» Chapman U Business Plan Competition

Chapman University Business Plan Competition

Chapman’s Business Model Competition has two competitions, the undergraduate and graduate/alumni track. All applicants must submit a business model canvas, a six-slide pitch deck, and a one page executive summary. Ten semi-finalists will be selected from among all initial applicants for each competition.  These semi-finalists will complete a short business plan with the help of expert mentors from the Leatherby entrepreneur community.  We will then select five finalists from each group to present to a panel of investors, where we will award cash prizes and the opportunity to pitch to investor groups. Details on the 2016 competition will be provided at the start of the Fall semester. 

The Ralph W. Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship & Business Ethics is conducting a Business Plan Competition to highlight Chapman University students’ best and most feasible ideas for new businesses. The objectives will be to:

  • Provide assistance to new, fast-growth commercial and social enterprise ideas
  • Provide a vehicle for matching new businesses with potential investors
  • Gain support and recognition from the Orange County business community for students’ entrepreneurial activities
  • Identify and assist skilled students who are interested in becoming entrepreneurs

Because the Leatherby Center is committed to the educational aspects of the program, even those individuals who do not qualify as a finalist for award prizes will be winners. Experts will provide feedback to all participants. Finalists will be provided mentoring by various Southern California Angel investment groups. 

+ - What are the steps to qualify?

Contest participants will be evaluated initially based on the quality and feasibility of their business model.  That model will be described in a (1) business model canvas, a (2) six-page slide deck, and a (3) one page executive summary. Semi-finalist teams from each group will submit a short business plan. The five submissions judged as best from each group will move on in the contest as Finalists. Finalists will have a formal oral presentation of their plan to a panel of judges and investors.

+ - What are the competition rules?

  • Undergrad teams must include at least one Chapman University student enrolled in the Fall 2016 semester.
  • Grad teams must have at least one graduate student or recent alumni (last 10 years).
  • Submissions may be from an individual or a group of up to five members. All work must be the original work of students entering the contest. Each student may only submit one entry and may not be listed on any other team.
  • Students may be at the graduate or undergraduate level with any major. Non-business majors are encouraged to enter the contest.
  • Entry consists of an entry application, with all associated files.
  • Judges’ decisions will be final.
  • ***Any required changes in these rules and dates below will be posted on the website and sent by e-mail to contest entrants.

+ - What are the deadlines for 2016?

The deadline for the Chapman business plan competition will be released at the beginning of Fall 2016. The competition will be taking place in November 2016.

  • Students submit the application by Friday, October 23rd, 2015.
  • Ten semi-finalists are selected and informed on Friday, October 30th, 2015.
  • Semi-finalists applications due by Friday November 13th, 2015.
  • Five finalists are selected by Friday November 20th, 2015
  • Presentations to judges and investors Friday December 6th, 2015.
  • Announcement of awards and winners immediately following judging

+ - What are the prizes and awards?

Over the years we have given away cash prizes to our top 3 winners. Some finalists may be invited to present to various Southern California Angel investment groups. Stay tuned to hear the 2016 prizes in September!

*Prize money is taxable income and may affect need-based financial awards. 

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