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The Richest Business Plan Competitions In America

  1. The Richest Business Plan Competitions
  2. In Total Cash Prize Money (2014) Top 5
  3. 1)Would you go to Buffalo, New York to get a million dollars for your business? Total Cash Prize Pool $5,000,000 Grand Prize $1,000,000
  4. Buffalo, NY is very close to Niagara Falls, for those that want to start a business and have a wedding at the beautiful location. However, Buffalo can get very cold in the winter. Unfortunately, money is not given out in a lump sum but in stages based on the company hitting milestones.
  5. 2)What is the best competition to gain the attention of venture capitalists? Total Cash Prize Pool Over $1,000,000 Grand Prize $150,000
  6. Rice University hosts one of the oldest and most prestigious student business plan competitions. However, last year, the biggest cash winner did not receive the competition's "Owl Grand Prize".
  7. A venture capital company sponsoring the competition created a special $1 million dollar prize to award to its favorite company in the competition. However, the prizes are not “free cash”. Many of the prizes come in the form of a convertible note, which are loans that eventually convert into an ownership stake for the prize sponsor.
  8. 3)Do you have a cutting edge technology idea to pitch? Total Cash Prize Pool Over $1,000,000 Grand Prize $250,000
  9. Money is in the form of a convertible note. The competition, which is run by the venture capital arm of Qualcomm, focuses on emerging technology ventures.
  10. 4)Can you combine saving the world with making money? Your competition will mainly want to save the world! Winner Take All!! $1,000,000
  11. This competition is limited to US college and university students trying to save the world. Each year the competition has a big global problem for entrants to create a plan to solve, with $1 million in prize money. While not very well publicized, the competition is open to for-profit ventures. If a for- profit venture wins, the Hult Prize gets 10% equity stake in exchange for the $1 million prize money.
  12. 5)Does your idea help produce clean energy and you’re a student at a US college or university? Total Cash Prize Pool $300,00 Grand Prize $225,000
  13. This US student competition is great because it doesn’t involve relocating or giving up a big chunk of one’s venture right away. Also, I imagine that even if you don’t win the top prize, the members of the top competing teams will be approached by energy firms with 6-figure job offers.
  14. Biggest (Cash Prize) US Student Business Plan Competitions Top 10
  15. Rice Business Plan Competition1) (discussed before)
  16. Hult Prize 2)(discussed before)
  17. MIT Clean Energy Prize3) (discussed before)
  18. MIT 100KEntrepreneurship Challenge4)$350K in cash prizes with $100K Grand Prize. Entrants must be a current MIT student.
  19. FAU Business Plan Competition5)$225K in cash prizes with $36K grand prize. Entrants must be an FAU student, faculty, or Florida resident.
  20. NYU Stern New Venture 
 and Social Venture Competitions6)$200K in cash prizes with $75K Grand Prize. Entrants must be an NYU student or alumni.
  21. Harvard Business School7)$150K in cash prizes with two $50K Grand Prizes. Team must have one current Harvard Business School MBA student. New Venture Competition
  22. Tufts 100K New 
 Ventures Competition8)$100k Grand Prize. Entrants must have a current Tufts student, faculty member, or recently graduated alumni.
  23. GW Business Plan Competition9)$101K in cash prizes with $35k Grand Prize. Entrant must be a currently enrolled GW student.
  24. Purdue University’s 
 Burton D. Morgan 
 Business Plan Competition10)$100k in cash prize.
  25. We looked at the total cash prizes awarded. Some of the competitions have considerable non-cash prizes, such as free rent or legal services. However, as the value of these goods can be subjective, we chose to stick to the cash. How we ranked them?
  26. How we ranked them?Seven of these business plan competitions have major restrictions on who can apply. While the rules vary from school to school, the basic idea is that one or two members of the team applying for the competition must be actively seeking a degree at the specific school.
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