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Business Plan Competition



Details and Information

February 6

Mass e-mail to all WKU students


February 14

Deadline to receive initial Round 1 abstract proposal, 150 words or less, due before 12:01 AM February 15 submitted by email to cei@wku.edu

  • Team of one (1) or more only welcomed and encouraged. There is no limit to the number of persons on a team.
  • Describe your venture in terms of how it will create value, for whom, and prove as best you can that it could succeed.
  • Due to the number of entries, there can be no extension of deadlines. Please do not ask for modification of contest rules after a deadline has passed. Please ask any questions of   Krist Schell or Raja Bhattacharya  by visiting the Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation in Grise 234.
  • This contest is open to any fully matriculated WKU student.
  • You must present in person
  • Rules and dates may be changed or amended as required by Contest organizers

February 15

Round 2 Qualifiers announced by close of business on February 15 via e-mail notification.

Round 2 qualifiers will be able to confer with Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation personnel  for coaching and presentation guidance before the 12:01AM March 4 deadline.

March 4

Due date for plan submission to Round 3 by 12:01 AM March 4.

  • Must submit by email to cei@wku.edu
  • All entries must be in .PDF format
  • You must use the Kentucky State Business Plan format from: http://www.ideastateu.com/resources.aspx, chose the “Judging” link in the center of the page. Read the criteria for “Plan” and “Concept” to understand the differences and then make your selection.
  • You must choose and indicate your preferred competition category from among these four options:
    • Graduate Plan: (at least 1 graduate student on team)
    • Graduate Concept: (at least 1 graduate student on team)
    • Undegraduate Plan: (no graduate student on team)
    • Undegraduate Concept: (no graduate student on team)

March 8

Round 3 Qualifiers notified by e-mail by close of business Friday, March 8. 

Round 3 Qualifiers will be able to confer with Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation personnel  for coaching and presentation guidance before the March 27 Competition.

March 27

Round 3 Qualifiers present at WKU Business Plan Presentation Competition; time/location TBD.

Cash awards of up to $1,500 will be given to winning entries in 1st through 3rd place. From the pool of those ventures presenting on March 27 .Ventures will be selected to represent WKU at the state-wide competition on April 12 & 13 in Lexington. Finishing in the top three places does not guarantee automatic inclusion on to the state-wide team.

April 12

Kentucky State Business Plan Competition in Lexington, Kentucky.

Competitors selected from WKU Business Plan Competition presenting on March 27 will leave in the morning of Friday, April 12 and return in the evening of Saturday, April 13. Transportation, lodging, and evening meal provided. Please visit www.ideastateu.com for details.

Don't miss out on the opportunity to turn you dream into reality. The CEI Business Plan Competition is open to all WKU undergraduate and graduate students in good standing who want the opportunity to turn their business ideas into money.

Beginning in 2008, the WKU business plan competition has consistently launched student ventures from dreams to reality. One of the first competitor's ventures is going strong and working in five states. Last year, over 70 student projects competed, an almost 200% increase over the year before. Cumulative prize winnings and awards to WKU students from the beginning of this initiative in 2008 are approximately $65,000.

Multiple ventures have gone on to be part of the WKU Student Business Accelerator which is a wonderful opportunity to get physical space, expert consultation and take your venture into reality. One venture has gone beyond the initial start-up phase and received $12,000 in initial funding and shipped over 30,000 production units in less than a year after starting. There is no application period, so come by the Center at any time.

If you're interested in the WKU business plan competition please stop by the Center for Entrepreneurship in Grise 234 and ask for more information. Detailed competition information will be mailed out in late January. Contestants will be automatically entered into consideration to represent WKU at the Kentucky State IdeaStateU competition held in mid-April of every year.

2012 Winners

Wining ideas were awarded for business plans and concepts at both the graduate and undergraduate level.

Higher Education Associates

Jacob Hildebrant
Venture to provide quality control for online education.


Harold Maxwell
Combined hydroponics and aquaculture operation; now entering the second year of operation.

Impact Energy

Ben Arch and Nick Burnett
Gas turbine electrical generation.

Looking Glass Bookstore

Elisa Levine
Combination café and bookstore




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 Last Modified 3/6/18