Competition Rules

The competition will be Friday, May 23, at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. The competition is an invitation-only event. Invitations are extended to the first and second place winners in the undergraduate and graduate tracks of the Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup collegiate business plan competitions in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Nevada.

Faculty Supervision
The business plan 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 supervision with no official credit.

Team Members
Either an individual or a team may develop the business plan. Team size cannot exceed six members and the members must be students who presented during their respective state competitions. The management team outlined in the plan will contain the names of individuals (if any) who are not associated with the university. Substitution of team members is not allowed. Non-student members cannot participate in any presentations.

Graduate School Provision
Any teams with at least one member enrolled in graduate school during the academic year must compete in the graduate track of the competition.

Original Work
The business plan must represent the original work of each contestant.

Disclosure & Liability
The author(s) will retain all rights to the plan and to the PowerPoint file regarding their use at all times prior to and following the competition (except as stated below). Due to the nature of the competition, judges, reviewers, sponsors, staff or the audience will not be asked to agree to or sign non-disclosure statements for any participant. By participating in the competition, entrants agree that neither the host organizations nor members of the judging panel, sponsors nor their designate 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.

Qualified Ventures
The business plan must be for a seed or start-up venture and 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, and other consulting projects or analyses are not eligible. Non-profits are also not eligible.

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

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.

Accuracy of Information
The plans must 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, product performance claims, or market survey results.

Summary financial data should include a five year pro-forma cash flow statement, income statement and balance sheet. Include an explanation to investors of how much capital will be required in the first and future rounds of investment, how funds from the first round will be used, and what milestones will be met using first round of funding. Delineate possible exit strategies and identify companies or categories of companies for which this company might be an attractive acquisition candidate in future years. Business plans may include the expected ROI for investors and the proposed structure of the deal, i.e., loan, preferred A stock, convertible note, etc.

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.

Business Plan Presentation
Each team will present their business plan to a five-member panel of judges. Teams are given 20 minutes for the actual presentation, followed by a 15 minute question-and-answer session with the judges. There will then be a 10-minute information feedback opportunity with judges, who will use this time to give advice and direction, plus share any experiences they may have relating to the business plan. Teams will have five minutes prior to their presentation for set-up/preparation and five minutes after the presentation for equipment dismantling.

Observation of Competitor Presentations
Team members cannot observe other presentations or question and answer sessions until after they have presented their own plans. No one is allowed to enter or leave presentation rooms 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.

Open to the Public
All presentations are open to the public at large. Further, it is likely that any or all of these public sessions will be broadcast 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. Neither the host organizations, 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.

Rights of Use
Student entrants agree to allow the Arkansas Economic Acceleration Foundation and The Arkansas Capital Corporation Group to videotape the oral presentations and the question-and-answer sessions. By participating in the competition, student entrants agree to grant the Arkansas Economic Acceleration Foundation and The Arkansas Capital Corporation Group 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 the Arkansas Economic Acceleration Foundation and The Arkansas Capital Corporation Group 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 profit. All business plans become property of the Arkansas Economic Acceleration Foundation and will be shredded after the competition with one copy maintained for record purposes.

Team members are not allowed to bring food or beverages into the rooms for presentation. Students may bring product samples for their presentations, but must not bring any promotional items or give-aways to the judges. Paper materials for the judges are allowed, but not required.

Announcement of Tri-State Winners – Watch Online!
The first and second place award winners in the graduate and undergraduate tracks will be announced during the Tri-State Collegiate Business Plan Competition Awards Dinner Friday, May 23, from 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. PST. (8:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. CST).

The event will be livestreamed from the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas. Click here to watch the 7th Annual Tri-State Awards Dinner LIVE in Las Vegas Friday, May 23!