[vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”HIGH GROWTH DIVISION” font_container=”tag:h2|font_size:50|text_align:left|color:%23333333″ google_fonts=”font_family:Open%20Sans%3A300%2C300italic%2Cregular%2Citalic%2C600%2C600italic%2C700%2C700italic%2C800%2C800italic|font_style:600%20bold%20regular%3A600%3Anormal”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”full-width-section”][vc_column width=”1/2″][rd_line color=”#0ff0ff” alt_color=”#ebacfd” margin_bottom=”19″][vc_column_text]If you are ready to kick start your entrepreneurial aspirations, the High Growth Division of the Love’s Cup is the place to start. Students from any college campus in Oklahoma are invited to write a business plan around a high growth concept like one of these five industry categories: healthcare, information technology/communications; manufacturing, material science, transportation; energy and environmental; or student generated design.

Form your team, write the plan and pitch your concept for your share of $114,000 in cash awards and scholarships. 

So what are you waiting for?[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”28755″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_tour interval=”0″ type=”rd_vtab_2″ title=”High Growth Competition Menu”][vc_tab use_icon=”yes” title=”Eligibility” tab_id=”e04ec2eb-40af-9″ icon=”im-arrow-right-3″][vc_custom_heading text=”Eligibility” font_container=”tag:h2|font_size:20|text_align:left|color:%23333333|line_height:0″ google_fonts=”font_family:Open%20Sans%3A300%2C300italic%2Cregular%2Citalic%2C600%2C600italic%2C700%2C700italic%2C800%2C800italic|font_style:600%20bold%20regular%3A600%3Anormal”][rd_line color=”#0ff0ff” alt_color=”#ebacfd” margin_top=”-20″ margin_bottom=”15″][vc_column_text]The intent of this competition is to expose students to real world experiences and to enhance their entrepreneurial skills while expanding career options after graduation to include entrepreneurship and starting their own company.

The competition is open to all faculty- or mentor-sponsored, full-time and part-time undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at any of Oklahoma’s universities or colleges. Students who graduate in December prior to the competition are still eligible to compete.

The role of the designated advisor for the purpose of the competition is largely administrative. The designated advisor provides confirmation of the eligibility of the students, enforces competition rules, and is a point of contact for the competition managers. In addition, they are expected to provide guidance in researching, writing and presenting the business plan. Designated advisors can be faculty members or community mentors.

It is not the intent of the competition to be a turnkey commercialization program. In most cases entrepreneurs need years of professional experience before launching a new venture.

Competition Requirements

— The business plan must be for a high growth seed, start-up, or early stage venture and must address the entire business concept including implementation. Plans must have a unique or competitive advantage. 

— Business plans are limited to 22 pages- 10 pages for the business plan, 1 page for cover, 1 page for table of content and up to 10 pages for appendices.  Judges will not read any content exceeding the page limit. 

— At least one team member must have a key role in the company’s management team. 

— Students can only compete on one team.

— Ineligible are proposals for the buy-out or expansion of an existing company, tax-shelter opportunities, franchise, real estate syndicates, and other consulting projects and analyses.

— Teams composed of at least one student enrolled in the graduate school must compete in the graduate competition even if undergraduates are members of the team. If they graduate in December prior to year of competition they are still eligible to compete.

— The business plan may commercialize a new technology product, service, or process, or apply an existing technology in a novel way. This could include an application of technology in the production or distribution of industrial or consumer goods or in retail or service business.

Technology-based, for the purpose of this competition, means any one of the following:

Healthcare
This encompasses the life sciences broadly, including pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and medical devices. Subsets of the category include life systems technologies, nutraceuticals, and cosmeceuticals.

Information Technology/Communications
Information technology refers to anything relating to computing and the retrieval, storage and transmission of data, including networking, hardware, software, the Internet or the people who work in these technologies. It can include Internet retail concepts (eCommerce), Web apps, electronics, robotics and applied mechanics. Communications includes telecommunications, devices for transmitting and receiving voice and data, both wired and wireless as well as networks that tie different devices together. Subsets of both information technology and communications can include systems for communicating between health care databases, storing medical information or ways of collecting and processing payment information.

Manufacturing, material sciences and transportation 
Manufacturing includes both the process and the machinery used to turn raw materials into a finished product.  Material sciences are important to many engineering fields such as electronics, aerospace, telecommunications, information processing, nuclear power and energy conversion. It includes materials composed of metals, ceramics, plastics and carbon-based nanoparticles.  Transportation includes vehicles that move people and cargo, as well as systems and devices that enhance vehicles or assist in transportation. That can include roads, rails, air, water and even space.

Energy and Environmental
Energy refers to technologies and processes that enable the efficient recovery of oil and gas or the generation and delivery of power through alternative means such as wind, sun and bioenergy sources that are derived from plant-based or waste materials.  Environmental, also known as “green technology,” includes devices, materials and techniques for reusing, recycling, reducing or reclaiming of resources, reducing energy consumption, etc.

Student Generated Technology Design
Student generated business opportunities can be drawn from any of the other four designated industry categories. Student generated plans are those based on ideas that were created by at least one of the team members.

— The business plan and presentation must represent ONLY the original work of each official team member indicating them as the authors of the plan. Business plans developed through previous programs or classes of which other students, mentors or interns have developed presentations or plans on the same technology are not eligible.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]The intent of this competition is to expose students to real world experiences and to enhance their entrepreneurial skills while expanding career options after graduation to include entrepreneurship and starting their own company.

The competition is open to all faculty- or mentor-sponsored, full-time and part-time undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at any of Oklahoma’s universities or colleges. Students who graduate in December prior to the competition are still eligible to compete.

The role of the designated advisor for the purpose of the competition is largely administrative. The designated advisor provides confirmation of the eligibility of the students, enforces competition rules, and is a point of contact for the competition managers. In addition, they are expected to provide guidance in researching, writing and presenting the business plan. Designated advisors can be faculty members or community mentors.

It is not the intent of the competition to be a turnkey commercialization program. In most cases entrepreneurs need years of professional experience before launching a new venture.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tab][vc_tab use_icon=”yes” title=”The Prep” tab_id=”44031284-1f6e-6″ icon=”im-arrow-right-3″][vc_custom_heading text=”The Prep” font_container=”tag:h2|font_size:20|text_align:left|color:%23333333|line_height:0″ google_fonts=”font_family:Open%20Sans%3A300%2C300italic%2Cregular%2Citalic%2C600%2C600italic%2C700%2C700italic%2C800%2C800italic|font_style:600%20bold%20regular%3A600%3Anormal”][rd_line color=”#0ff0ff” alt_color=”#ebacfd” margin_top=”-20″ margin_bottom=”15″][vc_column_text]Before you plunge into any major endeavor, whether it is painting a room, obtaining an auto loan or applying to an MBA program, a certain amount of prep work must be done.  Same with entering a team in a business plan competition.

For this competition, the place to start is the Who Wants to Be an Entrepreneur? workshop. This is a no-cost, one-day course designed for college students to learn the essentials of entrepreneurship, from researching a concept, writing a business plan to making financial projections and pitching your concept. Who Wants to Be an Entrepreneur? will be held virtually this year.  

Next, you need to determine an innovative product, process or service around which to build a business plan, then carefully select up to six team members from diverse academic disciplines and find a faculty advisor or mentor who can guide you. You will also want to take advantage of an opportunity to have your idea reviewed by venture development professionals.

This website offers resources for your team as you begin to research and write your plan.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tab][vc_tab use_icon=”yes” title=”The Interview” tab_id=”1449852975557-2-8″ icon=”im-arrow-right-3″][vc_custom_heading text=”The Interview” font_container=”tag:h2|font_size:20|text_align:left|color:%23333333|line_height:0″ google_fonts=”font_family:Open%20Sans%3A300%2C300italic%2Cregular%2Citalic%2C600%2C600italic%2C700%2C700italic%2C800%2C800italic|font_style:600%20bold%20regular%3A600%3Anormal”][rd_line color=”#0ff0ff” alt_color=”#ebacfd” margin_top=”-20″ margin_bottom=”15″][vc_column_text]In the real world, ideas don’t make it far without input from industry experts.  Every team that enters a High Growth business plan will sit down with an industry expert in a required 20-minute interview. Teams will be interviewed based on their industry category rather than academic division. There are no presentations, no handouts, no guests — just the team and the expert. Teams will be expected to display their knowledge of their business and competitive advantages, articulate the business model and how the business makes money, and display competency across the team.

This is more than a casual discussion, however, because prize money is on the line. After the last interview, each expert will rank the teams, with the top-ranked team winning $1,000. The ranking will later be used to establish a cumulative score that will help determine which teams advance to the oral presentation round of the competition. Industry category winners will be announced simultaneously when the 14 teams advancing to the presentation round are revealed.

Logistics: Forms are due at the 3 p.m. on deadline date

After all submissions, teams will receive email notification of assigned time for the interview. All team interviews will be conducted virtually. No alternate times will be allowed, and it is mandatory that teams be on time for the interviews.

As part of the application form, teams will submit a one-page deal summary that outlines the product or concept, capital requirements, revenue projections and ownership and business status. Teams that propose student-created concepts will have the opportunity to determine whether they will compete in a Student Generated Technology Design category or one of four industry categories.

Teams will be interviewed in one of the following industry categories:

Healthcare – Sponsored by the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
This category encompasses the life sciences broadly, including pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and medical devices. Subsets of the category include, life systems technologies, nutraceuticals, and cosmeceuticals.

Information Technology/Communications – Sponsored by OCAST
– Information technology refers to anything relating to computing and the retrieval, storage and transmission of data, including networking, hardware, software, the Internet or the people who work in these technologies. The category can include Internet retail concepts (eCommerce), Web apps, electronics, robotics and applied mechanics.

– Communications includes telecommunications, devices for transmitting and receiving voice and data, both wired and wireless as well as networks that tie different devices together. Subsets of both information technology and communications can include systems for communicating between health care databases, storing medical information or ways of collecting and processing payment information.

Manufacturing, material sciences and transportation – Sponsored by the Oklahoma Business Roundtable
– Manufacturing includes both the process and the machinery used to turn raw materials into a finished product.

– Material sciences are important to many engineering fields such as electronics, aerospace, telecommunications, information processing, nuclear power and energy conversion. It includes materials composed of metals, ceramics, plastics and carbon-based nanoparticles.
– Transportation includes vehicles that move people and cargo, as well as systems and devices that enhance vehicles or assist in transportation. That can include roads, rails, air, water and even space.

Energy and Environmental – Sponsored by OG&E
– Energy refers to technologies and processes that enable the efficient recovery of oil and gas or the generation and delivery of power through alternative means such as wind, sun and bioenergy sources that are derived from plant-based or waste materials.

– Environmental, also known as “green technology,” includes devices, materials and techniques for reusing, recycling, reducing or reclaiming of resources, reducing energy consumption, etc..

Student Generated Technology Design – Sponsored by Chickasaw Nation
Student generated business opportunities can be drawn from any of the other four designated industry categories. Student generated plans are those based on ideas that were created by at least one of the team members.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_tab][vc_tab use_icon=”yes” title=”The Plan” tab_id=”1449852988137-3-6″ icon=”im-arrow-right-3″][vc_custom_heading text=”The Plan” font_container=”tag:h2|font_size:20|text_align:left|color:%23333333|line_height:0″ google_fonts=”font_family:Open%20Sans%3A300%2C300italic%2Cregular%2Citalic%2C600%2C600italic%2C700%2C700italic%2C800%2C800italic|font_style:600%20bold%20regular%3A600%3Anormal”][rd_line color=”#0ff0ff” alt_color=”#ebacfd” margin_top=”-20″ margin_bottom=”15″][vc_column_text]You’ve completed your research, written your business plan and polished it until it shines like the brass railing on a passenger cruise ship. Now it’s time to submit your plan online to have it judged by a panel of investment, business and community leaders. Scores from the business plan judging will be paired with rankings from the interviews and cumulative scores will be used to determining the teams that move on to the presentation round. Six graduate finalist teams and eight undergraduate semifinalist teams will move on to the oral competition. The eight undergraduate semifinalist teams will compete on day 1 of the oral competition to determine the six undergraduate finalists that will compete the next day for first, second and third place winners.  The six graduate finalists will compete on day 2 to determine the first, second and third place winners.

The finalist teams will earn $1,000 each with advisors/mentors awarded $500 each. Judges who score the written business plans will provide feedback that can be used by teams to improve their presentation should they advance to the next round.

Logistics and Deadline for Business Plan Submission: Forms are due at the 3 p.m. on deadline date

All business plans are limited to 22 pages- 10 pages for the business plan, 1 page for cover, 1 page for table of content and up to 10 pages for appendices.  Judges will not read any content exceeding the page limit.  All business plans will be submitted electronically with the Official Business Plan Submittal Form. Each business plan, including all appendices, will need to be saved to a single PDF file less than 10MB in size. Plans will undergo an independent review after which the eight undergraduate semifinalist and six graduate finalist teams will be posted online and an email notification will be sent to team leaders and advisors with judges’ comments.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tab][vc_tab use_icon=”yes” title=”The Presentation” tab_id=”1449852990463-4-5″ icon=”im-arrow-right-3″][vc_custom_heading text=”The Presentation” font_container=”tag:h2|font_size:20|text_align:left|color:%23333333|line_height:0″ google_fonts=”font_family:Open%20Sans%3A300%2C300italic%2Cregular%2Citalic%2C600%2C600italic%2C700%2C700italic%2C800%2C800italic|font_style:600%20bold%20regular%3A600%3Anormal”][rd_line color=”#0ff0ff” alt_color=”#ebacfd” margin_top=”-20″ margin_bottom=”15″][vc_column_text]You did it. Your business plan was chosen to present in the oral round of the competition.

The eight undergraduate semifinalist teams will make a 20-minute investor presentation about their business opportunity. The delivery, content and ability to field tough questions by the judges will earn six teams the opportunity to advance to the final round of the oral presentations.

These undergraduate finalists will be announced at the conclusion of the semifinalist round of presentations. The judges’ comments will be provided after the announcements so teams can review that evening and prepare for the next day’s final round.

The six Graduate and Undergraduate finalists will present the following day to determine the first, second and third place winners.

The Pitch

In addition to the team presentations, a representative from each of the Undergraduate and Graduate finalist teams also will make a 90-second pitch at the beginning of their oral presentation. This will be scored separately and the winning pitches will be incorporated into the Awards dinner ceremony. More details on this opportunity will be provided.

Oklahoma Business Roundtable Interviews

Simultaneous to the oral presentations will be interviews for the Oklahoma Business Roundtable Paulsen Award, which provides two students with a $5,000 scholarship that can be used for tuition on any Oklahoma college campus.

Rewards from the presentation round:

• $20,000 to the first place teams in both graduate and undergraduate divisions. Advisors earn $2,000 each.
• $10,000 to the second place teams in both graduate and undergraduate divisions. Advisors earn $1,500 each.
• $5,000 to the third place teams in both graduate and undergraduate divisions. Advisors earn $1,000 each.
• Each finalist team will receive $1,000, with faculty advisors receiving $500 each.

Logistics: Forms are due at the 3 p.m. on deadline date

All team presentations will be conducted at i2E’s Oklahoma City offices. The eight undergraduate semifinalist teams will present to a panel of Oklahoma investors, business and community leaders. The six finalists in each division will present with the top three winners in each division announced at the Awards Dinner.  All presentations must be able to display on a computer running Windows 10, Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2016, Adobe Flash and Apple Quicktime with no additional software required.

Presentation rooms will not have access to the internet, so please plan accordingly.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tab][vc_tab use_icon=”yes” title=”The Rewards” tab_id=”1449852992023-5-10″ icon=”im-arrow-right-3″][vc_custom_heading text=”The Rewards” font_container=”tag:h2|font_size:20|text_align:left|color:%23333333|line_height:0″ google_fonts=”font_family:Open%20Sans%3A300%2C300italic%2Cregular%2Citalic%2C600%2C600italic%2C700%2C700italic%2C800%2C800italic|font_style:600%20bold%20regular%3A600%3Anormal”][rd_line color=”#0ff0ff” alt_color=”#ebacfd” margin_top=”-20″ margin_bottom=”15″][vc_column_text]Winners from the Love’s Cup reap intangible rewards that include the pride of having your work recognized in front of an audience of 500 and publicized statewide. But it also includes some very tangible cash prizes of $114,000 in the High Growth Division.

The competition also rewards competitors with networking, job opportunities, life-long relationships and an experience that will help guide you as you continue your journey down the entrepreneur’s path.

Entrepreneur’s Cup Awards by round

The Interview — $1,000 to top-ranked team in each of interview room.

The Plan — $1,000 to each of the Graduate and Undergraduate finalist teams, plus $500 each to advisors for $18,000 total.

The Presentation — $20,000 will be awarded to the first-place winning team in each division, along with $2,000 to the advisor. Second-place teams will earn $10,000, plus $1,500 to advisor and third place $5,000 with $1,000 to the advisor for a total of $79,000 in this round.

The Pitch — In addition, the 90-second pitch in each division that is selected as the top pitch will earn an additional $1,000 of $2,000 total.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tab][vc_tab use_icon=”yes” title=”Resources” tab_id=”1449852996371-8-10″ icon=”im-arrow-right-3″][vc_custom_heading text=”Resources” font_container=”tag:h2|font_size:20|text_align:left|color:%23333333|line_height:0″ google_fonts=”font_family:Open%20Sans%3A300%2C300italic%2Cregular%2Citalic%2C600%2C600italic%2C700%2C700italic%2C800%2C800italic|font_style:600%20bold%20regular%3A600%3Anormal”][rd_line color=”#0ff0ff” alt_color=”#ebacfd” margin_top=”-20″ margin_bottom=”15″][vc_column_text]Writing and Pitching Resources:

Be sure to review the scorecards and guidelines so you know what the judged will be looking for in your plan.

90-Second Pitch:

Finalist teams need to prepare a 90-second company pitch at part of the team’s oral presentation. In addition, a team representative from each undergraduate and graduate finalist team will also make a 90-second pitch at the beginning of the oral presentation (scored separately, with winning pitches incorporated into Awards Dinner ceremony). More details will be provided. One winner in each division will receive $1,000 in cash.

Business Advisory Services & Affiliates: 

Oklahoma Small Business Development Center (OSBDC)
OSBDC’s mission is to ensure that all Oklahomans have access to professional and confidential business counseling, educational workshops, and continuing support throughout their business ventures.

Research Wizard
Research Wizard is a unique service of the Tulsa City-County Library System that offers information that is customized to meet business needs and maximize time and profits.

Oklahoma Bioscience Association (OKBio)
OKBio is a statewide membership organization exclusively dedicated to the growth of Oklahoma’s bioscience sector.

The State Chamber
The State Chamber of Oklahoma is a private, nonprofit, business-membership organization designed to advocate business needs at the state and federal levels.

Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance
The Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance offers technical assistance and business advice, helping companies become progressively more successful through a statewide network of manufacturing extension agents and applications engineers.

The Riata Center for Entrepreneurship – Oklahoma State University
The Riata Center is dedicated to high impact entrepreneurial outreach on Oklahoma State University’s campus,  in the region, around the State of Oklahoma, and across America. The Center is  intimately engaged with the entrepreneurial community, and strongly committed to creating unique experiential learning opportunities for students.

Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth (CCEW)
The Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth at the University of Oklahoma offers opportunities for practical experience to promote the entrepreneurial spirit and assist in developing Oklahoma’s economy.

The Forge, Tulsa
A business incubator located in the heart of downtown Tulsa, The Forge is a place where raw ideas and passionate Tulsans are shaped into successful, sustainable businesses.

Fab Lab Tulsa, Tulsa
Fab Lab is short for Fabrication Laboratory. It is a community workspace providing access to an array of computer-controlled fabrication technology such as 3D Printers and Laser Cutters that can be used to conceptualize, design, develop, and fabricate almost anything.

Technology Incubators:

•  Norman Economic Development Coalition
• Moore Norman Technology Center Business Development Center
• Francis Tuttle Technology Center Business Innovation Center
• Oklahoma Business Incubator Assocaition

State & Federal Grant Program:

Oklahoma Applied Research Support (OARS) Grant
The Oklahoma Applied Research Support program helps universities, foundations and businesses fund cutting-edge research that will benefit Oklahoma’s economy. Managed by the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science & Technology (OCAST).

Small Business Innovative Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR)
SBIR and STTR are competitively awarded federal programs designed to stimulate technological innovation and provide opportunities for small businesses.  A statewide partnership led by i2E and OCAST provides resources to help Oklahoma entrepreneurs and researchers submit more competitive SBIR/STTR applications.

Oklahoma Health Research Program (OHR)
Administered by OCAST, the Oklahoma Health Research Program competitively awards seed funds for research projects related to human health to Oklahoma Universities and colleges, non-profit research foundations and commercial companies in Oklahoma.

i2E Capital Resources: 

Oklahoma Seed Capital Fund (OSCF)
This seed stage fund targets companies that may or may not already have customers, some revenues and a scalable product.  This investment enables companies to build a business infrastructure around their concept or product.

Accelerate Oklahoma!
As a part of the federal States Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), this U.S. Treasury funded initiative offers funds that provide critical capital and co-investment for Oklahoma entrepreneurs at specific stages of their companies’ lifecycles. Investment terms are typically convertible debt or preferred equity and involve a rigorous due diligence process.

SeedStep Angels
SeedStep Angels is a network of accredited angel investors that provide capital, strategic advice and mentoring to emerging growth companies to help them achieve market leadership. The network can expose entrepreneurs to a wide set of potential investors, and the structured process facilitates quick and efficient investment decisions.

Funds & Investment Affiliates:

Angel Capital Association (ACA)
The Angel Capital Association is North America’s Professional alliance of angel groups.

Davis, Tuttle Venture Partners (DTVP)
DTVP is a private investment partnership formed to provide emerging growth companies with the necessary long-term development capital, as well as vital management counsel and support.

MetaFund
MetaFund is a collaborative, non-profit, multi-bank-funded, community development, private equity and venture capital firm.

Oklahoma Venture Forum (OVF)
The OVF is a non-profit corporation organized to encourage economic development in Oklahoma.

SeedStep Angels
SeedStep Angels is a formalized group of accredited Angel Investors comprised of successful entrepreneurs and business leaders in Oklahoma who provide investment capital, strategic advice and mentoring to emerging growth companies to help them achieve market leadership. Seedstep Angels is managed by i2E, Inc.

National Resources:

Angel Capital Association (ACA)
The Angel Capital Association is North America’s professional alliance of angel groups. The association brings together many of the angel organizations in the United States and Canada to share best practices and collaboration opportunities. ACA provides excellent professional development and discounts on important services for angel investors who belong to member groups, and also serves as the public policy voice of the American angel community.

Business Plan Archive
In partnership with the Library of Congress, the Center for History and New Media, and the University of Maryland Libraries, the Archive collects and preserves business plans and related planning documents from the Birth of the Dot Com Era so that future generations will be able to learn from this episode in the history of technology and entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurship.org
The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the U.S. Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration (ITA) have formed a new public-private partnership focused on leveraging best practices in entrepreneurial leadership to advance economic growth around the world. The goal of this partnership is to assist all nations in developing the environment to allow entrepreneurs to organize and operate a business venture, create wealth, and employ people.

Innovation America
Innovation America’s mission is to accelerate the growth of the entrepreneurial innovation economy in America.

Kauffman Foundation
The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation was established in the mid-1960s by the late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman. Based in Kansas City, Missouri, the Kauffman Foundation is among the 30 largest foundations in the United States with an asset base of approximately $2 billion.

Microsoft Startup Center
Microsoft Startup Center helps small businesses start off right with an elaborate checklist that guides entrepreneurs through business plan creation, branding, sales, finances and more. Offers on Microsoft products also help to give users a business upper hand.

National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO)
NAWBO works to strengthen the wealth-creating capacity of its  members and promote economic development, create innovative and effective changes in the business culture, build strategic alliances, coalitions and affiliations, and transform public policy and influence opinion makers. They offer many resources including educational activities, business referrals and leadership training.

National Venture Capital Association (NVCA)
The NVCA, comprised of more than 400 member firms, is the premier trade association that represents the U.S. venture capital industry. NVCA’s mission is to foster greater understanding of the importance of venture capital to the U.S. economy, and support entrepreneurial activity and innovation. The NVCA represents the public policy interests of the venture capital community, strives to maintain high professional standards, provides reliable industry data, sponsors professional development, and facilitates interaction among its members.

Pricewaterhouse Coopers NVCA MoneyTree Report
The MoneyTree Report is a quarterly study of venture capital investment activity in the United States. A collaboration between PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association based upon data from Thomson Reuters, it is the only industry-endorsed research of its kind. The MoneyTree Report is the definitive source of information on emerging companies that receive financing and the venture capital firms that provide it. The study is a staple of the financial community, entrepreneurs, government policymakers and the business press worldwide.

SBIR
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Technology administers the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program. Through this competitive program, SBA ensures that the nation’s small, high-tech, innovative businesses are a significant part of the federal government’s research and development efforts. Eleven federal departments participate in the SBIR program. The U.S National Science Foundation administers the SBIR.GOV site on behalf of the federal government.

Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation.

STTR
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Technology administers the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program. Through this competitive program, SBA ensures that the nation’s small, high-tech, innovative businesses are a significant part of the federal government’s research and development efforts. Five departments participate in the STTR program.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_tab][vc_tab use_icon=”yes” title=”Business Plan Guidelines” tab_id=”1449852998074-9-9″ icon=”im-arrow-right-3″][vc_custom_heading text=”Business Plan Guidelines” font_container=”tag:h2|font_size:20|text_align:left|color:%23333333|line_height:0″ google_fonts=”font_family:Open%20Sans%3A300%2C300italic%2Cregular%2Citalic%2C600%2C600italic%2C700%2C700italic%2C800%2C800italic|font_style:600%20bold%20regular%3A600%3Anormal”][rd_line color=”#0ff0ff” alt_color=”#ebacfd” margin_top=”-20″ margin_bottom=”15″][vc_column_text]The business plan is that all-important first impression. It is the appeal for money, an opportunity to promote the company, and the reason for someone to pick this deal to invest in over the many other excellent deals available. It will also form part of the contract of deliverables if someone does invest in your company. It is not just the story; it is “the plan.”

All business plans are limited to 22 pages- 10 pages for the business plan, 1 page for cover, 1 page for table of content and up to 10 pages for appendices.  Judges will not read any content exceeding the page limit. 

BUSINESS PLAN OUTLINE (10 pages maximum for business plan section) 

  1. Executive Summary – write last. Cover all topics BRIEFLY. Limit to 2 or 3 pages. This may be the only part of your plan that is actually remembered by a reader. Should be a separate document or able to be clearly differentiated from the remainder of the Business Plan.
    1. Company’s background— Formed when? for what purpose? with what goals?
    2. Products and/or technology —Description, uniqueness, proprietary position, differentiation and/or barriers to competitive products, stage of development, benefits to users/customers.
    3. Management team —Brief relevant experience and functional role in company, highlight strengths and completeness of team.
    4. The Market — Size, competition, and growth trends (past and future).
    5. Financial projections and exit strategy — Be concise, use summary reports. 1 paragraph or chart.
    6. Funds Sought — How much, what for, for how long?
    7. Contact information (if detachable the cover will probably stay with the plan).
  2.  Company Overview & Background
    1. Begin with the “Elevator Pitch”– the hook. Fast, Efficient, Clear, and Exciting.
    2. Keep the content consistent with external information such as website, D&B, etc.
    3. Founding history.
    4. Significant milestones achieved to date and critical success factors for the future.
    5. Touch lightly upon the product/technology.
    6. Mention strategic partnerships or relationships already established.
    7. Convey the team’s path to market and exit strategy to investors. 
  3. Products & Technology – Readers are investors not technologists
    1. Cover important aspects of the product (reserving technical specifications for appendices, if at all).
    2. Hit hard on unique or competitive advantages.
    3. Include helpful diagrams to help the investor visualize the product.
    4. Identify and emphasize the benefit to the end-user.
    5. Discuss manufacture-ability, customization issues, and supplier issues if relevant.
    6. Discuss industry standards or requirements — FDA, OSHA, EPA, etc.
  4. Customer Identification and Validation
    1. Who is your customer?  Identify the targeted customer and first customer(s).
    2. What is the customer’s problem or need and how does your product meet this need?
    3. How is your customer currently meeting this need?
    4. Explain why there will be high-demand in the near future for your product.
    5. What is needed to get your customers to buy or switch? What is their “switch” motivation?
    6. Will you use a direct sales strategy or a channel sales strategy (where others i.e. distributors sell your product)?
  5. Market Definition
    1. Most recent data on the market size and trends.
    2. Forecast of market size and trends.
    3. Geographic concentrations in the market.
    4. What is the buying process in this market? Is there a certification needed? Who makes the buying decision?  Is it a committee or single person decision?
    5. How does the market segment? What characteristics help predict buying behavior?
    6. What are the major influences on the market? (Environmental, regulatory, economy, etc.) 
  6. Competitive Analysis
    1. Identifying competitors:
      • Who are primary competitors? Indirect competitors?
      • What competitive product attributes will customers value (speed, cost, quality, etc.)?
      • Status Quo: how are customers meeting their needs now? Again, how is your solution better?
      • How will existing competition likely react to new entrants?
      • What barriers do competitors have in place (patents, market share, operating costs, size and resources, etc)?
      • What are the strengths and weaknesses and market share of each competitor? (Based on what you learn from press releases, articles, technology partners)
  7.  Market Positioning
    • What is your value proposition? (How do you answer the question, “why should I buy your product or service?”)
  8. Marketing Plan
    1. What is your pricing strategy? (Do you intend to offer quantity discounts? Charge lower prices to break into the market (penetration strategy)? Charge a premium price to reflect the quality?)
    2. Is there an opportunity to finance sales? (Any credit extended?)
    3. What is your promotion plan? (Advertising, public relations, trade shows, direct mail, etc.)
    4. What is your strategy for entering the market? (Distribution, target markets, promotion, location, reputation)
  9.  Distribution Channels
    1. Direct sales: Will you have a dedicated sales force, or leverage digital sales from your web site, or market through distribution partners?
    2. What are the wholesale channels available and will you use them?
  10. Sales Approach
    1. What will be your sales organization and method? Will direct sales people be employees or contractors? Who will be responsible for generating leads? Who will be responsible for working with prospects and closing the sale?
    2. How will sales people be compensated? (Base salary vs. commission, etc.)
    3. Describe the sales cycle.  Who is the buyer? What are their first indications of interest? What do you do to take them to the next level of interest? What are the major stages of selling this product/service?
    4. Demonstrated interest by potential customers — From those with authority, need, capability and interest.
  11. Management 
    1. One paragraph for each key founder/executive covering only relevant experiences and background. (Not entire resumes). Note functional responsibilities for each and what skills each team member brings to the venture.
    2. Summarize key hires to address immediate, intermediate and long-term future personnel needs. Recognize the limits of the founding staff in relationship to the future company.
    3. Provide an assessment of weaknesses; cite when and where the company will most benefit by changes in management. Discuss recruiting strategy and don’t forget to include recruiting costs in the financial model when applicable.
    4. List outside board members and what they add in terms of industry knowledge and/or contacts. 
  12. Implementation Plan — Exactly how and when will you execute your strategy. A table, a timeline or a succinct discussion to show the steps forward after receipt of funding.
    1. Facility requirements — Leased, purchased or both.
    2. Labor requirements — Local labor pool, skilled/unskilled, academic relationships.
    3. Subcontracted production — Sources, quality control, supply issues.
    4. Capital requirements — Equipment, inventory, overhead, etc.
    5. Research and Development – additional products and/or enhancements to existing products.
    6. Critical processes — Capacity requirements planning, critical paths, cost components.
    7. Seasonality — Production planning, alternative use of resources.
  13.  Financials — Should be summaries only. Reserve any detailed worksheets for the appendices. Most readers look at the “top line” more than the “bottom line” and at the assumptions for believability.
    1. Pro Forma Financial Statements – Provide projected data for for the term of the investment plus three months beyond.
      • Income Statement
      • Balance Sheet
      • Cash Flow Statement
      • Explanation of Revenue Model including impact on profitability as company scales.
    2. Assumptions used to develop Pro Forma Financials (may be part of Appendices).
    3. Investment capital needed & use of funds.
    4. Exit Strategy (How and when do investors get their money back?)
      • Acquisition, IPO, management buyout, other.
      • Comparable exits. Potential exit value and return to investors.

Appendices (optional)

  1. Resumes for each founder/executive.
  2. Detailed worksheets supporting financial statement assumptions.
  3. Detailed product or technical description and patent grants.
  4. Relevant research material or articles.
  5. Sample of Marketing or Promotional materials.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_tab][vc_tab use_icon=”yes” title=”Rules” tab_id=”1449853004495-10-9″ icon=”im-arrow-right-3″][vc_custom_heading text=”Rules” font_container=”tag:h2|font_size:20|text_align:left|color:%23333333|line_height:0″ google_fonts=”font_family:Open%20Sans%3A300%2C300italic%2Cregular%2Citalic%2C600%2C600italic%2C700%2C700italic%2C800%2C800italic|font_style:600%20bold%20regular%3A600%3Anormal”][rd_line color=”#0ff0ff” alt_color=”#ebacfd” margin_top=”-20″ margin_bottom=”15″][vc_column_text]Not every circumstance can be anticipated. i2E, Inc. reserves the right to disqualify any team that violates the rules, regulations or the spirit of the competition.

The competition is open to all full-time and part-time degree or certificate-seeking undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at any of Oklahoma’s universities or colleges. Enrollment includes classes taken during the current summer session(s), fall semester and/or the following spring semester. Students who have graduated prior to the competition, but were enrolled in any of the above mentioned semesters, will still be eligible to compete.  We rely on the student and his or her advisor to verify enrollment criteria. i2E, Inc. reserves the exclusive right to determine the validity of enrollment.

All official dates are on the Timeline. Forms are due at 3 p.m. on deadline date.

  1. Each team is required to have either a designated faculty member or a non student mentor as an advisor. The role of the designated advisor for the purpose of the competition is largely administrative. The advisor provides confirmation of the eligibility of the students, enforces competition rules, and is a point of contact for the competition managers.  In addition, they are expected to provide guidance in researching, writing and presenting the business plan.
    • The intent of the competition is for winning team members and their advisor to receive the cash awards. A check is written to the team leader.   A check will also be written to the advisor.
    • NOTE: Advisors employed by a university or college must provide a copy of written policy, if applicable, at the time of submitting written competition documentation, indicating faculty members are prohibited to receive outside compensation.
  2. Each high growth team is required to participate in the Interview process and submit a written business plan. The cumulative score from both will determine the eight semifinalist undergraduate and six graduate finalist teams that will compete in the high growth oral competition.
  3. The competition materials may be prepared under faculty or mentor supervision for credit in a regularly scheduled course or as an independent study.  The plan may also be prepared under faculty or mentor supervision with no official credit. Both the plan and the presentation should follow the Official Business Plan Scorecard and Official Oral Presentation Scorecard.
  4. Each participating university or college may have one or more teams enter the competition; however each team may submit only one business plan.  It is not allowed for team members to participate on more than one team.
  5. Teams must fill out the Official Application Form online by the deadline. Each team will need to identify one team member as the team leader and one advisor who will be the point of contact throughout the competition.
  6. Either an individual student or a group of students can form a team. The number of eligible students shall not exceed 6 official team members.
  7. Graduate and undergraduate students are encouraged to form teams for the purpose of cross-pollination of experience and mentoring opportunities. Teams with at least one member enrolled in graduate school during the academic year must enter in the Graduate Division of the competition.
  8. The business plan must be for a new and independent venture in the seed, start-up or early-growth stages
    • Plans that include proposals for buy-outs, expansions of existing companies, roll-ups, real estate syndications, tax shelters, franchises, licensing agreements for distribution in a different geographical area, spin-outs from existing corporations and other consulting projects or analyses are not eligible. Nonprofit proposals are also not eligible.
  9. All competition materials must represent ONLY the original work of each official team member indicating them as the authors of the plan. Materials developed outside of the competition or through previous programs or classes of which other students, mentors or interns have developed presentations or plans on the same technology are not eligible.
    • Note: Previous efforts to establish the business or participating in business-like activities which include but are not limited to the following: attempts to raise capital, developing and presenting the business plan to potential investors, and conducting significant market research outside of the previous academic year will be disqualified.  This includes business plans that were submitted to i2E, Inc. in previous Governor’s Cup or Entrepreneur’s Cup competitions.
  10. The business should not have received more than $200,000 in equity-related capital (such as seed capital or institutional funding), or generated more than $100,000 in gross revenue prior to the current academic year. Revenue generated during a test-marketing project may be excluded from this provision.
  11. The business may assume a technology or product/service that has been licensed from another company, private inventor, or university with their written approval. However the projected technology licensing structure and pricing must accurately reflect current market conditions. The business plan must outline the assumed licensing terms for the technology or product/service and incorporate these terms into the financial forecast. 
  12. The competition materials may not contain fabricated information about (but not limited to) the following: backgrounds, experience and educational level of members of the management team, stage of product development, source of technology/license, product performance claims, or market survey results.
  13. The six undergraduate and six graduate finalist teams and advisors will be given a cash prize at the oral competition. The first, second and third place winning teams will be announced at the awards dinner and each team will be presented with a Love’s Cup trophy for the university, an individual trophy for each team member and advisor, along with cash prizes will be presented to each advisor and team leader.
  14. Due to the nature of the competition, we will not ask judges, reviewers, sponsors, staff or the audience to agree to or sign non-disclosure statements for any participant. By participating in the competition, entrants agree that neither i2E, Inc., nor members of the judging panel, sponsors nor their designated organizations, assume any liability whatsoever for any disclosures of business plan information which may be made (whether inadvertently or otherwise) by any judge, reviewer, staff member, audience member or other individual connected with, participating in, viewing, hearing, or receiving information from the competition.
  15. Students interested in competing for a $5,000 scholarship to any Oklahoma college or university can apply for the Paulsen Award by filling out the written application online by the deadline. Finalists will be notified and will participate in an interview with Oklahoma Business Roundtable members. Scholarship winners will be recognized at the awards dinner.

The high growth competition consists of three separate sections: The Interview, The Plan and The Presentation. Below are the rules pertaining to each section.  Be sure to review carefully.

The Interview

  1. Teams must submit an Official Applications Form by the deadline.  Teams will receive email notification of assigned time for the interview after scheduled. All team interviews will be conducted at the Oklahoma City offices of i2E, Inc. No alternat