Entrepreneurship Foundation: Fall 2013 Connecticut Business Plan Competition Scheduled for December 6, 2013

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Connecticut's own version of "Shark Tank," now in its 15th year, features 12 competing teams from Connecticut colleges and universities pitching their business plans to leading venture capitalists, angel investors and successful entrepreneurs.

The Entrepreneurship Foundation (http://www.entrepreneurshipfoundation.org) announced today that the 15th annual Connecticut Business Plan Competition (fall session) will be taking place on Friday, December 6, 2013, from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in Room N300 at Gateway Community College in New Haven, Connecticut.

The competition, which has taken place twice a year since 1998, pits teams of students from the entrepreneurship programs of more than a dozen Connecticut colleges and universities against each other in a format similar to the popular television show “SharkTank.” Each team prepares a business plan for an entrepreneurial venture – some are “personal” retail and service businesses while others are technology startups that may be expected to attract venture capital investment – and defends the business plan “live” before a panel of entrepreneurs and investors. After each presentation judges grill the students to test their knowledge of the product or service, the market, the competition, the capital required to launch the business, legal and tax issues that may impact the plan, and other matters.

Cash prizes are awarded in a number of categories, including:

  •     Best Business Plan;
  •     Best Business Model;
  •     Best Oral Presentation; and
  •     Best Online Submission (Written Executive Summary).

Competition sponsors also furnish “in kind” awards such as legal and accounting services, space in a business incubator, financial expertise and expert mentoring.

While many teams come from undergraduate entrepreneurship courses, several come from postgraduate business and engineering programs. Winning teams in the past have come from virtually every college and university in Connecticut, including Yale University, Quinnipiac University, Western Connecticut State University (WCSU), the University of Hartford, Gateway Community College, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, the University of New Haven, Fairfield University, the University of Bridgeport, Central Connecticut State University (CCSU), Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU), Sacred Heart University, and the University of Connecticut (UCONN).

Some of the leading entrepreneurs, angel investors and venture capitalists in Connecticut will judge the Fall 2013 competition, including:
Andy Greenawalt, Continuity Control
Bill Kenney, Test My Pitch
Vincent Kiernan, Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP
Derek Koch, CT Next and Independent Software
John Seiffer, Angel Investor Forum and CEO Bootcamp

The competition will be emceed by Cliff Ennico, former host of the PBS television show “MoneyHunt,” author of the nationally syndicated newspaper column “Succeeding in Your Business,” and successful entrepreneur who has personally reviewed tens of thousands of business plans.

According to Ennico, “There is no greater moment of drama than when an entrepreneur pitches his or her plan to a gimlet-eyed group of cynical investors. For many of these students, it’s the first time they’ve ever had to defend their ideas publicly and receive tough criticism. It’s always great to see how some of these kids rise to the challenge, but it’s even greater to see someone who blew it the first time come back in the next competition and knock the judges’ socks off.”

The Entrepreneurship Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Fairfield, Connecticut, provides a variety of educational resources and networking opportunities for entrepreneurs, investors, incubator developers and teachers of entrepreneurship in Connecticut. In addition to the Connecticut Business Plan Competition, the Foundation supports the Connecticut Startup Weekends and the Connecticut Consortium of Entrepreneurship Educators (CCEE).

The Fall 2013 Connecticut Business Plan Competition is open to participating students and their families, faculty members, and the press. Investors and other members of the public who wish to attend the competition should contact Michael Roer at The Entrepreneurship Foundation.

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