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PASSHE Student Business Plan Competition 2012-2013

Welcome to the 2012-2013 PASSHE Student Business Plan Competition.

The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) Student Business Plan Competition Committee is looking for System students who are interested in starting a new business. Funding is available to support students in their business development efforts. START-UP CAPITAL and IN-KIND prizes will be awarded to assist in the creation of your new business.


STUDENT ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS - Eligible applicants include matriculated undergraduate and graduate students who will be enrolled full or part-time during Fall Semester 2012 at any of the 14 member PASSHE universities: Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock, West Chester.

Additional Eligibility Requirements:

  1. A team of contestants must be comprised of  100% PASSHE students as described in 1. Any prizes awarded are awarded only to PASSHE students.
  2. The proposed venture may be a for-profit or not-for-profit enterprise.
  3. An individual or team who has already started the business is NOT eligible.
  4. An individual or team who has previously received third-party funding must disclose the amount when completing the venture profile.
  5. The contestants must own the intellectual property they propose to make, distribute or sell in the venture profile.



INTENT TO COMPETE - Students interested in competing in the PASSHE Business Plan Competition should submit their Intent to Compete by November 2, 2012. Only one Intent to Compete Form may be submitted per team or individual. Venture Profile semi-finalists will be selected in March followed by a PASSHE Business Plan Awards Ceremony scheduled April 2013.


SELECTION OF SEMI-FINALISTS AND FINALISTS - The Entrepreneurial Leadership Centers at each PASSHE university will be responsible for reviewing the Intent to Compete Forms from their university and selecting the student teams who will compete as semi-finalists in the PASSHE Student Business Plan Competition. Semi-finalists will be required to submit a Venture Profile. A team of independent judges will select the finalists. Finalists will be required to make a formal presentation to the team of independent judges in Harrisburg, PA.


CASH AND IN-KIND SERVICES - Start-up capital may be used for business plan development, product prototype, legal, accounting, marketing and commercialization support. Funds may also be used to purchase specialized equipment if the student can demonstrate the essential role the equipment plays in the business development. Ineligible use of funds include payroll, travel and entertainment.



  • Registration (Intent to Compete must be submitted by November 2, 2012)
  • Business Plan Learning Sessions: (http://tinyurl.com/3atc2yu)
  •      Session 1: Idea Opportunity
  •      Session 2: Business Opportunity
  •      Session 3: Investment Opportunity
    • Use your PASSHE username and password to log in to the Learning Sessions (i.e., jd1234@ship.edu)
  • Venture Profile Submission (Due by February 15, 2013)
  • Judging - Business Plan Semi-Finalists Selected in March 2013
  • Finalist Presentation to Judges (March 2013)
  • PASSHE Student Business Plan Awards Ceremony (April 2013)

- Please note all dates subject to change.

Sample Financial Forecast: http://www.ship.edu/elc/tshirtco





The awards for the first, second and third place winners are intended to assist the winners in capitalizing and developing their business concept into reality.

10% of the prize will be awarded as cash for unrestricted use.  The balance of the award will be held in escrow by the University, the University Foundation or the PASSHE Foundation and released to the winner for business related costs. Such costs may include, but are not limited to:

  • Professional services, such as accounting, legal, or consulting, that is needed to complete the business plan, establish a legal structure, secure financing and complete related pre-start-up tasks.
  • Rent and utilities for space to conduct the business
  • Working capital for business costs, including advertising, supplies and materials, inventory, building a web site, etc.
  • Equipment
  • No more than 10% of the award can be used for salaries and wages


The winner has up to 5 years to utilize the funds for the awarded business plan.

If a team wins the competition but only one or several of the team members proceed with business development, those that proceed with the business development will receive the benefit of the award.

Funds in escrow will be deposited in a secure interest bearing account, with interest to accrue to the winners.

Businesses must be located in Pennsylvania to qualify for funding awards.


For technical issues with the iStart platform, contact CJ Ezell, Student Business Plan Coordinator, at cjezel@ship.edu or 717-477-1430.

PASSHE Entrepreneurship Course Offerings:  http://www.ship.edu/elc/sbcourses



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