Not every circumstance can be anticipated.  i2E, Inc. reserves the right to disqualify any team that violates the rules, regulations or the spirit of the competition.

The competition is open to all full-time and part-time degree or certificate-seeking undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at any of Oklahoma’s universities or colleges. Enrollment includes classes taken during the 2015 summer session(s), 2015 fall semester and/or the 2016 spring semester. Students who have graduated prior to the competition, but were enrolled in any of the above mentioned semesters, will still be eligible to compete. We rely on the student and his or her advisor to verify enrollment criteria. i2E, Inc. reserves the exclusive right to determine the validity of enrollment.

1. Each team is required to have either a faculty member or mentor as an advisor.  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.

The intent of the competition is for winning team members and their advisor to receive the cash awards. A check is written to the team leader or can be divided among team members. A check will also be written to the advisor.

NOTE: Advisors employed by a university or college must provide a copy of written policy, if applicable, at the time of submitting written competition documentation, indicating faculty members are prohibited to receive outside compensation.

2. Each high growth team is required to participate in the Interview process and submit a written business plan. The cumulative score from both will determine the eight semifinalist undergraduate and six graduate finalist teams that will compete in the High Growth oral competition.

3. The competition materials may be prepared under faculty or mentor supervision for credit in a regularly scheduled course or as an independent study. The plan may also be prepared under faculty or mentor supervision with no official credit. Both the plan and the presentation should follow the Official Business Plan Scorecard and Official Oral Presentation Scorecard.

4. Each participating university or college may have one or more teams enter the competition; however each team may submit only one business plan. It is strongly discouraged for team members to participate on more than one team.

5. Teams must fill out the Official Application Form online by 3:00 pm on February 10, 2016. Each team will need to identify one team member as the team leader and one Advisor who will be the point of contact throughout the competition.

6. Either an individual student or a group of students can form a team. The number of eligible students shall not exceed 6 official team members.

7. Graduate and undergraduate students are encouraged to form teams for the purpose of cross-pollination of experience and mentoring opportunities. Teams with at least one member enrolled in graduate school during the academic year must enter in the Graduate Division of the competition.

8. The business plan must be for a new and independent venture in the seed, start-up,or early-growth stages. 

Plans that include proposals for buy-outs, expansions of existing companies, roll-ups, real estate syndications, tax shelters, franchises, licensing agreements for distribution in a different geographical area, spin-outs from existing corporations, and other consulting projects or analyses are not eligible. Non-profit proposals are also not eligible.

Licensing technologies from universities or research labs is encouraged, assuming they have not been commercialized previously.  The business may assume a technology or product/service that has been licensed from another company, private inventor, or university with their written approval. Revenue streams from the business should not be based solely on deriving revenues from the licensing of its own technologies.

9. All competition materials must represent ONLY the original work of each official team member indicating them as the authors of the plan. Materials developed outside of the competition or through previous programs or classes of which other students, mentors or interns have developed presentations or plans on the same technology are not eligible.

Note: Previous efforts to establish the business or participating in business-like activities which include but are not limited to the following: attempts to raise capital, developing and presenting the business plan to potential investors, and conducting significant market research outside of the 2015-2016 academic year will be disqualified.  This includes business plans that were submitted to i2E, Inc. in previous Governor’s Cup competitions.

10.  The business should not have received more than $200,000 in equity-related capital (such as seed capital or institutional funding), or generated more than $100,000 in gross revenue prior to the current academic year.  Revenue generated during a test-marketing project may be excluded from this provision.

11. The business may assume a technology or product/service that has been licensed from another company, private inventor, or university with their written approval. However the projected technology licensing structure and pricing must accurately reflect current market conditions. The business plan must outline the assumed licensing terms for the technology or product/service and incorporate these terms into the financial forecast. The licensing of the technology needs to reasonably be completed within six months from the competition and must be documented in the business plan. Revenue streams from the business should not be based predominantly on deriving revenues from the licensing of its own technologies, but the actual direct commercialization of the technology.

12. The competition materials may not contain fabricated information about (but not limited to) the following: backgrounds, experience and educational level of members of the management team, stage of product development, source of technology/license, product performance claims, or market survey results.

13. The six undergraduate and six graduate finalist teams and advisors will be given a cash prize at the oral competition. The first, second and third place winning teams will be announced at the awards dinner and each team will be presented with a Governor’s Cup trophy for the University, an individual trophy for each team member and Advisor, along with cash prizes will be presented to each advisor and team leader.

14. Due to the nature of the competition, we will not ask judges, reviewers, sponsors, staff or the audience to agree to or sign non-disclosure statements for any participant. By participating in the competition, entrants agree that neither i2E, Inc., nor members of the judging panel, sponsors nor their designated organizations, assume any liability whatsoever for any disclosures of business plan information which may be made (whether inadvertently or otherwise) by any judge, reviewer, staff member, audience member or other individual connected with, participating in, viewing, hearing, or receiving information from the competition.

15. Students interested in competing for a $5,000 scholarship to any Oklahoma college or university can apply for the Paulsen Award by filling out the written application online by 3:00 pm on April 1 2016. Finalists will be notified and announced on April 6, 2016 and will participate in an interview with Oklahoma Business Roundtable members on April 8, 2016. Scholarships will be awarded at the awards dinner on April 14, 2016.

The high growth competition consists of three separate sections: The Interview, The Plan and The Presentation. Below are the rules pertaining to each section.  Be sure to review carefully.

The Interview

16. Deadline for teams to submit an Official Application Form is 3:00 pm on February 10. Immediately after submitting the online application, teams will receive an automatic emailed acknowledgement of the form, and by February 17 will receive email notification of assigned time for the interview. All team interviews will be conducted at the Oklahoma City offices of i2E, Inc., on February 19. No alternate times will be allowed, and it is mandatory that teams be on time for the interviews.

17. As part of the application form, teams will be asked to select their business’s industry sector which will determine their interview category. This portion of the competition is based on industry not academic divisions. The top ranked team in each category will be awarded $1,000 and their ranking, along with their business plan score will determine the high growth division eight undergraduate semifinalist and six graduate finalist teams that will present in the oral competition.

18. Along with the application form, teams will submit a one-page deal summary that outlines the product or concept, target market, capital requirements, revenue projections and ownership and business status. This one-page summary will be provided to the panel to review prior to the interviews. The one-page deal summary must be saved as a single PDF file no larger than 10mb in size.

NOTE: There is no scoring on the one page deal summary, this is only for the reviewers to learn a bit more about your company prior to the interview. Any information left blank will not affect rankings. 

19. Each team will be required to participate in a 20-minute interview organized around their industry category rather than academic division. Teams that propose student-created concepts can choose whether they will compete in the Student Generated Technology Design category or one of the four industry categories.

20. For the interview, there is no presentation, no handouts, no guests, no advisors, just the team and the panel. Teams will be expected to display their knowledge of the business and its competitive advantages, articulate the business model and how the business makes money, and display competency across the team. Teams will also have the opportunity to ask the panel questions about their business.

The Plan

21. Deadline for teams to submit the Official Business Plan Submittal Form is 3:00 pm on March 7, 2016. No printed copies are required for the written portion of the competition. All business plans will be submitted electronically following instructions provided on the form. Submittal of this form indicates that the business plan only contains original work accomplished by the official team members. The team will retain all rights to the plan regarding its use at all times prior to and following the competition (except as stated below in item 35).

22. Each business plan, including all appendices, will need to be saved to a single PDF file less than 10MB in size.

23. The management team outlined in the plan will contain the names of individuals (if any) who are not associated with the university.

24. If the business plan is based around or utilizes university intellectual property or technology, the business plan must include a letter authorizing its use from the respective university technology transfer office (s). Failure to include this letter at time of submitting the business plan will result in automatic disqualification. If the business plan is based around or utilizes a technology or product/service that has been licensed from another company or private inventor the business plan must include a letter of permission from the owner of the technology or product/service. Failure to include this letter at time of submitting the business plan will result in automatic disqualification.

25. Plans are limited to 30 pages of typed text, which includes the Executive Summary, Financial Statement, and Projections, but excludes appendices (see item 27 below). Cover sheets are not counted in total number of pages.  All pages past 30 (excluding appendices) will be omitted from judging.

26. Summary financial data must include a five-year pro-forma cash flow statement, income statement, balance sheet, and funds required/used. Include an explanation of the offering to investors indicating how much money is needed, the expected ROI, and the proposed structure of the deal, i.e. stock, debentures, etc. Also, delineate the possible exit strategies.

27. Appendices should be included ONLY when they support the findings, statements and observations in the plan. Because of the number of teams/plans entering the competition, reviewers and judges may not be able to read all of the material in the appendices. Therefore, the text portion of the plan (30 pages) must contain all pertinent information in a clear and concise manner.

The Presentation and The Pitch

28. Deadline for finalist teams to submit their  revised business plans and Official Oral Competition Submittal Form is 3:00 pm on April 1, 2016.

Note: No printed copies are required for the oral portion of the competition. All revised business plans will be submitted electronically following the instructions provided on the form. All teams will need to bring finished PowerPoint to the competition.

29. All presentations must be able to display on a computer running Windows 8.1, Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013, Adobe Flash and Apple Quicktime with no additional software required. Teams will need to bring a copy of their presentation to upload during their 5-minute set up time. Competition managers are not responsible in  the event there is an issue with this transaction.  You will not submit your presentation prior to the oral competition.  Presentation rooms will not have access to the internet, so please plan accordingly.  

30. The eight Undergraduate High Growth Division semifinalist teams will present to a panel of Oklahoma  investors, business and community leaders on April 8, 2016, with the six finalists announced that evening.  The six undergraduate and six graduate finalist  teams will compete on April 9 with the first, second and third place winners  in each division announced at the awards dinner on April 14. All team presentations will be conducted in Oklahoma City.

31. Each presenting team will be given 20 minutes to present their business plan followed by a 15-minute question-and-answer session between the presenting team and the panel of judges. Each presenting team will have five minutes prior to its presentation for set-up/preparation and five minutes after the presentation for equipment dismantling.

Note: Prior to the 20-minute timed presentation, each team will present a 90-second pitch to the panel of judges. Each pitch will be scored and the winners in each division will be incorporated into the awards dinner ceremony.

32. Students presenting must be official team members and have a key role on the management team (i.e. CEO, COO, VP, etc.). Not all team members are required to present in the oral competition, but all team members must participate in the Q&A session. Non-student members of the venture’s management team may not participate in any presentations, including the finals.

33. A team or advisor may not observe other presentations or question and answer sessions until after their team(s) have presented. No one is allowed to enter or leave the room until the presentation session is complete. Students, advisors or guests engaging in communication with a team during their presentation and/or question and answer session, such as but not limited to, head movements, hand gestures or signaling, will be asked to leave the room and the team will be disqualified from the competition.

Note: All teams must be available and ready to present at least one hour prior to schedule. Be sure to notify any family or friends wanting to attend presentations that they must be there one hour ahead of schedule.

34. Each presenting team will receive further guidelines regarding presentations including the equipment that will be provided (screens, microphones etc.), presentation protocol, etc. Students are not allowed to bring food or beverages into the rooms for presentation. Students may bring product samples for their presentations, but may not bring any giveaways to the judges. Handout materials are recommended such as copies of the presentation, but not required.

35. All oral presentations and question and answer sessions are open to the public at large. Further, it is likely that any or all of these public sessions will be broadcasted to interested persons through media, which may include radio, television and the Internet. Any data or information discussed or divulged in public sessions by entrants should be considered information that will likely enter the public realm, and entrants should not assume any right of confidentiality in any data or information discussed, divulged or presented in these sessions.

36. Neither i2E, Inc., judges, sponsors, nor their designate organizations, assume any duty to screen or otherwise control the identity of those attending, viewing or hearing all or part of these public sessions, and entrants agree that by entering the competition they have been made aware that such attendees, viewers and recipients may include members of the media and potential competitors in addition to members of the financial community, students and faculty.

37. Student entrants agree to allow i2E, Inc., to videotape the oral presentations and the question-and-answer sessions for internal purposes only. By participating in the competition, student entrants agree to grant i2E, Inc. and/or organizations designated by them the unlimited right to videotape, photograph, audiotape, transcribe or otherwise record all public sessions of the competition, including but not limited to oral presentations and question-and-answer sessions. All entrants agree that i2E, Inc. and/or their designate organizations may use any such transcriptions and/or recording(s) (in whole or part) for such publicity and marketing purposes as their organizations may see fit, including those which may result in remuneration.

38. The top two high growth Graduate and Undergraduate Division winners will advance to the Tri-State competition in Las Vegas, Nev.  In the event the team cannot participate to the satisfaction of i2E, Inc., the third place team will act as an alternate.

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