Time To Start Planning

Annual business competition is starting again

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Time To Start Planning

Semi-finalists from the 2015 Business Plan Competition

Amanda Petty

Steve Jobs created Apple. Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook. Oprah Winfrey created a brand. All great entrepreneurs have a commonality: they had a unique business plan, which was continuously dismissed, until one time, it was accepted.

Have a business idea to share? The time is now to introduce that business plan and see where it goes.

The School of Management and Marketing has linked up with the College of Business and Public Management (CBPM) and DECA to bring an opportunity to students: fine-tune and present business plans for the 2017 Business Plan Competition.

"The contest was developed to help students cultivate practical entrepreneurial skills including opportunity identification, product development, public speaking and networking," said Dr. Kai Wang, assistant professor of management chair and member of Business Plan Competition Organizing Committee.

The competition will be comprised of students from Kean University, other participating colleges and high school. Contestants can either enter as an individual or a team, with no more than three members.

To enter the competition, students must submit:

  • New and creative business concept
  • Analysis of target market and potential competitors
  • Marketing strategy
  • Pro forma financials for first three years
  • Executive summary of one to two pages
  • Submit business plan (semi-finalists only)
  • Present completed business plan at final event

Students can register at http://www.kean.edu/bizplan.

The executive summary must be attached in an email to bizplan@kean.edu. PDF versions will not be accepted. 

Competition Timeline:

Monday, Feb 20, 2017: Last day to register and submit executive summaries

Thursday, March 2, 2017: Semi-Finalists notified

Friday, March 17, 2017: Last day to submit complete business plan

Tuesday, April 4, 2017: Finalists notified

Thursday, April 13, 2017: Public revelation of finalists

A few past winning business plans include: Spectral Lighting, a company that manufactures items for residential, commercial and industrial lighting; C-Support Albums, handmade custom fabric-covered photo albums and picture frames; and Bling Chateau, a virtual jewelry and accessories boutique.

Semi-Finalists and finalists are selected by members of the community, both from Kean University and the business industry. The Business Plan Competition Organizing Committee is comprised of carefully selected CBPM faculty.

Dr. Wang, who has a background in creativity and innovation; Dr. Shanggeun Rhee, School of Management and Marketing executive director; Dr. Valerie Vaccaro, School of Management and Marketing marketing coordinator and also teaches a social entrepreneurship course; Dr. Gail Fraser, who teaches an entrepreneurship course; Dr. Janine Black; Dr. Eunji Lim; Dr. Sut Sakchutchawan; Dr. Kihwan Kim; and Dr. Min-Chung Han (Assistant Professors in the School of Management and Marketing), David Margulies (who teaches the MGS 3013 Entrepreneurship course, and is the Director for the NJ Small Business Development Center at Kean University), andJeffrey R. Victor, State Advisor and Director - New Jersey DECA, which has its office based at  Kean University.

The committee will choose which business plans continue on to the final round of the competition.

"Once entering the second round, students will have the opportunity to work with faculty mentors to write or polish the full business plans," said Dr. Wang. "The program will give students an opportunity to work directly with faculty members and potential investors and enhance their understanding of what investors want to see in a business plan."

The finalists are determined by a panel that consists of the dean of CBPM and various entrepreneurial executives. Typically there are 15 to 20 semi-finalists and 5 to 10 finalists.

The student or team who comes in first place will receive a prize of $1,500 to $2000, second place $500 to $750 and prizes of smaller amounts.

More information is available at the Business Plan Competition website, which is: https://sites.google.com/a/kean.edu/bizplan/how-to-participate.

The School of Management and Marketing can be reached at 908-737-4190. The College of Business and Public Management can be reached at 908-737-4700.

about the author

Amanda Petty is double majoring in English-writing and communication studies while also pursuing a minor in marketing. Amanda has been a member of The Cougar's Byte, as an Editor and now Senior Editor, since Fall 2014. In her senior year at Kean University, she is excited to strive after a career in book publishing. The ultimate goal is to go into the editorial department, ideally working with young adult fiction.