2017 WSB Business Plan Competition

The Wisconsin School of Business Business Plan Competition is an exciting opportunity for UW–Madison students to develop and present business plans for new and emerging ventures! Students compete for nearly $30,000 in cash prizes! Participants have leveraged the knowledge, experience, and exposure gained from the competition to form successful companies and nonprofit organizations.


To register for the 2017 competition, please select "Apply/Login" and then complete and "attach" an entry form (available below under "Downloads") by February 24, 2017.



The Wisconsin School of Business Business Plan Competition (“contest,” “competition”) provides students an opportunity to develop and pitch a startup idea to a panel of outside judges  for cash prizes.

The competition is open to students enrolled in the current academic year. Students who graduate in the middle of the academic year (December) are eligible to participate if they are willing to pitch their venture on the competition day at the Wisconsin School of Business.

Only undergraduate, graduate, professional and students with special status enrolled at UW–Madison may participate in the competition. At least one student must be a member of the management team, although non-students may serve as members of the management team and participate in planning the venture. Only students from UW-Madison, however, may participate in the final presentation and receive cash awards from the University.

Students’ venture idea plans and presentations must represent the work of the students on the team. The student(s) retain the rights to the plans regarding its use prior to and following the contest. The plans may not contain any knowingly false information about the background, experience, or education of the team or the performance of the venture’s proposed or existing products/services.

While a student may compete individually, he or she may submit only one plan to the competition. We strongly discourage students from forming teams larger than 5 people in total.

The WSB Business Plan Competition is for ventures and proposed ventures initiated by, led by, or owned by students.

Student presentations are open to the public, and students are encouraged to use discretion when sharing technical information about their products and services in public venues to help protect any intellectual property rights they might have.

The competition administrators reserve the right to remove a student(s) who enter business plans for ventures or proposed ventures that are offensive, illegal, and/or that are inconsistent with the values of the UW-Madison.

The determination of eligibility by the competition administrators and the allocation of prize money by judges are final.


Registration due

Friday, February 24, 2017 by 12:00 PM, online
Teams register for the contest by submitting a brief registration form on this site by noon.

The registration form includes contact information for team members along with a basic description of the proposed venture:

  1. An overview of the product or service;
  2. The target market and a description of the customers who might value the products/services offered; and
  3. Advantages this business will have over the competition.

Business plans due (registrants)

Friday, March 31, 2017 by 12:00 PM, online
The technology transfer agent for UW-Madsion, WARF, will provide a courtesy review of potential intellectual property issues to teams ahead of the final presentations coming due to help safeguard students' potential intellectual property rights.

Presentation due (registrants)

Wednesday, April 26, 2017 by 12:00 PM, online

To ensure compatibility with technology provided in presentation rooms throughout Grainger Hall, please submit Microsoft PowerPoint or pdf files only. Students should also bring a copy of the presentation on a USB memory stick on competition day as a safeguard against technical issues.

Competition day (public invited)

Friday, April 28, 2017, all day, Wisconsin School of Business.


Need to deepen your knowledge of entrepreneurial practice and business planning? Teams may access presentations and helpful resources from the WARF Entrepreneurons seminars and competition "Seminars for Success."


The AARP Foundation Prize: AARP Foundation is working with struggling individuals age 50 and above by being a force for change on the most serious issues they face today: hunger, housing, income and isolation. Student ventures addressing these needs are eligible for this special prize worth $5,000!

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