The Interview

In the real world, ideas don’t make it far without input from industry experts. In the 2016 Governor’s Cup competition, every team that enters a High Growth business plan will sit down with a small panel of industry experts in a required 20-minute interview.  Teams will be interviewed based on their industry category rather than academic division.  There is no presentation, no handouts, no guests, just the team and the panel. Teams will be expected to display their knowledge of their business and competitive advantages, articulate the business model and how the business makes money, and display competency across the team.

This is more than a casual discussion, however, because $5,000 in prize money is on the line.  After the last interview, each panel will rank the teams, with the top-ranked team in each category winning $1,000. The ranking will later be used to establish a cumulative score that will help determine which teams advance to the oral presentation round of the competition. Industry category winners will be announced simultaneously when the 14 teams advancing to the presentation round are revealed.


Deadline for teams to submit an official Governor’s Cup Application Form is February 10 by 3 p.m. Immediately after submitting the online application, teams will receive an automatic emailed acknowledgement of the form, and by February 16 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.

As part of the application form, teams will submit a one-page deal summary that outlines the product or concept, capital requirements, revenue projections and ownership and business status. Teams that propose student-created concepts will have the opportunity to determine whether they will compete in a Student Generated Technology Design category or one of four industry categories.

Teams will be interviewed in one of the following industry categories:

  • Healthcare
    This category 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. The category 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..
  • Student Generated Technology Design
    Student generated business opportunities can be drawn from any of the other four designated industry categories. Student generated plans are those based on ideas that were created by at least one of the team members.
Useful Links:
Forms, Scorecards and Applications The Paulsen Award Application
Guidelines Sample Business Plan
Sample Deal Summary Resources
The Entrepreneur’s Handbook