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Burton D. Morgan Business Model Competition

This year the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship at Purdue University is organizing the Annual Business Model Competition. The new competition format will provide participants with an opportunity to develop and improve transferrable skills that will serve them well within this specific competition, but also be valuable throughout their career journey.  The workshops, seminars and training provided for participants will be delivered by different organizations across Purdue University (Purdue Foundry, Krannert School of Management, Purdue Polytechnic, Communications, etc).  This new element to the Business Model Competition will introduce the students to new frameworks, methodologies and approaches that they can apply in future endeavors. The annual business model competition encourages Purdue students to develop their unique ideas for new products or services into a profitable business. Student teams learn how to write an effective business plan while competing for cash prizes.

  • Important Dates for Finalists

    Event Location

    Purdue University Honors College
    Great Hall

    1101 3rd Street, West Lafayette, IN 47906


    Thursday, February 22 - Friday, February 23, 2018

    Thursday, February 22, 2018 – Social Track

    1:00 to 2:00 p.m. Event Kickoff
    • Opening Remarks
      • Dean Rhonda Phillips, Honors College
    • Introduction to Event
      • Greg Deason, Senior Vice President and Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
    • Keynote Speaker
      • Neli Vazquez-Rowland, Co-Founder and President – A Safe Haven Foundation
    2:00 to 3:30 p.m. Social Track: Four Finalists (15 minute pitch + 5 minute Q&A)
    3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Fireside Chat with Neli Vazquez-Rowland
    4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Student Exhibition Booths

    Thursday Evening Event

    7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

    FoundryX and T-6.6

    @ MatchBOX co-working studio

    17 S 6th St, Lafayette, IN 47901

    Friday, February 23, 2018 – Small Business Track

    9:00 to 10:00 a.m.

    Keynote Speaker

    Special Foundry Grounds:

    Brad Niemeier, Founder – Azzip Pizza, Purdue Hospitality and Tourism Management Alumnus and 2012 Business Plan Competition Recipient

    (Donuts and Coffee will be served)

    10:00 to 11:30 a.m. Small Business Track: Four Finalists (15 minute pitch + 5 minute Q&A)
    11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Student Exhibition Booths

    Friday, February 23, 2018 – Open Track

    1:00 to 2:00 p.m.

    Keynote Speaker

    Michael Stoppelman, Angel Investor, Purdue Computer Science Alumnus

    2:00 to 3:30 p.m. Open Track: Four Finalists (15 minute pitch + 5 minute Q&A)
    3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Student Exhibition Booths (Light snacks will be served)
    4:30 to 6:00 p.m. Fireside Chat with Brad Niemeier and Michael Stoppelman
    6:00 to 6:30 p.m. Awards Ceremony
    6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Networking/Closing (Hors d’oeuvres will be served)
  • Scoring & Ranking

    The business model competition is focused on using a structured, methodical approach to validate assumptions and refine/improve the business model for a new idea or business concept.  This approach differs from a traditional business plan competition in that the creation of a business plan (while excluding input and feedback from possible customers) in and of itself isn’t the best approach for launching a business.  There’s recently been a movement and embrace of Agile and Lean Startup methodologies, which are a result of understanding that early stage companies are in a “search for a sustainable business model” mode rather than “plan and execute on a validated business model” mode.  Because of this, the new format for business competition will focus on the development of a business model and validation of that through completing customer discovery interviews and first hand data collection about the key business hypothesis. 

    The criteria outlined below will be used to evaluate how well each team structured their hypothesis, the depth and thoroughness of their customer discovery process and the resulting outcomes and findings. 

    Business Hypothesis (20%)

    1. Were the initial hypothesis succinctly stated and included in the relevant parts of the Business Model Canvas?
    2. Did the team utilize the Business Model Canvas to update and adjust hypothesis throughout the course of the competition?
    3. Did the team prioritize the most relevant and critical hypothesis (Value Proposition & Customer Segment) early?

    Testing Approach & Customer Discovery Outcomes (40%)

    1. Did the team organize their data collection and customer discovery approach in a well-planned manner?
    2. Were the results of the customer discovery process thorough and complete?
      • Quality: Results of interviews resulted in clear validation (or invalidation) of key hypothesis
      • Quantity: Sufficient data points within specific customer segment(s)
    3. Did the team prioritize the most relevant and critical hypothesis (Value Proposition & Customer Segment) for early validation?

    Results & Findings (30%)

    1. Did the team clearly state their insights and learning, how those validated or invalidated a hypothesis, and if that informed any pivots (changes)?
    2. If changes were made, was the pivot the team made supported by evidence or did they fail to pivot when the evidence clearly stated it?
    3. Does the team have significant evidence that the solution is validated (i.e., letters of intent, purchase contracts, sales, partners, etc.)?

    Overall Market & Opportunity (10%)

    1. Has the team detailed the possible market size and magnitude of the market?
    2. Are the dynamics of the market and industry appealing for entry?

Click Here Download the Competition Schedule

For questions about the Burton D. Morgan Business Model Competition please visit the link below.

Burton Morgan