2015 2 Column Inner

UC Center for Entrepreneurship MBA New Venture Business Plan Competition


Annual UC MBA New Venture Competition

Internal Competition Available to University of Cincinnati Students Only

Date: TBA

Qualifying-Round Judging

  • Initial submissions must include a written plan.  The plan is limited to 40 pages (25 text, 15 appendix), double-spaced on 8.5-by-11-size paper, 12 pt. font size, including the executive summary and financial data.
  • In the business plan financial section a complete set of financial statistics must be included (income, balance sheet, cash flow) for initial three years of venture.  A detailed assumption list must accompany the statements.  Detailed spreadsheets and appendices can follow the text, however, the total plan should not exceed 40 pages.
  • Plans should include an explanation of the offering to investors that indicate how much money is required, the expected ROI, how the deal might be structured, a marketing plan, an operations plan and a management team description.  Potential exit strategies should be included.
  • Six copies of the business plan for the qualifying-round judging are due by the first Monday in January.  All of the presentations will be on the first Friday in January and will be a maximum of 20 minutes followed by a 10-minute question-and-answer period with the judges.  Finalists will be announced that day.

Those teams selected from the qualifying round will submit six copies of the final revised business plan one week later to the UC Center for Entrepreneurship Education & Research which will retain a copy for its files and submit the plans for further competition.

Each team selected to participate in either the Spirit of Enterprise Competition or the New Venture Championship is required to present its plan at the competition in February or April. 



  • All entries must be prepared under faculty supervision; we strongly urge the faculty advisor to attend.
  • Team size may range from two members to a maximum of five members
  • Team members must be graduate students
  • The management team outlined in the plan may include individuals who are not associated with the university but only student team members can present in the competition
  • At least one member of the team must hold a senior-level management position in the proposed new venture


All student team members must be enrolled on a full or part-time basis, in the current academic year


The business should not have raised outside capital nor generated revenues prior to presenting in January


Submittals will be judged on the basis of potential success as a new business venture.

The primary determinants of business success to be used in judging will be:

  • Market attractiveness
  • Competitive advantage
  • Strength of management
  • Implementation plan
  • Economic value

The judges will evaluate the following criteria in the plan:

  • Market Attractiveness (20%)
    • Size
    • Growth rate
    • Margins available
    • Competitive level
  • Competitive Advantage (20%)
    • Market need for product/service
    • Ability to reach the defined market(s)
    • Ability to withstand competitive attacks
    • Potential for additional advantages or markets
  • Strength of management (20%)
    • Completeness of management team
    • Requisite skills and experience for this type of venture
    • Ability to present and "sell" the business
    • Quality of written plan and data
  • Implementation plan (20%)
    • Description of operations
    • Implementation plan and timetable
    • Projected income statement
    • Cash flow projections
    • Projected balance sheet
    • Sources of funds
  • Economic value (20%)
    • Total wealth created
    • Risk/return relationship
    • Exit strategies for outside investors (if any)
    • Assessment of risks
    • Cash flows

Qualifying-round judging will be based on all of the above criteria.

Final judging will be based on three criteria, all with equal weight:

  • Quality of the new venture concept (33.33%)
    • Will the plan convince prospective employees, bankers, and investors of the opportunity for success?
  • Formal presentation of the written and oral plan (33.33%)
  • Potential for financial success (33.33%)
    • Do the numbers make sense? Are the numbers and projections credible?
    • What is the realistic return to investors?

The ability to present and "sell" a new venture plan is critical to the venture's success. The management team and business plan must be able to attract and motivate prospective employees as well as investors, bankers, resellers, and other business partners.


For more information, please contact:

Dr. Charles H. Matthews
Distinguished Teaching Professor of Entrepreneurship & Strategic Management
510 Carl H. Lindner Hall
Carl H. Lindner College of Business
University of Cincinnati
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0165

Phone: 513-556-7123
Fax:  513-546-5499

Email:  charles.matthews@uc.edu