Welcome to the Florida Atlantic University Business Plan Competition (FAU BPC). We appreciate your interest in participating in this year’s event, hosted by Florida Atlantic University’s College of Business (COB) and the Adams Center for Entrepreneurship.
Each year a multitude of projects are completed by FAU students and many of these projects result in creative and innovative ideas, which could be taken to the next step as a marketable product or service. The FAU BPC is designed to encourage FAU students, faculty, staff and recent graduates to act on their talents, ideas, and energy to produce tomorrow’s leading businesses. The FAU BPC is for new, independent ventures in the seed, start‐up, or early growth stages. Multi‐disciplinary teams that combine members from many different backgrounds and academic majors are encouraged, as these teams bring together the variety of skills required for a successful venture.
The FAU BPC provides resources to aid students in the creation and implementation of their businesses. Students will also gain valuable skills and experience to help them transition to the competitive world of entrepreneurship and improve their ability to support or evaluate new ventures. The FAU BPC provides competitors with valuable resources in the following areas:
• Mentorship by successful and seasoned professionals
• Education in specific business planning skills and general entrepreneurial insight
• Teambuilding opportunities
• Funding and support to help the winning team(s) start their ventures
How to enter the FAU BPC:
• Applications are to be submitted through the College of Business website at business.fau.edu/BPC. The FAU BPC template must be used, it can be found at business.fau.edu/BPC. The FAU BPC has no entry fee. All submission deadlines are final. Late applications cannot be accepted and deadline extensions cannot be granted for any reason. The FAU BPC staff encourages each team to submit their required materials early so that any technical difficulties can be resolved before the deadline.
You may choose to participate in the optional video pitch. The video pitch should describe your team and your business concept. Post your video pitch on YouTube and include a url link in your executive summary. You may be as creative as you like with your video pitch but your pitch should quickly touch on and include the following information:
• Company name, team members, team leader
• Product or service value description (include current status of development)
• Customer/Market analysis, who are your customers and markets?
• Financial Summary
• Community impact and job creation potential
• Competition Materials: The COB (College of Business) reserves the right to use any material prepared for the FAU BPC in publicizing and promoting the event. The COB may use these materials in any media format. The COB may videotape or photograph any portion of the FAU BPC and use these materials in any way that it sees fit.
• Competition and the Winners: All decisions regarding the competition rules, procedures, and processes are at the sole discretion of the COB. The selection of the teams to compete and the decision of the winners are at the sole discretion of the judges and the COB. While not anticipated, the rules and prizes are subject to change at the discretion of the COB at any time.
• Attire: Dress attire throughout all the rounds should be business attire, unless otherwise dictated by your presentation.
• Confidentiality: All sessions of the competition, including but not limited to oral presentations and question/answer sessions, are open to the public at large. Any and all of these sessions may be broadcast to interested persons through media that may include radio, television and the Internet. Any data or information discussed or divulged in public sessions by entrants should be considered information that could possibly enter the public realm, and entrants should not assume any right of confidentiality in any data or information discussed, divulged, or presented in these sessions. All presentations are open to the general public, and some presentations may be videotaped.
• Copyrights & Permissions: If a team uses copyrighted materials and/or images from a third‐party in its submissions or presentation, the team must obtain permission and authorization in advance from the owners to use this material and be able to provide such documented permission/authorization upon request from the FAU BPC, ACE, mentors, or judges.
• Conflict of Interest Statement: No judge, mentor, volunteer or competition staff member may have any vested interest, equity stake, or financial stake in any of the competing companies. Any of the previously listed parties who stand to gain financially or otherwise from the success of any of the competing companies is strictly prohibited. Any such associations will result in disqualification of the team and/or removal of that individual from his/her associated position with the competition.
• Special Situations: If you or any member of your team needs to request approval for a special situation or an exception to these rules and guidelines, submit a formal proposal explaining the situation or request no later than March 13, 2017. Proposals should be submitted by sending an email with the proposal as a PDF attachment to email@example.com.
• Rules Violations: Questions or concerns about the rules should be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org for clarification. Rules violation concerns must be submitted detailing the purported violation, team(s) involved, and team(s) reporting the purported violation. The COB can disqualify a team or team member, advice judges of a violation and allow them to consider the facts in their rankings, remove prize eligibility, recommend barring a team or individuals from future FAU BPC competitions, or simply dismiss a purported violation. Purported violations and penalties applied can be appealed in writing by the affected team by no later than 72 hours after the penalty is issued. Appeal requests will be considered by the ACE and the ACE may affirm or reverse their decision based on the team’s statement.
Each team must meet the following requirements in order to compete in the FAU BPC.
• Eligibility: The competition is for FAU students, faculty, staff and recent graduates (students who have graduated in the past year). At least one member of the team must meet the above requirements, not the entire team. Current students must be in good academic standing and currently enrolled on a full or part‐time basis.
• Student Involvement: The competition is primarily for student‐created and managed ventures. Students are expected to:
1. Be a key force behind the new venture
2. Have played a key role in developing the business concept
3. Anticipate having a key management role in the venture, and own significant equity in the venture
The FAU BPC is designed to help students build their entrepreneurial skills by helping them to build a business plan and compete against other student teams for a grand prize. Because the FAU BPC is a student competition, the student(s) must be at the core of the submitted business concept and must play a major role in formulating the business.
• Nature of Ventures: The competition is for new, independent ventures in the seed, start‐up, or early growth stages. Generally excluded are the following: buy‐outs, expansions of existing companies, real estate syndications, tax shelters, franchisees, and licensing agreements for distribution in a different geographical area. The competition is supportive of teams that have created a business concept or plan to launch a new venture based on university‐developed research and innovations.
• Attendance: To be considered for any final prize and/or award, all competing team members must arrive at Florida Atlantic University on competing dates, more than 30 minutes before the start of the competition to sign in.
The ACE has the final decision on which teams are invited to compete in the FAU BPC and reserves the right to include or exclude any teams for any reasons. All submitted work must be original work of team members or appropriately licensed work of others. Any submission that does not meet these requirements will be eliminated from the competition.
No competitor may under any circumstances attempt to contact a judge before or during the competition to discuss the team’s entry. Any such behavior will result in the disqualification of the competitor and his/her team from the FAU BPC. Competitors who have any questions regarding potential conflicts of interest for any of the judges at any stage of the FAU BPC should address them immediately to email@example.com
Business Plan Competition Timeline
Applications open for BPC: November 14, 2016 - February 21, 2017
Application deadline: February 21, 2017
Preliminary judging: February 22-February 28, 2017
Announce semi-finalists: March 1, 2017
Semi-finalists make pitch to judges/mentors: March 24, 2017
Finalists are chosen: March 30, 2017
Business Plan Competition: April 21, 2017
Semi-finalists will be contacted by the competition coordinator to schedule a 15 minute pitch of their business concept, followed by a 10 minute Q&A to a panel of judges/mentors. Finalists will go on to the FAU BPC on April 21, 2017. Finalists will also be assigned a mentor. The mentor will meet with the team members to assist/guide the team as they fine tune their final written business plan and oral presentation. Scheduling meetings with the mentor is the responsibility of the team.
FAU BPC FINALISTS
FAU BPC Finalist’s Business Plan Submission: The FAU BPC template must be used. Submit a complete and final written business plan to firstname.lastname@example.org in Adobe Acrobat PDF. No other format will be accepted. Files should be named according to the following format: BPC_CompanyName.pdf.
FAU BPC Final Oral Presentations: Final presentations will take place at the FAU College of Business, Boca Raton campus on Friday, April 21, 2017. Teams should arrive at 8:30 am and plan to stay until the contest is over. All presentations must be the original work of the presenting team members. The finalists will have 15 minutes to present, followed by a 10 minute in‐depth Q&A session with the Judges. There will only be 5 minutes between each presentation for teams to set‐up. The order of team presentations will be selected at random.
Once a team has finished its presentation, the team may observe both the presentation and Q&A session of the teams that follow it. Teams may not observe other presentations until AFTER they have made their presentation. Teams may not observe another team’s prior practice or prior feedback sessions. The same observation guidelines apply to Team Faculty Advisors and Team Special Guests.
Equipment: Teams should plan to bring a USB drive with a PC compatible presentation. The presentation room is equipped with a large‐screen projector and a PC to run your presentation. You may also connect your laptop directly to the projector. If you are using a Mac laptop, you should bring your own video adapter to be able to connect into the A/V system in the room. If you have questions about audio/video equipment, please contact the competition coordinator at email@example.com.
Prize Money: The first half of the prize money will be awarded to teams in the week’s following the FAU BPC. Students will be paid via their account at myfau.edu. The second half of the winners’ prize payment is contingent upon review and approval of their progress report by the FAU BPC committee. Winners will be notified if their progress report was accepted or denied by the FAU BPC committee via email.