New Business Venture Competition

Business Plan

  • Contestants whose submissions have been selected as finalists for the Competition must submit an electronic written Business Plan for the proposed venture by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 26, 2021 to

  • The Business Plan expands and elaborates on what was presented in the Business Proposal.

  • A small stipend is available to the individual or team to defray costs of preparing the Business Plan. See Expense Policy for more details.

Guidelines for Writing the Business Plan

  • Plans must be in writing and is limited to 20 pages of text (typed double-spaced, 12 point font, 1” margins on all sides, and paginated) and a maximum of 10 pages for appendices.

  • The Business Plan must include the following:

    - Executive Summary: provides a concise and compelling overview of the proposed
    - Industry Analysis: provides an overview of the industry in which the business will
      operate.  The analysis should illustrate knowledge of trends within the industry
      and explains how the business will take advantage of projected trends.  It will
      also focus on the target market (the proposed customer base) and provide
      information on number of potential customers, with information including, but not
      limited to, income and spending habits. Industry analysis will also identify
      potential competitors, explaining the differentiating factors that give the proposed
      business a sustainable competitive advantage and how the business will
      compete in the market.
    - Marketing Plan: describes the strategies that will be used to reach the target
      market about the venture’s products and services and details sales and
      promotion tactics.
    - Operations: describes how the venture will be managed and how the
      goods/services will be produced.  It also discusses how the business will grow
      and how it will cope with the demands of expansion.  The technologies needed
      for running the proposed business should be identified and a plan presented for
      acquiring the necessary equipment. Operations also provide details on the
      ownership and management structure.
    - Financial Plan: provides a multi-year financial outlook based upon assumptions
      made throughout the Business Plan and includes pro forma financial documents
      including startup costs, cash flow, balance sheet, operating costs, and a
      breakeven analysis.
    - Submitted plans are not limited to including only the items described above, and
      there is no required order for discussing these items. For additional information
      see the Business Proposal guidelines.

  • Contestants can consult any sources they deem appropriate, including the following websites on how to prepare a business plan:

    U.S. Small Business Administration's  Write a Business Plan
    State of Michigan's Why Should You Create a Written Business Plan?

  • The written Business Plan must be submitted electronically at

  • Contestants are encouraged to consult with and utilize coaches, such as faculty members, business persons, entrepreneurs, friends, parents or other mentors.

What Happens After Business Plans Are Submitted

  • Written Business Plans are forwarded to a panel of judges for review prior to competition day.  These judges are drawn from the business community.

  • Competition day will be Thursday, April 8, 2021, and the schedule of events can be seen here

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