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College entrepreneurs with promising startup ventures are invited to enter the 20th annual Tulane Business Model Competition for a chance to win their share of a $125,000 cash prize.
Hosted by the Albert Lepage Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Tulane’s A. B. Freeman School of Business, this student startup competition is open to teams that include at least one degree-seeking undergraduate or graduate student from any college or university. The Tulane Business Model Competition seeks early-stage ventures that can demonstrate how they are adapting to their customers’ needs. The contest rewards those that are creating commercially viable ventures through breaking down an idea into a key business model hypothesis, have tested their assumptions with customers and have applied Customer Development/Lean Startup principles to refine the model for improved success.
“We’re pleased to bring the Tulane Business Model Competition back for its 20th anniversary year,” said Rob Lalka, executive director of the Lepage Center. “This is our premier annual event to identify, promote and support new companies. Every year I’m amazed at the talented student entrepreneurs who travel to New Orleans to present their ventures, and I look forward to meeting this year’s applicants.”
APPLY BY JANUARY 27 TO COMPETE FOR A PRIZE POOL OF $125,000
This year both the semi-final and final rounds will take place during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week. The semi-final round will be held on March 24th with the final round on March 26th. In addition to pitching, participating ventures will have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with investors and mentors, attend valuable content sessions, and network with local and national thought leaders in entrepreneurship and innovation.
Following the initial application, judges will select six ventures to compete in the competition’s semi-final round. Judges will then choose three finalists to pitch their business models in a live competition to determine this year’s first, second and third place prize winners.
Opportunity is About:
Candidates should be from:
Description of Ideal Candidate:
- Student Team – Competing teams should consist of at least one and no more than five degree-seeking college students who are enrolled part-time (minimum of 6 credit hours) or full-time in a semester during the competition year. In general, a member of the student team should be CEO, COO, or President of the venture, or members of the student team should occupy 50% or more of the functional area management positions that report directly to the CEO, COO, or President.
- Ownership – The student team must have a minimum of 20% ownership in the venture.
- Control – The student team must control a minimum of 51% of the venture’s voting rights.
- Revenue – Revenue is one form of validation for a successful venture. However, if revenues are excessive, TBMC organizers will determine if a team is still eligible to participate in the competition.
- Investment – Like revenue, investment is another form of validation. However, if investment is excessive, TBMC organizers will determine if a team is still eligible to participate in the competition.
- Nature of Venture – Ventures cannot be a buyout, an expansion of an existing company, a real estate syndication, a tax shelter, a franchise, a licensing agreement for distribution in a different geographical area, or a spin-out from an existing corporation. Licensing technologies from universities or research labs is encouraged, assuming they have not been commercialized previously.
- Prior Activity – Ventures may compete in the TBMC multiple times provided they still meet all other eligibility requirements. Note prior participation rules in the International Business Model Competition may differ.
- Dropping Out of the Competition – If a team withdraws or does not compete in the competition after accepting a bid, the team and the university will be subject to disqualification from competing in the Tulane Business Model Competition for that year and the following year – a two-year ban.
- Faculty Mentor – We require that all teams have a faculty mentor from the participating institution.