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The competition is meant to reward action and encourage students to:

  1. Break down their idea into the key business model hypotheses.
  2. Get outside the building and test their assumptions with customers.
  3. Apply customer development/lean startup principles to make sure they identify the solution.
  4. Learn to pivot (or change) until they have a customer-validated business model with radically improved chances of success.

Participation Requirements and Guidelines

  • The team must have a student who possesses at least a 25% equity stake in the project/company.

  • The competition is for new, independent ventures in the seed, start-up or early growth stages. Proposals for the buy-out or expansion of an existing company, tax-shelter opportunities, real estate syndicates, purchase of a franchise and consulting projects or analyses are not eligible. The business may not have generated more than $50,000 in revenues nor have raised more than $250,000 in outside equity capital before February 1 of the year of the competition. (Friends and family funding does not count toward funding limits.)

  • Submissions must represent the original work of each contestant. It may not contain any fabricated information. Presenters may bring samples of their product to show, but may not bring giveaways for the judges.
  • Individuals or groups may enter the competition. All principals involved must be clearly identified in both the application and the presentation by name, address and e-mail address. In the event a team receives an award, check(s) and prizes will be coordinated with the primary contact person listed on the application.
  • The concepts presented are recognized as confidential and will not be intentionally disclosed outside the committee of judges without the entrant’s permission.

Unqualified Projects

  • Proposals for the buy-out or expansion of an existing company, tax-shelter opportunities, real estate syndicates, purchase of a franchise and consulting projects or analyses are not eligible.
  • The business may not have generated more than $50,000 in revenues nor have raised more than $250,000 in outside equity capital before February 1 of the year of the competition. (Friends and family funding does not count toward funding limits.)
  • Project concepts may not contain any fabricated information.
  • Giveaways for the judges at not accepted

 

Direct Questions or Correspondence to:

Greg Bertsch

Instructor

Beacom School of Business

The University of South Dakota

414 E. Clark Street, Vermillion, SD 57069

(605) 658-6566 | Gregory.Bertsch@usd.edu