Published: Jan. 15, 2013

Four teams of MBA students from the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado Boulder will present business plans in a contest for cash prizes on Jan. 16.

As the culmination of the Business Plan Preparation course, the competition challenges students to generate an innovative concept for a product or service and design a comprehensive business plan around it. The course requires student teams to collaborate and research all aspects of starting a business from marketing and finance to manufacturing and operations. Finalists must present their plan in a convincing and compelling way, as if the judges were actual investors.

Local entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and other successful members of the business community serve as the judges. The interaction between students and business professionals is a strength of the Leeds School’s Deming Center for Entrepreneurship and its approach to entrepreneurship education. Organizers of the competition create a real-world environment, which is often the launch pad for new start-ups among Leeds graduates.

This year's finalists:

  • HappyFreebie—an entertaining online resource for parents to discover new products.
  • Qué Masa—a mobile food truck serving flavorsome Venezuelan cuisine.
  • Speakifi—takes written content and creates easily accessible audio file students can listen to on their smartphones.
  • The Skill Shop—teaches sewing and screen-printing, primarily using thrifted clothing and fabric to create unique custom fit items.

The four teams will present their plans and take questions from a panel of judges that include Alex Burney of RavenBrick, Darrick Christopher with TalenTrust, Joyce Colson of Colson/Quinn, and Jamie Corder with Egg Strategy.

A total of $5,000 in prizes will be awarded to the teams based on their performances.

“Every year the quality of the business plans improve,” said George Deriso, entrepreneurship lecturer for the Business Plan Preparation course. “Finalists must present their plan in a convincing and compelling way, as if the judges were actual investors. The competition is as close to a real-world environment as you can get.”

The Jan. 16 presentations begin with a reception at 5:30 p.m. in room S125 at the Leeds School of Business, 995 Regent Drive in Boulder, Colorado.

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