5 pm in in Mountain View.  You can check out the complete details at

Applications are accepted until November 4th, 2014.

For inquiries, please contact Hanmin Yang at

Note from the CIE:  As taken from the UniKamp Website, the pitch format will be 12 teams, 4 minute pitches followed by 3 minutes of Q&A with 2 minutes of non-rebuttal feedback.


SVForum Startup Expo 2014 - Apply now!

November 18th, 2014
1:00 — 6:30 pm

Location announced soon!
Silicon Valley, California

Polish your pitches - Startup Expo is approaching! A selected group of tech startups will have the opportunity to showcase their product to respected investors, VCs, Corporate Venture and Angels. A distinguished panel of Silicon Valley investors, experts and thought leaders will also give their insights on the future of investing and what to expect when pitching to them. Startup Expo is in celebration of Global Entrepreneurship WeekThis event is by-invitation-only! Tickets will be limited to participating startups and invited investors only. If you'd like to request an invitation, please email Sepideh Nasiri


Application Criteria:

  • We’re tech agnostic, but we do require that you have a tech company with great growth potential
  • You have a verified product/solution, and it is live (beta is okay)
  • Your startup is actively seeking funding
  • Your company is incorporated
  • You've assembled a team


startup madness

Calling All College Student Startups!  Applications Now Accepted for Student Startup Madness 2014-15 Seeking the Best College Digital Media Startup (Nationwide Tournament

Online applications are now being accepted for the 2014-15 Student Startup Madness, a fun and exciting nationwide tournament offering college student startups the opportunity to "live the entrepreneurial dream": compete against fellow student entrepreneurs, and grab the attention of potential investors and leaders in the startup community at the South By Southwest Interactive festival in March 2015.

Student Startup Madness (SSM) is open to all college student digital media startups from any college/university in the United States. To apply, go to Applications will be accepted through Dec. 5, 2014.

Teams are encouraged to apply for "Early Admission" by Friday, Oct 10, 2013, when 20 of the 64 SSM starting field of tournament teams will be selected. The benefits of early admission include less competition for the 20 "early admission" spots and more time for student teams to plan ahead and prepare their pitch materials, if they are selected for the semi-finals. Early application will also afford the SSM Selection Committee more opportunity to consider applications versus those that are submitted close to the Dec. 5 final application deadline.  

Competition format:  Each round of the nationwide tournament will build momentum, awareness and social media buzz, drawing attention to colleges and universities as sources for innovation, entrepreneurship and talent while showcasing university entrepreneurship and encouraging college students to start businesses. From all online applications, 64 teams will be chosen by the SSM Selection Committee for the first round of competition, which will take place online in the platform. From the 64 first-round competitors, half (32 teams) will advance to the semi-final regionals round. From the regionals will emerge the "Entrepreneurial Eight," the top eight student teams that will be invited to pitch to a celebrity panel of well-known entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and investors at the Student Startup Madnessnational finals at South By Southwest in Austin, Texas, in March 2015. 

About Student Startup Madness:  The Student Startup Madness concept was developed by Sean Branagan, director of the Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, in conjunction with SXSW. Student Startup Madness, along with its sponsors and host universities, believes in American entrepreneurship and on-campus startups—and wants to help young student entrepreneurs succeed and become a part of the SXSW experience.


SCEO  110 Logo 2010 11Elevator Pitch Competition
Thursday, October 16, 7 pm
Forbes Family Conference Center-Lucas Hall 126

Have an innovative idea?  A new product or business?  We want to hear it but only 60 seconds of it.  No slides, no visuals, just 60 seconds of pitching your innovative feasible idea.  Impress us and $250 can be yours. 

Register to participate here! (spectators do not need to register-just show up)

Refreshments and prize money provided by the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Spectators are always welcome and encouraged!  Stop by and support your friends competing or just see what the competition is all about.

Have a Competition to Share?

If you would like to ivite Santa Clara University students to participate in your elevator pitch or business plan competition, please send pertinent event details to the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Go

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