The intent of this competition is to expose students to real world experiences and to enhance their entrepreneurial skills while expanding career options after graduation to include entrepreneurship and starting their own company.

The competition is open to all faculty- or mentor-sponsored, full-time and part-time undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at any of Oklahoma’s universities or colleges. Students who graduate in December prior to the competition are still eligible to compete.

The role of the Advisor for the purpose of the competition is largely administrative. The Advisor provides confirmation of the eligibility of the students, enforces competition rules, and is a point of contact for the competition managers. In addition, they are expected to provide guidance in researching, writing and presenting the business plan. Advisors can be faculty members or community mentors.

It is not the intent of the competition to be a turnkey commercialization program. In most cases entrepreneurs need years of professional experience before launching a new venture.

Business Plan Requirements

- The business plan must be for a high growth seed, start-up, or early stage venture and must address the entire business concept including implementation. Plans must have an unique or competitive advantage.

- At least one team member must have a key role in the company’s management team.

- Ineligible are proposals for the buy-out or expansion of an existing company, tax-shelter opportunities, franchise, real estate syndications, and other consulting projects and analyses.

- Teams composed of at least one student enrolled in the graduate school must compete in the graduate competition even if undergraduates are members of the team. If they graduate in December prior to year of competition they are still eligible to compete.

- The business plan may commercialize a new technology product, service, or process, or apply an existing technology in a novel way. This could include an application of technology in the production or distribution of industrial or consumer goods or in retail or service business.

Technology-based, for the purpose of this competition, means any one of the following:

  • Healthcare
    This encompasses the life sciences broadly, including pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and medical devices. Subsets of the category include life systems technologies, nutraceuticals, and cosmeceuticals.
  • Information Technology/Communications
    Information technology refers to anything relating to computing and the retrieval, storage and transmission of data, including networking, hardware, software, the Internet or the people who work in these technologies. It can include Internet retail concepts (eCommerce), Web apps, electronics,robotics and applied mechanics. Communications includes telecommunications, devices for transmitting and receiving voice and data, both wired and wireless as well as networks that tie different devices together. Subsets of both information technology and communications can include systems for communicating between health care databases, storing medical information or ways of collecting and processing payment information.
  • Manufacturing, material sciences and transportation
    Manufacturing includes both the process and the machinery used to turn raw materials into a finished product.  Material sciences are important to many engineering fields such as electronics, aerospace, telecommunications, information processing, nuclear power and energy conversion. It includes materials composed of metals, ceramics, plastics and carbon-based nanoparticles.  Transportation includes vehicles that move people and cargo, as well as systems and devices that enhance vehicles or assist in transportation. That can include roads, rails, air, water and even space.
  • Energy and Environmental
    Energy refers to technologies and processes that enable the efficient recovery of oil and gas or the generation and delivery of power through alternative means such as wind, sun and bioenergy sources that are derived from plant-based or waste materials.  Environmental, also known as “green technology,” includes devices, materials and techniques for reusing, recycling, reducing or reclaiming of resources, reducing energy consumption, etc.

- The business plan and presentation must represent ONLY the original work of each official team member indicating them as the authors of the plan. Business plans developed through previous programs or classes of which other students, mentors or interns have developed presentations or plans on the same technology are not eligible.

Useful Links:
Forms, Scorecards and Applications The Paulsen Award Application
Guidelines Sample Business Plan
Sample Deal Summary Resources
The Entrepreneur’s Handbook