Translate theory into practice
If you’re a student entrepreneur or aspiring business owner, the annual Business Plan Competition offers you an unparalleled opportunity to receive guidance as you launch a new venture. Plus, you could win thousands of dollars in prize money.
Gain invaluable career-building experience
Working with a team, you’re given the opportunity to write your own success story:
- Build skills in a real-world setting. Working on a business plan team enables you to build skills such as leadership; the ability to work in a team; and written and communication skills.
- Network with industry professionals. The competition culminates in an April event on the WSU Pullman campus. If you’re a finalist, you and your team will be there—and will present your idea to real investors to be judged. Finalists also have the opportunity to exchange ideas with judges over dinner.
- Prepare to succeed in a global business arena. Exchange ideas with some of the brightest and most creative students from around the world.
Launch a New Venture
- Get advice and mentoring. Seasoned entrepreneurs, industry experts and entrepreneurship faculty mentors devote countless hours to help students navigate the entrepreneurial process.
- Earn scholarship money Support prototype development, customer discovery, and business formation.
- Win prize money.
Grand prize: $15,000; 2nd place: $10,000; 3rd place: $8,000; 4th place: $3,000; 5th place: $2,000;
- Herbert B. Jones: $2,500 each
- Best Written Plan
- Best Presentation
- Best Technology Venture
- Best Social Impact Business
- BECU: $5,000
- Best Financial Technology
High school league
1st place: $5,000; 2nd place: $3,500; 3rd place: $2,500; 4th place: $1,000;
– Story by Sue McMurray
Registration and business plan submission
- Registration Opens: February 1
- Registration Closes: March 8
- Deadline to submit 1 page Executive Summary – Thursday, March 22
Please Join Us! Apply here.
Thank you for your 2018 contributions
Carol Anne Ebert Sears and David Sears
WSU Office of Research
Preparation for the competition begins in earnest in January and concludes April 20. See the schedule for details.
- Form a team
- Take a class
- Apply for start-up resources
- Smart Start
- Scholarships for Legal Assistance
Resource Nights bring in experts from the local community to teach various aspects of writing and presenting a business plan. Offered throughout spring semester, sessions are open to students and the public.
Ownership and disclosure
All contestants own the rights to their ideas
Contestants must properly acknowledge any trademarks or copyrighted materials of others that are incorporated into the contestants’ materials. The contestants are responsible for obtaining any necessary permission before incorporating such materials into their submissions. Once materials are submitted, Washington State University and its schools and colleges reserve the right to publish information about the contestants’ work in university publications and to release information to the news media. The judging/presentation will be conducted in an open meeting with possible attendance by faculty, students and staff as well as media representatives and the general public.
Where applicable, contestants may choose to file patent applications on their own or to disclose their inventions to the Washington State University Research Foundation before or after the competition. Submission of an idea to the competition should be considered a public disclosure of the idea. (In some countries, patent applications must be filed prior to disclosure. In the U.S. inventors generally have one year after disclosure in which to file patent applications.)* Ultimately, protection of sensitive materials is the sole responsibility of the individual or team participating in the competition. *The Competition Rules are based in part on those of the University of Wisconsin Madison, University of Washington and the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania