More than $100,000 in cash and business services are up for grabs Friday, March 31, as judges pick the most promising new enterprises at Brigham Young University’s Business Plan Competition.
The final event, where one of three final teams will walk away with the grand prize valued at $50,000, will take place at 2 p.m. in 140 of Joseph Smith Building on the BYU campus.
A panel of business and venture capital professionals will award second- and third-place teams $35,000 and $20,000 in cash and in-kind services. Additional cash prizes will be given to semi-finalists and honorable mentions.
This year’s judges consist of venture capitalists, private equity professionals, angel investors, CEOs and other entrepreneurs. The judges helped whittle down 79 business plan entries to three by examining each team’s understanding of the market, detailed evidence of potential success, experience and dedication. Business plans were submitted by students from more than 30 different majors on campus.
This year’s finalists include:
KAM Accelerometer, Inc., touting an electronic personal fitness device that measures expended kinetic energy;
Precision Surveying Solutions, selling a data-collection device for surveyors and civil engineers;
Teton Recreation Cabins, purveying affordable, easy-to-assemble, pre-fabricated cabin kits for families and camp directors. In addition to prizes awarded by the Business Plan Competition, several BYU centers will be doling out cash to promising upstarts. The eBusiness Center will award $5,000 to the best new e-business venture, more than $7,000 will be given by the Center for Economic Self-Reliance to the top business plans with strong social missions, and the Global Management Center will award $5,000 to the best new international business venture.
Spectators at this year’s competition also have a chance to win one of five iPod nanos and more than $1,000 in door prizes.
Founded in 1993 by BYU’s Center for Entrepreneurship, the annual Business Plan Competition is recognized as one of the top-tier business plan competitions in the nation in terms of prizes and participation. The competition is run by two dozen BYU MBA students and a faculty adviser.
Past Business Plan Competition winners have gone on to build thriving businesses, including 1-800 CONTACTS, uSight, Property Solutions and Alianza. Two past winners gained national recognition by also winning Fortune Small Business magazine’s MBA Showdown and placing among the semi-finalists in the Global Moot Corp Competition.
Last year’s winner, Alianza, has since raised more than $2 million in investment capital and was recently featured by BusinessWeek as one of “Academia’s Brightest Tech Stars.”