Entrepreneurial Concept Contest

School of Engineering and Applied Science

Entrepreneurial Concept Contest

Do you have a new idea for a product?  A vision of a fantastic new business?  A desire to become an entrepreneur?  If so, then you should enter the SEAS Entrepreneurial Concept Contest

How does the contest work?    This year’s contest requires student teams to submit brief proposals (details below).  Five or six finalists will be invited to present their ideas to a panel of SEAS judges.  Winners from that “live-fire” competition will share $5000 in prize money, and the top winner will represent SEAS in the UVa Cup Competition.  The UVa Cup is a new award in which all of the schools in the University will compete for $10,000 in prizes and the recognition of being the best entrepreneurial team at UVa. 

What can I win?   Thanks to a generous gift from Doug (SE ’87) and Lois (CS ’83, ’87) Garland, winners in the SEAS contest will be awarded: 

* First Prize:                 $3,000 and must compete for the UVa Cup 20 November

* Second Prize:             $1,500

* Third Prize:                $   500 

Who can compete?   You and your teammates must be current UVa students (undergraduate, graduate, or post-doctoral), faculty, or staff.  Alumni may participate by partnering with any of the above. 

What do I need to submit?   The SEAS Contest requires a two-page proposal written as an executive summary.  It can be supported by two additional pages of exhibits (usually illustrations or data) and resumes of team members.  You should include a title page with the name of your product or proposed business as well as the names and email addresses for everyone on your team.  One person should be designated as the contact person on the title page.  Your proposal and supporting material should be in 10- or 12-point font with one-inch margins.  Electronic versions should be .pdf or .doc files, not .docx, please. 

What should my proposal cover?   It should describe your product or business idea, the market, the competition, and competitive advantages. Specific market and financial forecasts are not required, although you should have a basic idea of the level of financing you would need to start the venture. Proposals will be evaluated on their viability in the current marketplace and social environment.  

What are the deadlines for the Contest? 

29 October      Proposals due by 5 PM

5 November    SEAS Finalists announced

12 November  SEAS Finalists present concepts in “live-fire” competition

20 November  SEAS winner competes for the UVa Cup.

Where do I submit my proposal?   Please email it to Professor W. Bernard Carlson at wc4p@virginia.edu.  Remember your submission should be in .pdf or .doc format. 

What if I have questions?   Drop an email to Mr. Carlson at the above address.  For more information on the UVa cup: http://www.darden.virginia.edu/html/entrepreneur.aspx?id=19755&menu_id=586

Checklist of topics to cover in your proposal: 

Concept Summary

    * Write a short paragraph describing your concept.

    * Start with a one-sentence description of the underlying idea.

    * Determine the customer/market.

    * Decide how the business will generate revenue or the non-profit will be sustainable.

    * State what makes the concept unique. 

Value Proposition

    * Determine the “pain” or problem that the concept addresses.

    * Explain the solution the concept provides.

    * Discuss why these product/service benefits are real and valuable to customers. 

Market Opportunity

    * Calculate the total revenues for the target market, where applicable. (This can be expressed in terms of total revenues or total expenditures by customers, or in terms of total customers multiplied by the average amount spent per customer annually.)

    * Discuss your current or anticipated competition. 

Product/Service Description

    * Describe the attributes of any product or service.

    * Explain how the product will be produced or how the service will be performed.

    * Determine how much or what types of resources would be generally required. 

Management Team

    * Who are members of the team?

    * What are their backgrounds?

    * What are their intended roles within this proposal? 

Disclaimer:          The SEAS Entrepreneurial Concept Contest will be open-session. Information deemed highly proprietary or sensitive should not be included or disclosed in either submissions or presentations. Concept documents will not be published or distributed except as described above. Participation in, submissions, and information disclosures for the competition are wholly voluntary. Participants should note that they alone control the content of their disclosures. SEAS and the University of Virginia assume no responsibility whatsoever for accidental or third-party breaches of confidentiality.

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