2018 New Jersey Business Idea Competition
Submission Deadline03/05/2018

You are welcome to upload an original video or original pictures that relate directly to your idea and supports your business idea. This is supplemental only.


There is a 500 word limit for the entire application information (not including a 10 word limit for the title). Please write a draft on MS Word or similar software so that you can make sure that the word limits for each section are adhered to. Please note that once the document is submitted you cannot make any further changes.

Please make sure you enter all information correctly, particularly your contact information (e-mail address and phone number).

Review your application before you submit it. If you do not enter all of your contact information correctly, we may be unable to contact you, and you agree that if you are a winner and you do not enter your contact information correctly, you will forfeit your prize money.

All applicants will receive an e-mail from us AFTER all of the applications have been judged. It is the applicant’s responsibility to check their e-mail that they entered on the application. Due to the high volume of applicants, the Rothman Institute cannot field individual phone calls and emails to see if a particular student or students submitted an application.

Students and Teachers/Advisors ARE RESPONSIBLE for notifying parents/guardians that they participated in the competition, and are also responsible to advise parents/guardians if they are a winner. By submitting each application, the students and teachers/advisors agree to this responsibility.

All winners will be required to provide their Social Security numbers for the University to award prize money. The University must comply with IRS guidelines and therefore requires this information. If students and parents/guardians choose not to provide this information, then they understand prize money cannot be awarded. The student winners' home mailing addresses are required by the University to issue prize money.

The Awards Ceremony

April 20th, 2018 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at FDU's Florham Campus in Madison, NJ in Lenfell Hall, Hennessy Hall/the Mansion.

Regional Winners will get the chance to pitch their idea at the ceremony and will be eligible to win additional cash prizes.

Students must be present at the awards ceremony on April 20th, 2018 or have someone attend the awards ceremony on their behalf to receive their prize money.

It is the student’s responsibility to be present to receive their certificate and award money, or have someone be present on their behalf. All winners MUST respond to the Rothman Institute via phone and/or email to confirm their and/or their guests' attendance.

Questions or Comments:

Please e-mail the Rothman Institute at rothman@fdu.edu or tpakay@fdu.edu with "Biz Idea" in the subject line. FDU NJ Idea Competition

Website: www.fdu.edu/businessidea.

Thank you and best of luck!

You are welcome to upload an original video or original pictures that relate directly to your idea and supports your business idea. This is supplemental only.



  • The overall feasibility and persuasiveness of the idea
  • Potential for growth or overall societal benefit
  • Clarity and development of the idea
  • Feasibility of building and sustaining a competitive advantage

1. Idea Title: 

The idea title and the author name(s) are the only information that will be made public by the Institute if the entry is a semifinalist or finalist. The title and authors will be listed on the web site and on the event program to be available at the awards ceremony. Please do not place any information in the Idea Title section that you wish to keep private. The title should be short but descriptive.

2. The Idea:

This field fills in the details of your business idea. Exactly what is your product or service, and how will it be used? What additional features or developments (if any) will be needed before the product or service becomes useful? Don’t be afraid to go back and change your basic idea after conducting research. Good business ideas are developed and don’t fall from the sky complete and ready to implement. In some instances, an author of a business idea entry will not have exclusive rights to that idea, because it came from elsewhere or perhaps relies upon an idea held by someone else. If that is the case, please mention the idea's owner in this field.

3. Customers: 

In this field, outline who will use your product or service, and what customer needs will be addressed by it. Why should the judges believe that your product or service will be better than those currently in existence? If the product is truly new (nothing like it exists currently) how will you persuade customers of its value? What kinds of people make the decision to buy, and how do you plan to reach those people on a large scale?

4. Competitors: 

New businesses almost always step on the toes of existing businesses. What businesses already sell products or services that will be negatively affected by your product or service? Why is your product or service better than what competitors are currently providing? How easy will it be for them to copy your idea? Remember that a new business is almost always weaker than existing businesses. If your idea takes customers away from others and is easily copied, you are not likely to be in business long enough to establish a competitive advantage. How will competitors respond to your market entry, and how will you protect your business from their reactions? Your idea could be a not-for-profit. Here, you will need to outline how your idea will generate enough revenue (through donations and/or other sources) to cover its costs.

5. Societal Benefit: 

Successful enterprises are always about more than money. The purpose of this field is to provide you with an opportunity to justify why your business/nonprofit should be supported by those who are not involved in it. What good will come from your business? Why will the world be a better place because of your idea? Some business ideas may not make much money, but create great value or provide an important good or service for large numbers of people. The judges will look favorably upon these ideas.

6. Your Goals: 

Innovative products and services are very important to new business development, but these tend not to be worth much unless the founder(s) are very committed and dedicated to making the business a success. In this field, outline why do you personally want to take your idea and make a business out of it. How would creating this new business help you reach your potential, and how could you help the business reach its potential? Why would you be willing to dedicate a large part of your life to starting up this business? What key strengths can you provide to your organization?

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