Wednesday August 28, 2013

Growing Entrepreneurs

Cash, legal advice, sales training -- the Business Plan Competition is offering support worth $190,000 to participants.

The University of Dayton's 2013-14 Business Plan Competition is offering a record $190,000 in total support to help entrepreneurs develop plans to turn a great idea into a successful business.

The competition will hold its first information session 5:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, in O'Leary Auditorium in Miriam Hall on the University of Dayton campus. The competition is open to all types of business plans, including nonprofit ventures. High-tech companies are especially encouraged and anyone can enter. 

Each entry receives free access to Palo Alto Software's cloud-based business planning software, valued at $180. There is no cost to enter, but participants must register online at Registration opens Sept. 7 and closes Oct. 12.  Winners are announced in April.

New this year, the first-place team will win professional sales training through the University's Center for Professional Selling and training and development assistance through from the University of Dayton's Center for Leadership. Both services are valued at $5,000 each.

"Entrepreneurs must by necessity sell their business ideas to investors as well as sell products and services to customers," said Diane Sullivan, associate professor of management and competition coordinator. "The center's staff is highly experienced and the training facility is state-of-the-art. This will be a valuable resource for the winner."

Finalists also will receive up to 25 hours of free legal assistance, a part of the prize package worth nearly $23,000 through the University of Dayton School of Law. That assistance is often necessary because successful start-ups often must navigate legal issues ranging from incorporation, how to do patent searches, filing for patents and protecting intellectual property, Sullivan said.

A total of $80,000 in cash prizes, awarded across three stages of the competition, includes $25,000 for the best business plan. Each of the five finalists will win a minimum of $5,000. The first-place winner of the competition will also earn an opportunity to pitch Draper Triangle LLC, for up to $50,000 in investment.

The competition is aimed at helping start-ups reach the next level of growth by offering expert advice on building a viable plan for launching or growing an innovative business.

Entries must be original work, involve a start-up company and mesh with the University of Dayton's values. Competition rules require that final-round entries must involve either a University of Dayton student or graduate. 

The Business Plan Competition has been recognized as one of the 15 largest college business plan competitions by, a news and trend media site for young entrepreneurs.

The University of Dayton is recognized nationally for its innovative programs for student entrepreneurs. The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine ranked the entrepreneurship program as one of the top-20 programs in the nation the past seven years.

All sophomore entrepreneurship majors are given $5,000 loans from the Crotty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership to start their own businesses. Flyer Angels gives undergraduates hands-on experience in investing in new businesses.

For more information on the competition visit or contact Diane Sullivan at

For more information, contact Cilla Shindell, executive director of news and communications, at 937-229-3257 or

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