2018 Competition Guidelines

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1 The BMO Financial Group Business Plan Competition 2018 Competition Guidelines International Business and Entrepreneurship Centre University of New Brunswick, Fredericton Campus

2 2 Table of Contents Table of Contents... 2 Competition Overview... 3 Eligibility... 3 Confidentiality and Agreements... 4 Entry and Competition Process Outline... 4 Schedule of Events... 5 The Executive Summary... 5 Helpful Hints and Evaluation Questions... 6 Executive Summary... 6 Business Purpose... 6 Market... 6 Management... 6 Finance... 7 General... 7 The Presentation... 7 The Elevator Pitch... 7 Evaluation Criteria and Judging... 8 Team Business Plan & Pitch Presentation and Venture Viability Evaluation Breakdown... 9 Elevator Pitch Evaluation Breakdown... 9

3 3 Competition Overview The BMO Financial Group Apex Business Plan Competition creates an atmosphere for entrepreneurial-minded university students to come together to celebrate talent, encourage entrepreneurship as a viable option for the future, prepare for the challenges of a volatile global marketplace and, most importantly, have fun. This competition gives participants a chance to develop, direct, organize and present a business plan pitch to a panel of judges. These judges will select the most plausible and promising pitch in each track and award cash prizes to each successful team. Cash prizes will also be awarded to the first and second runners-up as well as individual awards, such as Viewer s Choice Award. The BMO Financial Group Apex Business Plan Competition is proud to announce that there is over $19,000 in cash and prizes available for successful teams in the competition. The BMO Financial Group Apex Business Plan Competition is hosted by the University of New Brunswicks, International Business & Entrepreneurship Centre (IBEC) within the Faculty of Business Administration. This year s competition is being coordinated by IBEC, under the guidance of Karen Murdock, Director of IBEC. In addition, it involves a number of faculty and staff members, as well as student volunteers. This competition is a tremendous undertaking that has been made possible only through the generous support from sponsors, judges, faculty and administration of the participating schools, and the community. A special thank you to BMO Financial Group, our major contributor. Eligibility The BMO Financial Group Apex Business Plan Competition is open to all Canadian and International graduate and undergraduate students, and to alumni students who graduated from a post-secondary institute within a year from the competition. Each applicant can register either individually or in a team consisting of a maximum of four members. Teams are required to compete in the division dictated by the highest educational level in the group. For example, if a team consists of two undergraduate members and one graduate member, the team is required to compete at the graduate level. Each team must submit only one executive summary to the competition. Businesses that have been previously submitted to the competition are not eligible. Teams are required to have personally conducted the business plan analysis and prepared all financial projections for up to two years. Each team must prepare a one minute "Elevator Pitch" to present to a panel of judges on Thursday, January 25 th. The elevator pitch should be presented by only one member or each team, and it must summarize the business that your team submitted.

4 4 Confidentiality and Agreements All organizers and judges that will have access to the business pitches and executive summaries agree verbally to a confidentiality agreement. As a competitor, you are responsible to protect any information concerning your business that you share with mentors, team members, and fellow participants of the competition. UNB s BMO Financial Group Apex Business Plan Competition takes no responsibility for unwanted disclosure in these instances. Ultimately, protection of sensitive materials is the sole responsibility of the teams participating in the competition. Entry and Competition Process Outline Entrants must submit Participant and Team Registration Forms no later than Tuesday, December 12 th, 2017 by 4:00 p.m. AST. Registration forms can be downloaded at: and submitted electronically or faxed to: University of New Brunswick Faculty of Business Administration International Business & Entrepreneurship Centre (IBEC) PO 4400 Fredericton, NB E3B 5A3 Fax: NOTE: Please ensure that any dietary restrictions or allergies are identified on the registration form. Further questions may be addressed to The following items are also due upon registration on Tuesday, December 12 th, 2017 by 4:00 p.m. AST: An electronic copy of the 4-6 page summary of the business plan Failure to submit the above documents by the deadline will disqualify your team from the competition. NOTE: Teams must bring with them to the competition a copy of their 2010 PowerPoint presentation on a USB digital storage device. Teams will also be required to deliver a one-minute verbal pitch of their business plan to a panel of judges, called an "Elevator Pitch". All elevator pitches will be videotaped and prize money will be awarded for the best pitch. Media Release forms will be available for signature at the registration desk on the day of the competition. These forms grant UNB Audio Visual Services, IBEC and legal representatives the irrevocable and unrestricted right to use and publish photographs taken on the days of the competition for editorial, advertising, and promotional purposes.

5 5 Schedule of Events The finalized agenda outlining the schedule of events will be provided to each team upon registration. This year, the BMO Financial Group Apex Business Plan Competition will be held over the course of three days. The first day, Wednesday, January 24th is reserved for the video taping of the Elevator Pitches and an evening meet & greet with competition organizers, judges, sponsors and competitors. The second day, Thursday, January 25 th will be a full-day event that will include a welcome ceremony, practice rounds, the UNB Apex Qualifier and the Elevator Pitch Competition. There will also be a reception that will allow students and entrepreneurs the opportunity to network with universities, financial institutes, and business agencies. Practice rooms will be available for teams to book upon registration. Each team is responsible for providing their own laptop and back-up materials for team practice. On day three, Friday, January 26 th each team will be required to present their business idea through a PowerPoint presentation to a panel of judges. After these preliminary competition rounds, the top teams in each track will present their business ideas in front of a live audience and a larger panel of judges to determine who will take home the grand prize. The day will end with our gala awards dinner and exclusive after-party! The Executive Summary The 4-6 page business plan summary is included to provide judges with a concise snap-shot of the overall business plan. It is important for competitors to include only information that is critical to the reader s understanding of the business concept. The summary should include (but is not limited to): Brief Introduction Competitive/Market Analysis Product/Services Summary Market Entry Summary Management Summary Financial analysis including capital requirements and use of funds Financial Statements including: Pro forma cash flow or break even analysis Income Statement Balance Sheet

6 6 Helpful Hints and Evaluation Questions Although the following questions are not all encompassing, they can be used as a guideline for items to consider when developing your executive summary, elevator pitch, and business plan pitch. Feel free to cover any other aspects of the business that you feel necessary in your submitted proposal. Executive Summary Does the executive summary provide a well-rounded overview of the business plan in no more than one page? Business Purpose Why does the opportunity exist and why is now the time to take advantage of it? Is the business opportunity realistic and presented clearly? What is provided and how will the business work to provide it? What steps will be taken to protect your product/service? Are patents necessary? What niche/need will your product/service fulfill in the marketplace? Has the mechanics of the product/service been well thought out? Has a prototype been developed? How will the product/service be distributed? Has there been any research and development done on the product/service? How will the product/service be packaged or delivered to customer? Does the product/service offer any warranties or guarantees? Market Are there any barriers to entry? Who is your target market? Justify why they are your target audience Have you performed a customer profile? Have market size estimates and growth trends been assessed? Has the team tested their product(s) or service(s) in the market; or has market research been performed to determine product/service demand? What is the marketing mix? Product, price, place and promotion How do you plan to communicate/advertise your product to the marketplace? (Advertising budget) What is the expected growth rate of your product/service over the next three years? What is the selling price and why have you decided on that price? Does your target market demonstrate any price sensitivity? Who are the competitors (location, size, products, strengths, weaknesses, age, sales tactics, pricing, financial position) and is the business capable of defending itself? How long will it take to bring the product(s) or service(s) to market? What is the anticipated date of market entry? Have you come up with tentative timelines for implementation? Management Does the team have a management structure that will be successful? What is the commitment level of the founders and what risks or investments have they

7 7 made? Will the founders create obstacles to success? Are the titles, responsibilities, salaries, and ownership of founders and team members clear? Are there any necessary outside parties or other employees that will need to be hired? (i.e. accountants, attorneys, bankers, insurance agents, or other external support) Finance How much capital is required and is that estimate justified? How will the business find the initial capital necessary? (Private investment, grants, shares from interested investors) Does the business plan clearly outline the spending of any capital raised? (Your pro forma cash flows statement should demonstrate this) What are the expenses in the company? Are they in line with sales and designed to advance the company rather than enrich the founders? How long until the company breaks even? Until positive cash flow? (break even analysis) What is the business exit strategy? General Do the team members present themselves professionally, clearly, and in an organized fashion? Why will this company be successful in 5 years? Why will this company be successful in 10 years? The Presentation Each team will be required to present their business idea to a panel of judges with the aid of a PowerPoint presentation. Equipment necessary for the presentation will be provided. This will be a closed session with only the team members, judges, timekeepers, and coaches present. The presentations are limited to twelve minutes, which will be followed by a fifteen minute question and answer period. Therefore the presentation must be well organized and emphasize only the most important features of the business. If these times are exceeded the team s total score will be reduced accordingly. The presentation information does not have to be in any particular order. It is important that you first build enthusiasm for your idea and then prove that you can be successful in the market. Organize your presentation to emphasize the most important features of your business in the time allotted. NOTE: Not all team members have to present; if they so choose, each team may select one or more members to represent the team for the presentation. The Elevator Pitch Imagine this: You are in an elevator with a business executive with whom

8 8 you have been trying to arrange a meeting with for months. The executive is not able to set up a meeting due to his or her busy schedule, but is willing to listen to you for the duration of the elevator ride. You must convince this attentive business leader to invest in your product/service in one minute. Props are permitted but no other visual aids are available. Teams will be required to deliver a one-minute verbal pitch of their business plan to a panel of judges and live audience on Thursday, January 25 th. UNB's Audio Visual Services will videotape the elevator pitches. It is important to note that each team must select one person to present the elevator pitch on behalf of the team. The Elevator Pitch will prepare the teams for future presentations and will provide the opportunity to showcase the teams' business ideas. A panel of judges will evaluate the pitches and an award will be given based on the teams' ability to sell their product/service to the audience. Judges will be looking for enthusiasm, creativity, persuasion, and public speaking ability. We will be announcing all UNB Qualifing teams to advance into the finals, those teams will be eligible to present their elevator pitches to the panel of judges as well as the public. There will be a Best Elevator Pitch title awarded by the judges and a Best Elevator Pitch: Viewer s Choice title awarded by the audience. The winners of the Elevator Pitch will be announced on Friday, January 26 th at the Gala Awards Dinner. Friday January 26 th the live finals will be open to all judges, teams, and the public. Only the top three teams from each track will be presenting during this competiton. These final teams will compete head to head for the chance to be named First Place Winner" in their track. First, second, and third place winners will be announced that same night at the gala awards dinner. Evaluation Criteria and Judging The panel of judges consists of venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and other successful and knowledgeable business leaders. Judges will not be affiliated with, or involved in the preparation or funding of, any participating team. The decision of the judges will be final and will not be subject to appeal. The overall selection of winners is based on the viability and likely success of the business. The judges want to see a business concept that is realistic and viable in today s volatile marketplace. Other dynamics should include an understanding of the market, a complete set of essential skills to run the business, and knowledge of the challenges and commitment level required for success. The most important evaluation criterion is to articulate through the presentation and the business plan, an opportunity that demonstrates a strong market outlook, solid prospects for full-scale commercialization and the likelihood to attract investments. Judges want to see a clear, realistic, and flexible business strategy combined with a financial strategy that has a viable model and a plan to manage investors.

9 9 Team Business Plan Pitch Presentation and Venture Viability Evaluation Breakdown (100% of overall evaluation) The judges will evaluate the team presentation and venture viability following criteria: Compelling open argument Connects with the audience, displaying enthusiasm and passion Problem, target market and pain factor clearly presented Benefit and competitive advantage explained Understanding and clearly differentiating the product/service from its competition Growth potential, opportunity and viability of Product/Service Financials clearly presented/ Prospective financial return Questions & Answers handled confidently and effectively Elevator Pitch Evaluation Breakdown The judges will evaluate the elevator pitch following criteria: Grabs your attention with a hook/interesting opener Clearly identified self, company name, qualifications and the role in the company Explains the need/niche that their product or service will fulfill Identifies key competitors and stated competitive advantage Offered clear and credible revenue and profit projections Stated the investment needed and how it will be used Connects with the audience, displaying heart and enthusiasm; convincing and confident Clear articulation, good posture and movement, good eye contact Presents an investible business idea Did not exceed 60 seconds; presentation made at a reasonable pace

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