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 students enrolled in any regional or private university without a research component or 2-year college across the state.  Teams from these campuses can still compete in the High Growth Division.  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 Small Business team will submit a written business plan online. This score will determine the eight semifinalist teams that will compete in the 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 Written 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 are required to fill out the Intent to Compete form online by 3:00 pm on February 10, 2016. The Official Business Plan Submittal Form must be filled out online by 3:00 pm on March 7, 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 six official team members.

7. Undergraduate students are encouraged to form teams for the purpose of cross-pollination of experience and mentoring opportunities.

8. The business must be a seed or start-up venture and the materials must address the entire business concept (including implementation). Proposals for the buy-out or expansion of an existing company, tax-shelter opportunities, real estate syndications, franchises, non-profit and consulting projects or analyses are not eligible.  Eligibility discretion is up to the competition management and can be determined at any point during the competition- including any business models that are changed for the oral competition submission that do not meet the aforementioned criteria.

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 concept are not eligible.

10. The business should not have generated any meaningful sales revenues prior to the competition. Revenue generated during a test-marketing project may be excluded from this provision.

11. 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.

12. The six Small Business Division 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 college or university, an individual trophy for each team member and Advisor, along with cash prizes will be presented to each Advisor and team leader.

13. 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.

14. 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. Scholarship recipients will be recognized at the awards dinner on April 14, 2016.

The small business division competition consists of two separate sections: The Plan and The Presentation. Below are the rules pertaining to each section.  Be sure to review carefully.

The Plan

15. The Official Business Plan Submittal Form must be filled out online by 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 28).

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

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

18. Plans are limited to 30 pages of typed text, which includes the Executive Summary, Financial Statement, and Projections, but excludes appendices (see item 20 below). Cover sheets are not counted in total number of pages.  All pages past 30 (excluding appendices) will be omitted from judging.

19. 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 family and friends, SBA, banks or Angels indicating how much money is needed and the proposed structure of the deal, i.e. stock, debentures, etc.

20. 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

21. Deadline for the eight semifinalist teams to submit their revised business plans and Official Oral Competition Submittal Form is 3:00 pm on April 3, 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.

22. 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.  

23. The eight Small Business Division semifinalist teams will present to a panel of Oklahoma investors, business and community leaders on April 8, 2016, with the six finalists announced after the first round.  The six 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 at the Presbyterian Health Foundation Research Park Conference Center at 655 Research Parkway in Oklahoma City.

24. 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 5 minutes prior to its presentation for set-up/preparation and 5 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.

25. 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.

26. 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.

27. 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.

28. 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.

29. 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.

30. 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.

Useful Links:
Forms, Scorecards and Applications The Paulsen Award Application
Guidelines Sample Business Plan