Below are the key dates for the competition. Please note that all submission deadlines are firm and cannot be adjusted for late entrants.
|September 19, 2016||Entry Period Opens|
|November 6, 2016||Executive Summary Deadline (11:59 p.m. Central Time)|
|December 5, 2016||Announcement of Top 50 teams advancing|
|January 3, 2017||Business Plan submission Deadline (11:59 p.m. Central Time)|
|January 30, 2017||Announcement of Top 12 finalists|
|February 23-25, 2017||Competition Event / Final Presentations|
The 2017 competition will feature two competition tracks:
- Consumer and Internet Technology Companies
- Non-Technology Companies
Companies will compete within their tracks to reach the finals. The finals will consist of the top teams from both tracks competing against each other for the grand prize.
Companies in the Consumer and Internet Technology track should fall into one of the following industry categories:
- Internet Services
- Internet Security
- Info Tech
- Mobile Tech
- Mobile Apps
- Mobile Commerce
- Social Commerce
- Social Networking
- Social Media
- Social Gaming
- Video Gaming
Companies not in these industry segments will compete in the Non-Technology track.
This two-track format provides the opportunity for any company to enter our competition and compete against similar companies to reach the finals.
We accept entries from current students and recent alumni of any accredited university across the nation. There is no limit to the number of teams from a single university that may apply. Please make sure to review our Eligibility Guidelines to make sure your team is eligible before entering.
Below is a brief description of how the rounds take place as the applicant pool is narrowed during the course of the competition:
- Preliminary Rounds: Online
Round 1: Executive Summary
To enter, teams will submit a 2-page Executive Summary of their business concept. See Entering the Competition for guidelines on the Executive Summary submission. A round of judging will take place, and the top 50 teams will be chosen and notified of their advancement to the next round. Entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. Central Time on Nov. 6, 2016.
Round 2: Business Plan
These 50 teams will submit a full business plan. See Entering the Competition for guidelines on the Business Plan submission. Of the 50 teams, 12 finalists will be chosen.
- Presentation Rounds: In Person
Pre-Competition Activities (Thursday and Friday)
Thursday, February 23, will consist of individualized, in-depth coaching sessions only.
Friday, February 24, will consist of speakers, feedback rounds, and a banquet with an elevator pitch competition.
Semifinals: Morning (Saturday)
On the morning of Saturday, February 25, the 12 finalist teams will present to a panel of judges in the semifinal rounds. Judges will score each team, and scores will be compiled immediately. The top 5 finalists will be announced during the lunch period.
Finals: Afternoon (Saturday)
The top 5 finalists will present in the finals the afternoon of Saturday, February 25, for the grand prize.