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Even more valuable than the funding may be the contact with potential mentors and the publicity that attaches itself to overcoming the long odds and triumphing in a big competition.“It gives you a lot more national recognition than being an aspiring entrepreneur working alone in your garage,” says Susan Scherreik, director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at Seton Hall University, of entrepreneurs who win business plan competitions.The university sponsors its own annual business idea competition called Pirates Pitch that awards ,000 in prizes plus a grab-bag of business services to two winning teams.
Eligible The Indus Entrepreneurs (Ti E) Chapters from outside the US will sign up to host a (level 1) competition after scouting local universities for perspective participants.
Ti E Delhi and Ti E Brussels will host the regional Finals in February 2015 (level 2) and the winner of each Final competition will go on to compete in the finals at the Rice University Business Plan Competition in April 2015 (level 3).
And you don't have to win to benefit: Even losing business plan contestants get value from the experience because they learn to hone their narrative, presentation and business planning skills—skills that will serve them well if they go on to become business owners, Scherreik says.
Entering a contest, she adds, is an important part of the process of turning would-be entrepreneurs into actual entrepreneurs.
Clearly, Roth knows what it takes to win these contests. He credits a combination of good timing and good storytelling for the BETA win.
Orange Octop.us, the company Roth was pitching in his most recent winning business plan, publishes strategy guides for FIFA soccer video games.Roth says that in addition to the narrative description of his business, he was also required to put together more conventional pitches.“You still have to have the Power Point decks and 20-minute presentation and all that,” he says.Win or lose, entrants also get valuable opportunities to polish their elevator pitches and presentations before professional evaluators, says Scherreik, who feels that face-to-face meetups have retained their value despite the ever-growing importance of virtual communication.As she explains, “People need to make those human connections.”Joey Roth has done well at three of the four business plan competitions he’s entered, mostly recently in the ,000 BETA Challenge held by entrepreneurial education powerhouse Babson College.The first level of the competition, the idea phase, is to generate a brief, concise description of your idea and of potential customers.Your ideas are evaluated by scientists and economists. Final date phase I: 24/10/2014 Awards: 30 x participation in one-day-workshop with experts from the Science4Life network 3 x inauguration at the conceptual phase ceremony in Berlin The second level of the competition, the conceptual phase, is to generate a brief, concise description of your future business. Final date phase II: 16/01/2015 Awards: 10 x € 1,000 20 x two-day workshop with individual coaching by experts of the Science4Life network In the third phase of the competition you establish your complete business plan with the help of seminars and workshops given by experts of the Science4Life network. Final date phase III: 08/05/2015 Awards: 1st – 5th place participation four-day-workshop (founders’ workshop) 1st place € 25,000 2nd place € 10,000 3rd place € 5,000 4th and 5th places € 3,000 6th –10th place € 2,000 each All winners may also participate in Seed4Money, an investment forum for Life Sciences and Chemistry.An exception will also be made for students from non-US universities that have a different academic calendar.Website: Eva-Maria Gottmann is an online communication specialist connecting communication and media skills with entrepreneurship.The company has generated enough work to keep a stable of freelance writers busy while Roth, the company’s only employee, completed school.With the company now based in San Francisco, Roth says his business recently had its best month yet.