Rules & Eligibility

Rules & Eligibility


It is the participant's responsibility to read and to abide by these rules.  Participation in the competition means that the participants have read and agree to these rules.

The CMU College of Business Administration reserves the rights to update, add, or subtract from these guidelines at any time and may deny submission of a business for any or no reason.


The CMU New Venture Competition is a vehicle for students enrolled at CMU to develop a new business or accelerate an existing early stage venture.  This includes ventures based on technology developed by CMU students, faculty, and researchers.  The New Venture Competition provides the opportunity to earn start-up capital and t o connect with experienced entrepreneurs, alumni, business professionals, venture capital experts, angel investors, and community leaders.

Twelve workshop tours scheduled between September and March guide your business model development using the Business Model Generation ( tools and concepts.  Teams have access to funds to create prototypes and do customer validation. They work with mentors, experienced entrepreneurs and business professionals, The competition culminates on March 27, 2015. 

For the fourth year, we welcome aspiring entrepreneurs from Michigan Technological University to join CMU students to further expand the possibilities for start-up business success in Michigan.

Start-Up Capital AWARDS

Best Overall Venture - $ 30,000

Best Social Venture - $ 10,000

Best Technology Venture - $ 10,000

Most Impact on Michigan Venture - $ 10,000

Highest Growth Potential Venture - $ 10,000

Best Lifestyle Venture - $ 5,000

Spirit of Entrepreneurship Venture - In-Kind Services

Pitching Awards:

Best Overall Pitch - $ 1,000

1st Runner Up - $ 500

2nd Runner Up - $ 250

Note – competing teams can only win one award with the exception of the Pitch Competition.





1.     Each team must submit an "Intent to Participate" form and register in Pitchburner by midnight Thursday  December 4, 2014.

2.    The written executive summary and financial chart must be completed no later than 

       January 21, 2015 by 5:00 p.m.  The format for these will be provided in Pitchburner.


3.    CMU teams must have their Plans reviewed at the CMU writing center prior to February 4, 2015, and submit their signed confirmation of such to the IBIE office, Grawn 164 by 3:00 p.m. on February 4, 2015. 

4.    The written Business Model Plan is due February 25, 2015 by 5:00 p.m.  A format will be provided.


1.     Team Composition

a.    This competition is for current undergraduate or graduate level Central Michigan University (CMU) students and through invitation by CMU, Michigan Technological University students (MTU).   The team leader must be a full-time or part-time matriculated student who is currently enrolled in and pursuing a degree program, and who is registered at CMU and/or MTU in the Fall 2014 or Spring 2015 semester(s).

b.    The team leader must have a significant role in the venture, and part of the business structure.  The competition committee reserves the right to review this position when questions arise in this regard.  Examples of strong evidence of significant roles include but aren't limited to:  significant ownership (majority or controlling) equity in the venture; and/or a key management role in the venture as evidenced by written agreement. 

c.    Leadership:  The CMU (or MTU) student must be the leading presenter during the pitch and venture competition presentation.  The business venture and documentation must be the original work of the team members.  The team is expected to conform to the highest standards of honesty and integrity.

d.    At least one member of the team must be on campus and enrolled full-time during the spring 2015 semester.

2.     Team Requirements

a.    Teams should consist of no fewer than two members, and preferably no more than five members.

b.    Teams must work with a mentor/advisor to help them throughout the process.

c.    All CMU teams must have their business venture plans reviewed by the CMU Writing Center prior to February 4, 2015.

d.    Business venture plans must be the original work of the students.  Participants may use reference materials.

e.    Team members may be a member of only one team in the competition.

f.     All participants must be willing to participate in a variety of promotional activities related to the NVC, including information about their business to support CMU MIIE grant commitments. This continues beyond the date of the competition.

3.     Nature of Ventures

a.    This competition is for new, independent ventures in the start-up ideation, early growth or seed stages with the intention to have a positive impact on the business environment in Michigan.  Generally excluded are the following:  buy-outs, expansions of existing companies, real estate syndications, tax shelters, franchises, and licensing agreements for distribution in a different geographical area.  Licensing technologies from universities or research labs are encouraged, assuming they have not been previously commercialized. Students need to be a significant part of the business structure as noted in team composition.

b.    Previously existing businesses with current sales greater than $ 25,000 will not be considered.

c.    Teams that have received outside financing or institutional funding (Venture capital, private equity, etc.) greater than $ 50,000 are ineligible. 

d.    Consistent with the design and purpose of the competition, CMU will evaluate the business venture plans based on the criteria presented and will not accept plans that it deems, in its sole discretion, to be unethical or contrary to local, state or federal law.  In addition, CMU reserves the right to reject any business plan for reasons including, but not limited to: the plan, or any part of the plan: is deemed to be in violation of the CMU Code of Ethics; violates any local, state or national law; or does not present sufficient content.

e.    Teams need not have invented the product(s) around which their plans are based, but permission to use the intellectual property involved must be secured from the intellectual property (IP) owner prior to plan submission.  Team members must be part of the business structure.


4.     Signature/Registration Required

a.    Each team must submit a signed "Intent to Participate" form (available in Pitchburner)  to the Isabella Bank Institute for  Entrepreneurship (IBIE), Grawn 164   by 5:00 p.m. December 4, 2014. 

b.     Each team must register in Pitchburner – see website or Guidebook app for link to site.


5.     Awards and Rewards

a.    Award money will be made payable to the business entity the winning team forms (e.g. a corporation, LLC, etc.).  Winning teams have until June 15 of the competition year to form their business entity.  If the winning team fails to form the business entity and request the award money within the specified period of time, the money remains in the competition fund and is not disbursed.  Teams and their resultant business entities are responsible for any tax consequences of the award.

b.     Members of the winning teams must sign an Award Agreement (see the IBIE office in Grawn 164 for form) and follow the agreement rules.

c.     Competition awards and rewards are intended for teams the judges believe can become significant operating businesses.

d.    Team members must be present for the competition and the awards ceremony to collect the awards     and rewards.


DAY OF COMPETITION - Friday, March 27, 2015 (8:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.)

Check back for details as these may change

1.    The Day of Competition will be divided into three rounds and one pitching round.

2.    During the first three rounds, the team has ten minutes to present an overview/summary of their business venture to a judging panel using slides.  The panel provides feedback and asks questions of the team.

3.   The pitching round is a two minute pitch(no slides). All competition teams are expected to pitch.  The presentation must be student led.

4.    All team members should be present for each round and for the awards program.