The competition is an invitational only event. Invitations will be extended to the first and second place winners of the Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Nevada. Those invited shall include first and second place winners from both the undergraduate and graduate tracks.

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 group may develop the business plan. Group size cannot exceed 6 qualified students. The management team outlined in the plan will contain the names of individuals (if any) who are not associated with the university. Presenting group members must be students who presented during the respective state competition. There will be no substitution of team members. Non-student members of the venture’s management team must not participate in any presentations, including the finals.

Graduate School Provision

Teams with any one member enrolled in graduate school during the academic year must enter in the graduate 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 the PowerPoint file regarding its use at all times prior to and following the competition (except as stated below). 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 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.

Business Plan Format

Plans are limited to 30 pages of typed text, which includes the Executive Summary and excludes appendices. Cover sheets are not counted in total number of pages. *All plans must be submitted electronically in a Word Doc or PDF format.


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.


One (1) electronic copy of each team’s business plan and PowerPoint presentation are to be received by the Arkansas Economic Acceleration Foundation via the iStart website ( by the following dates:

AR Tri-State Participants: April 24, 2013

NV & OK Tri-State Participants: May 1, 2013


Each team will be given twenty (20) minutes to present their business plan followed by a fifteen (15) minute question-and-answer session between the presenting team and the panel of judges. After competing, each team will receive a ten (10) minute feedback round from the judges. Judges will use that time to give advice, direction, and share experiences that relate to the business plan. Each presenting team will have five (5) minutes prior to its presentation for set-up/preparation and five (5) minutes after the presentation for equipment dismantling.

Observation of Competitor Presentations

A team must not observe other presentations or question and answer sessions until after they have presented their own plan. 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.

Open to the Public

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 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.

Media Requirements

The facilities that host the oral presentations will include audio, projection, and a screen. You may use your own laptop (mac users will need to bring a vga adapter this will not be furnished) but if you need to borrow one we can provide a laptop for you that uses Windows XP operating system and Microsoft Office 2010 products. Wifi internet for your presentation. We can also provide a wireless presentation mouse if you need one. Students will be required to bring a CD or USB device with the file containing any material they wish to project.


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

The first and second place award winning teams, in the Graduate and Undergraduate tracks, will be announced at the Awards Banquet immediately following the presentations.