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 reserves the rights to update, add, or subtract from these guidelines at any time and may deny submission of a business plan 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. 

Students participate in workshops to learn how to start a business using the Business Model Canvas, to create prototypes and gain customer feedback; they work with coaches and network over an eight month period, culminating in the venture competition day, March 28, 2014. 

For the third 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.

New this year is a new category awards for the "Best Lifestyle Business" and an increase in the award value for the "Most Impact on Michigan Award". 

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 by registering in "i-Start" and uploading the Business Model Forms as directed in "i-Start" by 5:00 p.m. Wednesday,  December 4, 2013.  

2.     The written executive summary and financial chart  must be completed in i-Start no later than January 22, 2014 by 5:00 p.m.  The format for these is in i-Start.

3.     CMU teams must have their Plans reviewed at the CMU writing center prior to February 7, 2013, and submit  their signed confirmation of such to the IBIE office, Grawn 164 by 5:00 p.m. on February 7, 2014. 

4.     The written Business Model Plan is due February 26, 2014 by 5:00 p.m., uploaded in i-Start.  The format template is provided in i-Start. NOTE - THE BUSINESS PLAN CAN NOT EXCEED 10 PAGES IN WRITTEN CONTENT WITH AN ADDITIONAL 10 PAGES OF SUPPLEMENTAL OR ADDITIONAL RESOURCES (KNOWN AS AN APPENDIX)​.


1.     Team Composition

a.      This is a competition 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 2013 or Spring 2014 semester(s).

b.     The team leader must be an active participant in the venture, as determined by the competition committee.  Examples of strong evidence of active participation are:  significant ownership (majority or controlling) equity in the venture; and/or a key management role in the venture. 

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 2013 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 7, 2014.

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.

3.     Nature of Ventures

a.     This competition is for new, independent ventures in the start-up ideation, early growth or seed stages that would 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.

b.     Previously existing businesses with current sales greater than $ 10,000 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 should be part of the business structure.


4.     Signature Required

a.      Each team must submit a signed  "Intent to Participate" form to the Isabella Bank Institute for Entrepreneurship (IBIE), Grawn 164   by 5:00 p.m. December 4, 2013. and register their team in i-Start by the same time. 

b.      Each team must register in i-Start by December 4, 2013. 

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 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 28, 2014 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Check back for details

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.  The judging panel will have ten minutes for Q&A.  

3.      The pitching round is a two minute pitch, no Q&A.  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.


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