Business Plan Competition Frequently Asked Questions
WHO CAN ENTER THE COMPETITION?
The YEP Business Plan Competition is open to Napa, Sonoma, and Marin County high school and college age students — youth between 14 to 27 years of age — who want to explore the world of business. Business Plans submitted for the competition will be divided into two divisions – High School and College. Age of participants is at time of the business plan submission deadline.
WHAT SHOULD A BUSINESS PLAN INCLUDE?
HOW ARE BUSINESS PLANS JUDGED?
Completed business plans are reviewed by a team of professional experts. This team reads through the business plans and rates them according to a number of criteria – i.e. the Rubric. The top 5 business plans in the high school category and top 5 plans in the college category are chosen to go on to the competition.
These top 10 teams (5 high school, 5 college) are already winners and now compete for ‘place’ through presenting their business plans. That is, the top teams present their plans in front of a panel of community judges. Using the same rubric, the judges rate the business plans and award the winners from first to 5th place for the high school and college categories.
WHAT ARE THE PRIZES?
Winners receive cash prizes and there are 6 winners in all: 3 College and 3 High School. All finalists chosen to present are already winners and the final competition determines which place they will take.
There’s more than just the money though – the competition is a great opportunity! You can gain great skills and maybe even come up with a plan for your future business!
HOW CAN I KEEP UP-TO-DATE ON THE COMPETITION AND WHAT'S HAPPENING?
- Sign up for YEP News emails on our website (see top of this webpage)
MUST I SUBMIT A PLAN AS PART OF A TEAM?
No, you do not have to submit your business plan as part of a team – you may submit your plan solo. Most of our entrants are teams. If you submit a plan by yourself, you will also present your plan solo.
MUST PARTICIPANTS/TEAM MEMBERS BE IN HIGH SCHOOL OR COLLEGE?
No, the age range is 14 to 27 years of age, it does not matter if you are in school:
- High school contestants must be in high school or of high school age.
- All others must enter the college category (no older than 27 years).
WHAT IS THE DEADLINE TO ENTER?
For 2017-18, the deadline to submit your finished business plan is Thursday, Dec 14 at 4pm.
For more details, see the schedule page.
HOW DO I SUBMIT MY ENTRY?
All submissions are due by 4pm at Napa Valley College on the due date. For the 2017-18 competition, online submission opens November 20 and closes on December 14.
To submit your entry, go to Ideator.com and create a profile, then upload your plan! If you have any questions, call 707-256-7250.
DO I HAVE TO PRESENT IF I MAKE IT AS A FINALIST?
Yes, to win the Business Plan Competition, the entrant needs to present. If you are part of a team, though, not all members need present – only one of the team is required to present. Remember, once you make it as a finalist, you have already won, but now you are competing for the big prize!
WHEN DO THE WINNERS RECEIVE THEIR PRIZES?
The lucky winners will receive their cold, hard cash (or checks that is) within a month. Checks will be sent and received by winners in February.
I TEACH A (HIGH SCHOOL OR COLLEGE) CLASS AND AM INTERESTED IN OFFERING THIS OPPORTUNITY TO MY STUDENTS? CAN YOU HELP ME?
YES, as long as your school is in Napa, Sonoma, or Marin Counties:
- Contact us at 707-256-7250. We can arrange a school visit and tell your students about the competition. We can also provide mentors to help them in-class as they work on their business plans! All in-class time should be arranged in October, at the latest.
CAN I ENTER MORE THAN ONE BUSINESS PLAN?
YES, you may enter more than one business plan into the competition, so long as any business plan you submit is your personal work and meets the criteria for the competition.
It’s fun to see so many good ideas in a room all at once!
A great experience. I learned a lot and plan to enter again (and win!) next year.