2020 Crummer Rollins Venture Plan Competition
Submission Deadline02/07/2020

Crummer Rollins Venture Plan Competition Rules and Guidelines

The Rollins Venture Plan Competition provides members of the Central Florida community an opportunity to take an idea for a new product or business and develop a plan to introduce it to the market place.  Participating teams are encouraged to create and present a plan that clearly illustrates creativity and potential for marketplace success.  All ventures must adhere to legal and ethical standards.  

*To download a copy of the application form, see below.

Key Dates:

Monday, January 6, 2020 - Application Goes Live

The submission form and instructions can be accessed by creating an account through this page.

Friday, February 7, 2020 11:59 pm - Submission Deadline

All submission materials must be received by the deadline in order for teams to participate in the competition. No extensions will be given. A panel of qualified judges will evaluate the submissions and select the Semi-Finalists. Up to 16 teams will be selected to move on to the Semi-Final Round.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020 - Semi-Finalists Announced

The Semi-Finalists will be announced to all participants by email no later than 6:00 pm on Wednesday, February 19.

Thursday, February 20, 2020 - Pitch Workshop

The Semi-Finalists are highly encouraged to participate in a private pitch workshop conducted by Rollins entrepreneurship faculty.

W-Th, February 26-27, 2020 - Semi-Finalists Dry Run

The Semi-Finalists will have an opportunity to present to Rollins entrepreneurship faculty and 1st round judges to receive feedback on their presentations in a consequence free environment in advance of the Semi-Finals.

Friday, March 6, 2020, 11:59 pm - Slide Decks Due

Semi-Finalists are required to submit their slide decks that will be used in the Semi-Final round of the competition.  Subsequent changes may be made by Finalists after the Semi-Final round.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020, 12:30 pm - 5:00 pm - Semi-Final Round

Presentations of no more than 8 minutes will be made by the Semi-Finalist teams to a qualified panel of judges. Up to 5 minutes of questions by the judges will be asked to each team. The judges will determine the 4 teams that will move on to the Final Round of competition. Finalists will be notified following the deliberation of the judges, immediately following the Semi-Final presentations.

Thursday, March 26, 2020, 5:30 pm - 9:00 pm - Final Round

The 4 teams chosen for the Finals will present again to a new panel of qualified judges. Presentations of no more than 8 minutes will be made by the Finalist teams. Up to 15 minutes of questions by the judges will be asked to each team. The judges will determine the winners of the competition.  Winners will be notified following the deliberation of the judges, immediately after the final presentations. 


The judges for the live, Semi-Final and Final rounds of the competition will be comprised of experienced entrepreneurs and investors in the business community. While each judge has his/her own idea about what constitutes a great opportunity for a new venture, there are some criteria that all judges will take into account:

  • Product or Service: description of product or service, features and benefits, pricing, current stage of development and intellectual property, if any
  • Market Opportunity: size of market opportunity, competitive analysis, needs identification and gaps identified in current product and service offerings in the market
  • Go to Market Strategy: clearly outlined sales and marketing strategy
  • Management Team: backgrounds of key individuals, ability to execute strategy, personnel gaps and organizational structure
  • Financials: presented in summary form, easy to understand, consistent with plan, well researched and thought through
  • Use of Capital: if $25,000 were given to the company today, how would the funds be utilized


Finalists will all receive cash prizes.  Prize amounts will be announced prior to the competition.  Prize distribution in 2019 was as follows:

  • 1st | $25,000
  • 2nd | $15,000
  • 3rd | $7,500
  • 4th | $2,500

Through a partnership with venVelo, a Winter Park-based, early-stage venture fund, over the past five years the winners of the Rollins Venture Plan Competition have been offered an additional $25,000 equity investment to match their $25,000 in prize money.  This is contingent upon agreeable terms and valuation.

In addition to the prize money and equity investment offer, the 2019 competition winner also received a Finalist position for entry into the StarterStudio Seed Fund and in-kind service offerings, such as strategic consultation, accounting and legal support. The total value of last year's Finalist prize package, including cash distributed to the winners and in-kind services from our partners, was well over $100,000.

Prize Money Distribution:

Prior to the competition, participants must elect how they prefer all prize money won to be distributed, whether to a business entity associated with the competing venture concept or to the individual participants on the team.  If to individuals, it must also be specified if the prize money is to be distributed evenly among the participants on the team or divided up in some other way by percentage of total prize money won.  If the total prize money awarded to a team is in excess of $10,000, the prize money must be distributed to a business entity associated with the competing concept.  If no such business entity exists, the team must form an entity associated with the competing concept in order to receive the prize money.

Please direct all questions to:

Lisa Reineck



Eligibility Requirements                                                                  

  • The competition is open to ventures headquartered in Central Florida, including the following counties: Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Polk, Lake, Volusia, and Brevard.

    • If the venture is headquartered outside of the region, a Rollins affiliate (alumni, faculty, staff or student) must be a member of the management team and an equity holder. 

  • Revenues generated by the proposed venture must not have exceeded $100,000 over the life of the venture as of December 31, 2019.

  • The proposed venture must not have raised more than $100,000 in debt or equity financing from any source other than management team members as of December 31, 2019. Teams must clearly disclose the amounts and sources of all capital raised in their entries.

  • Submissions and presentations must be the original work of the competition teams.

  • All ventures must adhere to legal and ethical standards.

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