14th Annual West Virginia Collegiate Student Business Plan Competition

Welcome to the 14th annual West Virginia Statewide Collegiate Business Plan Competition. The competition offers a platform to college students around the state the unique opportunity to make a business idea come to life with the support of state institutions of higher education and seasoned business professionals from around the country.

Goal: To work collaboratively with a mission to help move the state forward by engaging young minds to solve West Virginia’s greatest issues. The future of our state is at hand, and we are working to involve young talent from across the state to share their ideas. We will provide students with the education, skills, contacts, and motivation necessary to create a viable, start-up company in West Virginia. Two (2) grand prize packages consisting of $10,000 cash, consulting services, and legal services are awarded to the top team in each category:

Lifestyle and Hospitality - Products or services that are part of daily life or relevant to hospitality, restaurants, hotels, tourism or related fields. They can be the introduction of new products or services, or new methods or techniques of existing products or services.

STEM and Innovation - Products or services with an emphasis in science, technology, engineering, math, energy, and healthcare, or any new innovations. They can be the introduction of new products or services, or new methods or techniques of existing products or services.

In addition to the two grand prize packages, the competition awards an additional $20,000 of at-large prize money. The judges award $10,000 of at-large prize money to any finalist team(s) and a student board awards the other $10,000 donated by ZinnStarter. Ray Zinn created ZinnStarter in 2016 to support early-stage entrepreneurs to foster startups.

To get started, check out all of the downloads below, then click SUBMIT YOUR IDEA HERE (at the top of the page) to submit your idea into the 2019-20 Collegiate Business Plan Competition!


Getting Started

Use these resources to get acquainted with the Business Model Canvas before submitting your business idea!



  • Any full-time college student attending a four-year, degree-granting West Virginia institution OR a full-time community college student at a West Virginia degree granting institution. *Open to all majors! Full time status will be verified.
  • Students participating in university-approved co-op programs are considered to be full-time students for the purpose of this competition.
  • Students that graduate in December 2019 are eligible to compete, but MUST attend all mandatory functions related to the competition during the spring of 2020.
  • To be eligible for advancement in the competition, all submitted business proposals must be registered and headquartered in the state of West Virginia.

Important Dates:

  • November 15, 2019 - Round One submissions due BY NOON
  • December 2, 2019 - Semifinalists notified
  • January 24, 2020 - Feasibility Studies due BY NOON
  • January 31, 2020 - Semifinals @ Fairmont State University
  • February 22, 2020 - Workshop @ West Virginia University
  • March 26, 2020 - Final Business Plans due BY NOON
  • April 2, 2020 - Final Competition via Zoom
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