SMALL BUSINESS DIVISION

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The Small Business Division is open to non research campuses, two-year colleges and private regional universities.  Teams will compete for $40,000 in cash prizes and scholarships.

While you can still compete in the High Growth Division, the Small Business Division offers the opportunity to write business plans around any business concept, such as a high growth opportunity or more traditional small business opportunities such as a retail operation, a service business, a restaurant, a custom welding shop, etc., provided the approach to the business concept is innovative and/or unique. In other words, the approach to the business needs to be original or demonstrate strategic creativity, versus a simple replication of an existing proven business model.

Eligibility discretion is up to the competition management and can be determined at any point during the competition- including any business models that are changed for the oral competition submission that do not meet the aforementioned criteria.

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“This competition gives you the experience and feedback a young entrepreneur needs to bring their business to life. Every stage in the Governor’s Cup allows you to continue to improve your plan and pitch to create a strong competitive edge with which to enter the market.”

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Small Business Competition Menu

Eligibility

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Small Business Division

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 Small Business Division of this competition is open to all faculty- or mentor-sponsored, full-time and part-time students enrolled at any non research campus, two-year college or private regional university. 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 young entrepreneurs may need a few years of business experience prior to launching a new small business.

Competition Requirements

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

Each team member must have a key role in the company’s management team.

       Students can only compete on one team.

Not all team members need to present during the oral competition, but all team members should participate during the question and answer portion of the presentation.

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. 

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

The business plan may commercialize an existing product, service or process in a new unique or innovative manner.

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 concept are not eligible.

The Prep

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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.

The place to start is the Who Wants to Be an Entrepreneur? workshop. Designed for college students, this is a no-cost, one-day course on all 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? is 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 an advisor or mentor who can guide you. You will also want to take advantage of an opportunity to have your idea reviewed by other small-business owners.

In the real world, ideas don’t make it far without input from experts. Every team that enters a Small Business plan will sit down with an expert in a required 20-minute interview. Teams will be interviewed based on their category IT/App, Product, Retail or Service. There are no presentations, no handouts, no guests — just the team. 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, sponsored by BancFirst. After the last interview, each panel will rank the teams, with the top-ranked team in each category 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. Category winners will be announced simultaneously when the 8 teams advancing to the presentation round are revealed.

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

Immediately after submitting the official application form, teams will receive an automatic email acknowledgement of the form. After all submissions, teams will receive email notification of assigned time for the interview. All team interviews will be conducted at the Oklahoma City offices of i2E, Inc. 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.

The Plan

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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. Eight semifinalist Small Business teams will move on to the oral competition to determine the six finalists that will compete for 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 teams can use to improve their presentation should they advance to the next round.

Logistics for Business Plan Submission: All forms must be received by 3 p.m. on the deadline date

All written business plans will be submitted electronically as PDF files.  No printed copies are required for the written portion of the competition. 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 following instructions on the Official Business Plan Submittal Form provided when teams are registered. 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 Small Business semifinalists will be posted online and an email notification will be sent to team leaders and advisors with judges’ comments.

The Presentation

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You did it. Your business plan was chosen to present in the oral round of the competition.

The eight Small Business 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 Small Business 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 Pitch
In addition to the team presentations, a representative from each team 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 one student with a $5,000 scholarship that can be used for tuition to any Oklahoma college campus.

Rewards from the presentation round:

• $10,000 to the first place team in the Small Business division. The advisor earns $1,500.
• $8,000 to the second place team in the Small Business division. The advisor earns $1,000.
• $4,000 to the third place team in the Small Business division. The advisor earns $500.
• Each finalist team will receive $1,000, with advisor receiving $500 each.

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

All team presentations will be conducted at i2E’s Oklahoma City offices. The eight Small Business semifinalist teams will present to a panel of Oklahoma investors, business and community leaders. The six finalists will present to a different panel of judges the following day 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 8.1, Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013, Adobe Flash and Apple QuickTime with no additional software required. Presentation rooms will not have access to the internet, so please plan accordingly.  

The Rewards

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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 and scholarships  worth $40,000 in the Small Business 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.

Love’s Cup Awards by round:

The Plan:
$1,000 to each of the six finalist teams, plus $500 each to advisors for $9,000 total.

The Presentation:
$10,000 will be awarded to the first-place winning team in the Small Business Division, along with $1,500 to the advisor. Second-place team will earn $8,000, plus $1,000 to advisor and third place $4,000 with $500 to the advisor for a total of $25,000.

The Pitch:
In addition, the 90-second pitch in each division that is selected as the top pitch will earn an additional $1,000.

Small Business Guidelines

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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.
  14. Pro Forma Financial Statements – Provide projected datafor 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.
    1. Assumptions used to develop Pro Forma Financials (may be part of Appendices).
    2. Investment capital needed & use of funds.
    3. 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.

Small Business Resources

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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

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.

Rules

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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 students enrolled in any regional or private university without a research component or 2-year college across the state. Teams from these campuses can still compete in the High Growth Division. Enrollment includes classes taken during the current summer session(s), current fall semester, and/or the 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.

  1. Each team is required to have either a faculty member or mentor as a designated 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 Small Business team will submit a written business plan online. This score will determine the eight semifinalist teams that will compete in the 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 Written 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 are required to fill out the Official Application Form form online by 3 p.m. of deadline date. The Official Business Plan Submittal Form must be filled out online by 3 p.m. of deadline date. Each team will need to identify one team member as the team leader and one designated 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 six official team members.
  7. Students are encouraged to form teams for the purpose of cross-pollination of experience and mentoring opportunities.
  8. The business must be a seed or start-up venture and the materials must address the entire business concept (including implementation). Proposals for the buy-out or expansion of an existing company, tax-shelter opportunities, real estate syndications, franchises, non-profit and consulting projects or analyses are not eligible. Eligibility discretion is up to the competition management and can be determined at any point during the competition- including any business models that are changed for the oral competition submission that do not meet the aforementioned criteria.
  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 concept are not eligible.
  10. The business should not have generated any meaningful sales revenues prior to the competition. Revenue generated during a test-marketing project may be excluded from this provision.
  11. 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.
  12. The six Small Business Division 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 college or university, an individual trophy for each team member and advisor, along with cash prizes will be presented to each advisor and team leader.
  13. 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.
  14. 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 3 p.m. of deadline date. Finalists will be notified and will participate in an interview with Oklahoma Business Roundtable members on the first day of the oral competition. Scholarship recipients will be recognized at the awards dinner.

 

The small business division 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 Application Form by the deadline. Immediately after submitting the online application, teams will receive an automatic email acknowledgement of the form. Teams will receive email notification of assigned time for the interview after scheduled. All team interviews will be conducted in Oklahoma City. No alternate times will be allowed, and it is mandatory that teams be on time for the interviews.
  2. As part of the application form, teams will be asked to select their business category which will determine their interview category.   The top ranked team in each category will be awarded $1,000 and their ranking, along with their business plan score will determine the high growth division eight semifinalist.
  3. Along with the application form, teams will submit a one-page deal summary that outlines the product or concept, target market, capital requirements, revenue projections and ownership and business status. This one-page summary will be provided to the panel to review prior to the interviews. The one-page deal summary must be saved as a single PDF file no larger than 10mb in size.
    • NOTE: There is no scoring on the one page deal summary, this is only for the reviewers to learn a bit more about your company prior to the interview. Any information left blank will not affect rankings.
  4. Each team will be required to participate in a 20-minute interview organized around their category.
  5. For the interview, there is no presentation, no handouts, no guests, no advisors, just the team and the panel. Teams will be expected to display their knowledge of the business and its competitive advantages, articulate the business model and how the business makes money, and display competency across the team. Teams will also have the opportunity to ask the panel questions about their business.

The Plan

  1. The Official Business Plan Submittal Form must be filled out online by 3 p.m. of deadline date. No printed copies are required for the written portion of the competition. All business plans will be submitted electronically following instructions provided on the form. Submittal of this form indicates that the business plan only contains original work accomplished by the official team members. The team will retain all rights to the plan regarding its use at all times prior to and following the competition (except as stated below in item 28).
  2. Each business plan, including all appendices, will need to be saved to a single PDF file less than 10MB in size.
  3. The management team outlined in the plan will contain the names of individuals (if any) who are not associated with the college or university.
  4. 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. 
  5. Financials must include Pro Forma Financial Statements with projected monthly data for the term of the investment plus three months beyond. Include an explanation of the offering to family and friends, SBA, banks or Angels indicating how much money is needed and the proposed structure of the deal, i.e. stock, debentures, etc.

Appendices should be included ONLY when they support the findings, statements and observations in the plan. Because of the number of teams/plans entering the competition, reviewers and judges may not be able to read all of the material in the appendices. Therefore, the text portion of the plan must contain all pertinent information in a clear and concise manner.

The Presentation and The Pitch

  1. Deadline for the eight semifinalist teams to submit their revised business plans and Official Oral Competition Submittal Form is 3 p.m. of deadline date
    • Note: No printed copies are required for the oral portion of the competition. All revised business plans will be submitted electronically following the instructions provided on the form. All teams will need to bring finished PowerPoint to the competition.
  2. All presentations must be able to display on a computer running Windows 8.1, Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013, Adobe Flash and Apple Quicktime with no additional software required. Teams will need to bring a copy of their presentation to upload during their 5-minute set up time. Competition managers are not responsible in  the event there is an issue with this transaction. You will not submit your presentation prior to the oral competition. Presentation rooms will not have access to the internet, so please plan accordingly.
  3. The eight Small Business Division semifinalist teams will present to a panel of Oklahoma investors, business and community leaders with the six finalists announced after the first round. The six finalist teams will compete the following day with the first, second and third place winners in each division announced at the awards dinner. 
  4. Each presenting team will be given 20 minutes to present their business plan followed by a 10-minute question and answer session between the presenting team and the panel of judges. Each presenting team will have 5 minutes prior to its presentation for set-up/preparation and 5 minutes after the presentation for equipment dismantling.
    • Note: Prior to the 20-minute timed presentation, each team will present a 90-second pitch to the panel of judges. Each pitch will be scored and the winners in each division will be incorporated into the awards dinner ceremony.
  5. Students presenting must be official team members.  For the purpose of this competition, each team member must have a key role on the management team. Not all team members are required to present in the oral competition, but all team members must participate in the Q&A session. Non-student members of the venture’s management team may not participate in any presentations, including the finals.
  6. A team or designated advisor may not observe other presentations or question-and-answer sessions until after their team(s) have presented. No one is allowed to enter or leave the room until the presentation session is complete without prior permission from the team. Students, advisors or guests engaging in communication with a team during their presentation and/or question and answer session, such as but not limited to, head movements, hand gestures or signaling, will be asked to leave the room and the team will be disqualified from the competition.
    • Note: All teams must be available and ready to present at least one hour prior to schedule.Be sure to notify any family or friends wanting to attend presentations that they must be there one hour ahead of schedule.
  7. Each presenting team will receive further guidelines regarding presentations including the equipment that will be provided (screens, microphones etc.), presentation protocol, etc. Students may bring product samples for their presentations, but may not bring any giveaways to the judges.  Judges are not allowed to consume food or beverage samples. Handout materials are recommended such as copies of the presentation, but not required.
  8. All oral presentations and question-and-answer sessions are open to the public at large pending space availability and teams permission. Further, it is likely that any or all of these public sessions will be broadcasted to interested persons through media, which may include radio, television and the Internet. Any data or information discussed or divulged in public sessions by entrants should be considered information that will likely enter the public realm, and entrants should not assume any right of confidentiality in any data or information discussed, divulged or presented in these sessions.
  9. Neither i2E, Inc., judges, sponsors, nor their designate organizations, assume any duty to screen or otherwise control the identity of those attending, viewing or hearing all or part of these public sessions, and entrants agree that by entering the competition they have been made aware that such attendees, viewers and recipients may include members of the media and potential competitors in addition to members of the financial community, students and faculty.
  10. Student entrants agree to allow i2E, Inc., to videotape the oral presentations and the question and answer sessions for internal purposes only. By participating in the competition, student entrants agree to grant i2E, Inc., and/or organizations designated by them the unlimited right to videotape, photograph, audiotape, transcribe or otherwise record all public sessions of the competition, including but not limited to oral presentations and question-and-answer sessions. All entrants agree that i2E, Inc. and/or their designate organizations may use any such transcriptions and/or recording(s) (in whole or part) for such publicity and marketing purposes as their organizations may see fit, including those which may result in remuneration.

Judging

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The Love’s Cup Collegiate Business Plan Competition will consist of professionals from a wide array of industries including successful entrepreneurs, professional services providers, venture capitalists and angel investors who will judge the business plans based on criteria presented in the Written Business Plan and the Oral Presentation Scorecards:

Written Scorecard – Small Business
Written Scorecard – Small Business Oral Presentation

The Plan
Business plans will be submitted online for this portion of the competition. No printed copies are required.

Oklahoma investment, business and community leaders will determine the eight Small Business Division semifinalists. Each judge will evaluate plans based on the written business plan scorecard. The teams chosen to move forward to the oral competition will be posted online and an email notification will be sent to Team Leaders and advisors with judges’ comments.

The Presentation
Revised business plans will be submitted online. No printed copies are required.

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 the following day 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 8.1, Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013, Adobe Flash and Apple Quicktime with no additional software required. Presentation rooms will not have access to the internet, so please plan accordingly.  

The Revised Plan and Powerpoint Presentation, the Official Oral Competition Submittal Form, and the Paulsen Award application are all due by 3 p.m. on the deadline date. Business plans will be submitted online so no hard copies are required.

The order of team presentations will be randomly selected and an email with detailed information and an agenda will be sent to each Team Leader and advisor.

The Pitch
In addition to the team presentations, a representative from each team 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 one student in the Small Business Division with a $5,000 scholarship that can be used for tuition on any Oklahoma college campus.

Decision of the judges will be final and winners announced at the Awards dinner.

Mileage and Hotel Expenses:
Each team is responsible for its own expenses incurred during the competition.

Hotel accommodations:
Since the finalists will be announced after the first day of competition, we suggest that all semifinalist teams and advisors take into consideration the need for hotel accommodations if traveling a distance. Hotel arrangements will be made by teams.

Click here for a list of hotels near the competition location.