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An Experiential Competition to Increase Startup Survival Rates

Most entrepreneurship competitions today focus on presentation skills, the catchy idea, the unique business model or the rigorous business plan. Record numbers of students are participating. But instead of just creating more startups, what about increasing the survival rate of startups? We propose a new approach, evolved over eleven years of teaching entrepreneurship, which rewards students that show increased skill in decision-making, team building and leadership and a deep understanding of the cash flow numbers. It is not one competition, but bi-weekly competitions that hone each skill. Winners are rewarded and analyzed. Failures are analyzed and encouraged. Teams are reorganized, similar to what startups face in their first two years.

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