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The Metamorphosis of Business Plan Competitions

Business plan competitions haven’t died; they have merely gone through a significant metamorphosis, and are still powerful tools for energizing entrepreneurial activity and growth. This evolution is still very much in-progress, with old-style competitions withering and newer kinds thriving. We will present results of research done from studying and analyzing past and present business plan competitions, both successes and failures. Some of the questions to be addressed are: what is the role and effectiveness of business plan competitions in today’s entrepreneurial ecosystem with accelerators, Lean Startups and university programs? What are the key components of a successful business plan competitions? What is considered “success” for a business plan competition? Does winning a business plan competition matter to startups? We will present recommendations for crafting future business plan competitions, and insights on the role of business plan competitions in entrepreneurship education programs.

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