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Timeline & Process

Timeline- 2013

Wednesday October 23, 2013—Business Plan + Executive Summary Workshop: 5-6:00 pm

Register Here

Wednesday October 23, 2013—The Nitty Gritty of Business Technology Workshop: 6-7:00 pm Register Here

Wednesday October 30, 2013—It's All in the Pitch Workshop: 5-6:30 pm Register Here

Wednesday November 6, 2013—Lynne Brick: Be Your Brand Workshop: 5-6:30 pm Register Here

Monday February 10, 2014—Executive Summaries Due (3-5 pages) SUBMIT HERE

Friday February 21, 2014—Finalists (5) selected and notified

Monday March 3, 2014—Presentation boot camp for finalists (mandatory) : 5-6:30 pm

Monday April 7, 2014—Deadline for submissions of business plans and PowerPoint presentations.

Thursday May 1, 2014—Finalists present in front of judges, winner selected that day, networking reception     WHERE: Towson University Johnny Unitas Stadium: Minnegan Room       WHEN: 4:00 PM

Workshops

Business Plan + Executive Summary

Wednesday- October 23, 2013: 5:00 – 6:00 pm

A written guide/plan to starting and running your business is essential for success. This plan serves as a road map for the development of the business, facilitates obtaining capital, and generally promotes growth. Developing the plan might seem daunting, but in reality anyone can do it! During this workshop, you will learn the basics of creating a comprehensive business plan and concise executive summary. This workshop caters to all experience levels, from novice business plan writers to well-seasoned professionals.

The Nitty Gritty of Business Technology Workshop

Wednesday- October 23, 2013: 6:00 – 7:00 pm

This workshop emphasizes what every entrepreneur needs to know- how to best utilize technology to meet business needs. We will focus on social media strategy, how to establish a networking presence, and how to drive website traffic.

It's All in the Pitch Workshop

Wednesday- October 30, 2013: 5:00 – 6:30 pm

Learn how to craft the right pitch and get an inside look into the mind of a VC. This workshop will provide you with the ins and outs of an investment firm and provide you with an opportunity to develop and practice your pitch. You will be provided with an easy guideline of do’s and don’ts to take your pitch to the next level.

Lynne Brick: Be Your Brand Workshop

Wednesday- November 6, 2013: 5:00 – 6:30 pm

Learn from one of Maryland’s most successful business owners- Lynne Brick, President and co-founder of “Brick Bodies Fitness Services, Inc.” Lynne will highlight the importance of branding, how branding differs from marketing, and how to add value to your brand, amongst other topics. Prepare to be inspired and mentored by one of the key driving forces behind a $43 million operation.

Presentation Boot Camp 

Monday- March 3, 2014: 5:00 – 6:30 pm

Those selected as finalists in the Business Plan Competition will be required to attend this fun and interactive presentation boot camp. Participants will learn the basics of preparing the PowerPoint slides and will receive tips and feedback on actually making a presentation so that they will be better prepared to effectively convey their business plans to the panel of expert judges (just as if they were investors).

Process

Round One: February 10, 2014—Executive Summaries Due (3-5 pages)     Submit Here

Round Two: April 7, 2014—Deadline for submissions of business plans and PowerPoint presentations.      Submit Here

Round Three: May 1, 2014—Finalists present twice: Privately in front of judges then in public forum. Winner will be selected that day

Instructions for Entering:

Format

Executive Summary and Full Business Plan:

All Executive Summary and Full Business plan entries should be double-spaced with 1" margins on all sides. Use 12 point font for text, and 8-10 point font for spreadsheets. Entries will be accepted in electronic format only and must be submitted here. You may use Microsoft Word for Windows or PDF for your file format. The header should use the following format: “NAME OF BUSINESS-TowsonGlobal Business Plan Competition Spring 2014.”

PowerPoint Presentation:

PowerPoint Presentations should consist of no more than 10-15 slides. It is recommended to address the following within your presentation:

  • Who the company and the team are
  • What the business/product/service is
  • Who will buy the product and why
  • Who the competition is and what the competitive advantage is
  • How the product will be sold
  • How money will be made from the product
  • How much money is needed and what will be done with it

See Resources for helpful links on effective presentations.

Contact sheet

You must complete a contact sheet along with your entry for Rounds One and Two. The primary team contact must meet the competition’s eligibility requirements.

See the competition Timeline for deadlines for each submission and for other milestones. Address problems submitting or questions by e-mail or phone 410-704-2252.

Participants whose Applications and Executive Summaries of their Business Plans have been accepted will be notified no later than February 21, 2014. Five (5) Finalists will be chosen to advance to Round Two and notified to submit a full business plan.

Round One: February 10 - Executive Summaries Due (3-5 pages) SUBMIT HERE

Executive summaries should be 3-5 pages in length, including all graphs, spreadsheets and business plan details. No attachments of any kind beyond this number of pages are allowed. Longer executive summaries and full business plans will be disqualified.

Executive Summaries will be evaluated based on:

Ability to thoroughly, clearly and concisely address each of the key elements of the business plan as it would be submitted for Round Two (see details below).

Here is an executive summary template in MS Word format (Bootup Labs). Entrants are not required to use this template, it is supplied as a tool.

See the competition Timeline for deadlines and see Instructions for Entering  for details on entry format. Address problems submitting or questions regarding submittals by e-mail or phone 410-704-2252.

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Round Two: April 7—Deadline for submissions of business plans and PowerPoint presentations. Submit Here

Entrants selected from Round One will prepare a full business plan for submission for Round Two using the format below.

Guidelines for the business plan:

The plan should be up to 10 pages in length of actual text (not counting cover page or table of contents) plus up to 5 additional pages of tables, exhibits, figures and appendices. Nothing beyond these page limitations are allowed.

Business Plans will be evaluated on the following:

  • Ability to clearly and completely convince the judges that a real market opportunity exists and that they have the right combination of product/service, team, and plan to generate significant expected financial returns from that opportunity given the amount of risk associated with the opportunity.
  • Growth & impact: Demonstration of potential for being in business in five years and how the business will impact the local economy (e.g., generating revenue, creating jobs).
  • Brevity & clarity: Business plan presented clearly and concisely, and is easy to understand
  • SPECIAL CONSIDERATION—Towson University Connection: Entrants who can show how their venture ties into the strengths and assets of Towson University and/or how being connected to Towson University will create a mutually beneficial relationship will receive special consideration** 

**Towson University strengths and assets include applied research in areas such as computer science, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), nursing, physical therapy, information assurance, software simulation, applied sciences, cyber security, accouting, finance, and more.

Business Plan Format:

Here is a business plan template (SBA). Entrants are not required to use this template, it is supplied as a tool.

  • Cover Page
  • Table of contents
  • Executive summary (abbreviated to traditional one-two page length from the longer summary prepared for Round One
  • Company overview: Business purpose and value proposition, history, genesis of concept, current status, overall strategy, and objectives
  • Products, process or service: Description, features and benefits, pricing, current stage of development, proprietary position, possible future products
  • Market: Description of market, competitive analysis, needs identification, market acceptance, competitive advantage
  • Marketing & sales plan: Marketing strategy, sales plan and goals, promotion, pricing, distribution channels
  • Operations: Plan for production/delivery of product or service, product costs, margins, operating complexity, resources required, manufacturing requirement (e.g., facilities, equipment), supply chain issues
  • People/management: Backgrounds of key people, ability to execute strategy, personnel needs, organizational structure, advisers
  • Funds required & uses: Amount of funds needed for startup and to reach breakeven; sources of funds; amount being sought from investors; the ROI; the structure of the deal and possible exit strategies
  • Financials: Presented in summary form and easy to read and understand; consistent with the plan and effectively captures financial performance; monthly for Year 1; quarterly for Years 2 & 3; annually for Years 4 - 5)
           a. Cash flow statement
           b. Income statement
           c. Balance sheet
          d. Assumptions, trends, comparatives
  • Other Items, as applicable
  • Legal structure
  • Technology status
  • Regulatory and legal
  • Growth strategy
  • Key risks & mitigation
  • Growth & impact
  • Towson University Connection

See Resources for additional information on business plans.

Submit your business plan and PowerPoint presentation here. Note: Your Subject line must be ““NAME OF BUSINESS-TowsonGlobal Business Plan Competition Spring 2014.”

See the competition Timeline for deadlines and see Instructions for Entering  for details on entry format. Address problems submitting or questions regarding submittals by e-mail or phone 410-704-2252.

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Round Three: May 1—Finalists present in front of judges, winner selected that day

Finalists will submit a PowerPoint presentation of no more than 10-15 slides and make private, closed-door, 15-minute oral presentations before a team of judges from Towson University and the business community. Up to 10 minutes will be allotted at the end of the presentation for questions from the judges. Time limits will be strictly enforced.

Presentations will be evaluated as follows:

Formal presentation:
  • Materials presented in clear, logical form related to business plan
  • Ability to relate need for the company with meaningful examples & practical applications
  • Ability to maintain the judges’ interest
  • Quality and use of relevant visual aids
Questions and answers:
  • Ability to understand judges’ inquiries
  • Appropriately respond to judges’ inquiries with substantive answers
  • Use of time allocated
  • Poise and confidence

Judges use a variety of criteria to evaluate Entrepreneurs Portal Business Plan Competition entries and to determine winners. Some of the criteria are:

  1. Is the executive summary clear and well-written?
  2. Is the value proposition realistic?
  3. Are the competitive advantages believable?
  4. Is the target market prediction sensible?
  5. Considering the value proposition, competitive advantage and target market prediction, does the revenue and profit model make sense?
  6. Who are the first customers and how important is the venture to these customers? Is it expensive for these customers to switch?
  7. Does it appear that the team is well constituted? If not, how difficult will it be to hire people with the necessary competencies?
  8. If intellectual property is important, can it be protected?
  9. Are there any prior funding obligations that present problems for new investors?
  10. What is the expected timeframe and pay-off for new investors?
  11. Will the business be around in five years?
  12. Ability to locate substantial operations in the Baltimore County region over time.

See the competition Timeline for deadlines and see Instructions for Entering  for details on entry format. Address problems submitting or questions regarding submittals by e-mail or phone 410-704-2252.

See Resources for additional information on business plans.

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