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With support provided by Truist, the Center for Entrepreneurship at High Point University will hold the Thirteenth Annual Business Plan Competition on April 12, 2023.  Competition winners will be awarded cash prizes for the most successful business plan ideas.

The annual competition is open to all High Point University undergraduate students enrolled full time in the spring semester of the competition year, regardless of course of study, with a few caveats as noted in the Rules/Requirements below.

A panel of judges consisting of entrepreneurs, investors, and local business leaders evaluate each business plan and the corresponding presentations made by the chosen finalists.

The objectives of the High Point University Business Plan Competition are fourfold:

  1. to promote the creation and development of new ventures at High Point University
  2. to provide University support and funding to the most innovative business ideas from undergraduate students
  3. to provide undergraduate student entrepreneurs with direct exposure to possible mentors and/or investors
  4. to provide students a forum outside the classroom where they can develop skills in “pitching” their business ideas to capital providers and entrepreneurs and to receive constructive feedback – increasing the probability of the success of their venture

Who:   HPU Undergraduate Students enrolled full time in the spring semester of the competition year – no more than three students per business team

What:  Cash prizes awarded for the most successful business plan ideas.

When: Spring semester of each year

How:   This is a six step process:

Step 1:  Complete the application.

Step 2:  Announcement of finalists.

Step 3:  Complete and submit the full business plan with an executive summary.

Step 4:  Complete and submit the full PowerPoint presentation.

Step 5:  Present the full business plan.  Finalists present their business plans to outside judges, followed by a short question and answer session.

Step 6:  Judges rank the presentations and business plans based on standard investment criteria and then determine the rank of the competitors.

Business Plan Competition Winners:​

HPU April Business Plan Competition 2022


HPU Comp Book

Students Win Thousands in Startup Funds at HPU’s 2022 Business Plan Competition

HPU Business Plan Group 2021


HPU Comp Book

Students Win Thousands in Start-Up Funds During HPU’s 2021 Business Plan Competition

Elevator Pitch 2020


2020 Business Plan Competition

Take a look at this year‘s Business Plan Competition!


Students Win $25,000 in Start-Up Funds at Business Plan Competition



HPU Students Win $25,000 in Start-Up Funds


Student Entrepreneurs Awarded $25,000



Student Entrepreneurs Awarded $15,000

Friday, February 24, 2023: Application Deadline
Applications will be reviewed by faculty and local entrepreneurs, and will be scored based on innovation, feasibility, and additional factors. The numeric scores from all evaluators will be tabulated and the finalists will be selected based on the highest average scores.

Friday, March 3, 2023: Announcement of Finalists

Wednesday, April 12, 2023: Business Plan Competition: Callicutt Auditorium in Congdon Hall, 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Finalists’ presentations to the panel of judges, who will determine the top winners and the amounts of awards in the competition, are based upon the innovation and feasibility of the written business plan and presentation.





General Rules & Eligibility Requirements

  1. All High Point University undergraduate students enrolled during the spring semester of the competition year are eligible to participate in that year’s competition. Individuals who are not students at HPU may be members of the management team and participate in planning the business, however only students may present the plan in the competition. If a company has been formed, the student or students must own at least 50 percent or more of the company and should hold the top position within the company.
  2. All authors who will be competing in the HPU Business Plan Competition must be currently enrolled and in good standing with High Point University and the community. Good standing is defined as having a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 and a record of exemplary citizenship. All authors must agree to release a copy of their official academic transcript and disciplinary record to the Center for Entrepreneurship staff. The Center staff reserve the right to disqualify any author who does not meet the minimum grade requirement and/or is ineligible to be enrolled at HPU as a result of disciplinary action.
  3. Individual students or groups are eligible to present their business plans.
  4. Students submitting a plan must commit to present their plan in the final competition scheduled for April 12, 2023.
  5. The plan must cover the entire business concept and implementation for a new venture in the seed, start-up or early growth stages, having not been in existence for more than 18 months. Generally excluded are the following: buy-outs, expansions of existing businesses, real estate syndicates, tax shelters, franchises, licensing agreements for distribution in a different geographic area, and spin-offs from existing corporations.
  6. Ventures/companies may only compete in the HPU Business Plan Competition once.
  7. All authors must agree that the business plan they submit is their original work. The author(s) will retain all rights to the plan regarding its use at all times prior to and following the competition.
  8. By participating in this competition, students agree to give the competition organizers and university the right to post the business plan on a password protected site in order for judges/reviewers to access the plan, post comments, and assign a numerical value to the plan. Judges, staff, and the audience related to the competition will not be required to sign non-disclosure documents. All public sessions of the competition are open to the public. Any information discussed in these sessions is considered information that will enter the public domain and entrants should not assume any right of confidentiality to any information presented in these sessions.
  9. Once submitted, no changes can be made to the executive summary, business plan, and presentation. All submissions must include the name and phone number of the key contact person(s) and copies of any documentation needed for investors. The information will be verified for accuracy. All deadlines stated in the schedules will be held – no exceptions will be made.
  10. Finalists are required to sign a waiver allowing the Center for Entrepreneurship the express right to videotape or live stream their final presentation. They will also be required to sign an audio-video release form allowing High Point University to use the business plan presentation within the University for faculty, staff, students, the Center for Entrepreneurship and to be part of the archives of High Point University.
  11. All students are expected to abide by these rules as well as the overall spirit of the competition. The Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and the Dean of the Phillips School of Business reserve the right to disqualify any student or student team that violates the rules, regulations, or spirit of the competition.
  12. The winner(s) of the Competition will be the individual or student team whose plan and presentation conveys the most promising combination of:
  • business model clarity and viability
  • attractive investor possibilities
  • investor returns potential
  • realistic implementation and sustainability opportunities
  • product/service originality
  • market opportunity
  • team quality and competencies
  • financial feasibility
  • business plan and presentation quality and completeness

Judging Criteria

  • Business model clarity and viability
  • Attractive investor possibilities
  • Originality of idea/product/service
  • Financial feasibility
  • Returns potential for investors
  • Team quality and competencies
  • Market opportunity/size
  • Realistic implementation and sustainability opportunities
  • Completeness of plan and attention to detail
  • Presentation quality

Writing, communication and presentation skills are key considerations for this competition.

Helpful link:  application

For further information you may contact:

 Kathy Elliott 2015 CROPPED

Kathy Elliott
Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship