Y.E.S. for Arkansas 2.0 9th-12th Grade Business Plan Competition

Arkansas Capital has put the Y.E.S. 2.0 competition on hiatus for the 2017-2018 school year.

There are more opportunities than ever before for Arkansas high school students to explore their innovative and creative talents and test the waters for possibilities of entrepreneurship.

Arkansas Capital will be spending 2017-2018 supporting various partners who are providing these opportunities – and we hope you do so as well!

Visit their websites for more information:

Arkansas DECA

Arkansas FBLA

Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub

A-State Innovate

Arkansas STEM Coalition

Community Venture Foundation



Economics Arkansas

Junior Achievement of Arkansas

Noble Impact

Startup Junkie


  1. Y.E.S. 2.0 is open to all Arkansas public, private, or home-school students enrolled in grades 9-12 during the 2016-2017 school year.
  2. If a 9th or 10th grade team wants to include a student in the 11th or 12th grades, they must compete in the 11th – 12th grade division.
  3. Students can compete individually or in teams. The maximum team size is six students.
  4. Competitors can be from classrooms, extra-curricular clubs and organizations, church groups, etc.
  5. All teams must be sponsored by a teacher or other adult pre-approved by AEAF before business plans are submitted. Please contact Marie Bruno at mbruno@arcapital. com or 501-374-9247.
  6. Sponsors cannot be a parent or relative of any team member.
  7. The maximum team size is six members.
  8. Teams can submit only one plan into the competition. There can be multiple teams from schools and organizations. Sponsors can mentor more than one team.
  9. Teams do not have to have existing businesses to compete in Y.E.S. 2.0. Their challenge is to come up with a business idea that identifies customer “pain” in the marketplace, and devise a new or better product or service that they believe would solve the problem and also make money. Nonprofit businesses are not eligible.
  10. Business plans must represent the original work of each individual and team competitors. Plans cannot contain fabricated information about (but not limited to) the following: backgrounds, experience and educational levels of team members, stage of product development, product performance claims, or market survey results.
  11. Not every circumstance can be anticipated. The Arkansas Economic Acceleration Foundation (AEAF) reserves the right to disqualify any team that violates the rules, regulations, or the spirit of the competition. All Y.E.S. 2.0 competitors and sponsors are expected to conduct themselves in an ethical manner. The Y.E.S. 2.0 competition is managed through StartupCompete.co (formerly iStart.org). To enter the competition, the sponsor or a designated team member needs to create an account on Startup Compete on behalf of the team.

How to Create / Reactivate Startup Compete Accounts

To compete in Y.E.S. 2.0, sponsors or a designated team leader must create a Startup Compete account.

Sponsors who agree to mentor more than one team will be able to register all teams for the competition through this account, unless this responsibility has been designated to the team leader. If this is the case, team leaders must add their sponsors to the team’s profile.

Go to: yesforarkansas2-2017.startupcompete.co

At the upper-left side of the page, you will see an orange button with “Register / Login.” Click on this button. A box with a gold strip across the top will pop up on the screen.

If you are new to Startup Compete:

Click the “Create User Account” button on the left side of the box. A page, “Register for a new Startup Compete User Profile” will appear. For the purposes of the Y.E.S. 2.0 competition, please complete the information marked with an asterisk (*):

  • Email Address
  • Password and Confirm Password
  • First and Last Names
  • Gender
  • Phone Number
  • Country, Address, City, State, Zip Code

For the “Roles and Communications” section, the first question asks you to “Select one or more role to describe your relationship with Startup Compete.” You do not need to fill out this section for the Y.E.S. 2.0 competition. Also, uncheck the box for “Notify me via email on . . . New Competitions,” unless you want to receive Startup Compete email.

Next, click “I agree” in the Terms and Conditions, type the letters shown in the image, and click “Save.” Startup Compete will send a confirmation code to the email address you provided. You may either click on the link in the email or enter the validation code given in the email to confirm your account.

After confirming your account, you will be taken to your Startup Compete profile dashboard.

If you have an existing Startup Compete account:
Fill in the information on the right side of the box, “Returning to Startup Compete.” Enter the email address and password used when setting up the account. If you forgot your password, click on the “Forgot Password” link and follow the prompts to get a new password.

(If you have a new email address, or forgot the email address you used to create the account, you will need to start over. Follow the steps above as if you are new to Startup Compete.)

Now that you are set up in Startup Compete, the next step is to file an “Intent to Compete” for Y.E.S. 2.0, even if you are still not sure a team will be ready by the business plan submission deadline. Submitting an Intent to Compete does not obligate the sponsor or teams to the competition.

Note: Depending on your Internet connection speed and/or traffic on the Startup Compete website, pages may be occasionally slow to load. Also, you will be prompted occasionally with a pop-up box asking you to consider publishing your business plan publicly on Startup Compete, or that you can “update your Startup Compete Business Idea to opt-in, include logos, photos, videos and other information.” These are not required for the Y.E.S. 2.0 competition.

Ready to submit your Intent to Compete? Click on the “Submitting Intents to Compete” tab below.

Submitting Intents to Compete greatly helps in preparations for the number of judges that need to be recruited for the competition. If you’re still not sure about a team’s participation by the Intent to Compete deadline, please file one anyway. Submitting intents does not obligate sponsors or teams to the competition.

Also, if all the information needed by the intent is not yet known by the Intent to Compete deadline, submit at least one team member’s name and class and the school information. All team names do not need to be finalized until the business plan is submitted.


  1. Go to: yesforarkansas2-2017.startupcompete.co and log in.
  2. Click on the orange tab at the top left. If you had an existing Startup Compete account, it will say “Manage Ideas.” You will need to do step 3 for the 2017 competition.
  3. Click on “Register New Business / Concept.” (If you have entered teams in Y.E.S. 2.0 in previous years, you will see those registrations. Scroll through them until you see this button at the bottom.) You will be taken to a page with a box asking you to “Complete your Listing for Startup Compete’s Public Directory.”
  4. For the purposes of completing the Intent to Compete process, you only need to fill in the “Business / Concept” and “Business / Concept Summary” boxes.
  5. The “Business / Concept” is the name of the business plan. If you do not have a business plan finalized yet, it’s OK to enter a generic name.
  6. The “Business / Concept Summary” is a summary of your business plan idea. If you do not have a business plan yet, enter a few brief words.
  7. After you fill out these two boxes, that’s it. You are not required to fill out any other information on the page, including the option at the bottom to “Display Your Business on the Startup Compete Public Directory,” unless you want to do so.
  8. Click “Save” at the bottom of the page. You will then be taken to the Startup Compete Competition Participant Agreement. Feel free to read the agreement if you like, but you can go ahead and click “I Agree.”
  9. You will then be taken to an “Application Page,” where you will be prompted to complete sponsor, team member, and school information. If you do not yet know who your team members will be, that’s OK. You can update this information anytime until November 10, when business plans are due.
  10. Be sure to click “Save” when you’re finished.

You will then be taken back to your profile page. You should see the business name you just entered in the “Business Ideas” tab.

Sponsors must submit an intent to compete for each team. Repeat steps 3–9 above.

General Instructions:
1) Business plans must be a minimum of 5 pages, 15 pages maximum.

2) The Cover Page and Table of Contents are not counted as part of the page number limits.

3) With the exception of the Cover Page and the Table of Contents, all pages must be typed in 12-point Times New Roman or Arial font and pages must be numbered. The Cover Page and Table of Contents may be typed in a larger font.

4) Paragraphs can be single- or double-spaced.

5) Page numbers must be included on each page (except the cover page and the table of contents).

Please assemble the business plans in the following order:

Cover Page (5 Points)

  • Name of the company
  • Name(s) of all team members
  • Teacher / Sponsor name, title, email address, and phone number
  • School or extracurricular organization name and full mailing address
  • A photo, drawing, or graphic of the product or service. Please ensure the image is saved as a smaller file before placing it on the cover page.

Table of Contents (5 Points)

Executive Summary (10 Points)
Clear, exciting, and effective as a stand-alone overview of the business plan; includes brief description of each succeeding section of the plan; can be read in three minutes.

Consider writing this Executive Summary after you have completed the other parts of the plan. Keep in mind this will be the judges’ first impression of the team and the plan. Make this summary confident, convincing, and exciting.

Company Overview (10 Points)
Presents a vision, history, current status, strategy, goals, and objectives for the business.

Product or Service Description (10 Points)
Describes the product or service, its features and benefits, and explains why the product is better than that of the competitors.

Management Team (10 Points)
Provide roles and backgrounds of key individuals and their history and ability to work as an effective team. Also describe an organizational structure and other personnel needs.

Market and Competitive Analysis (10 Points)
Define the target market and the company’s promotional and sales approaches. Present the growth trends and key driving forces of the industry. Assess the competitive environment and demonstrate market acceptance for the product or service.

Critical Risks (10 Points)
Identify the major internal and external critical risks that could threaten the business (regulatory, environmental, etc.). Present contingency plans to address these issues.

Financials (10 Points)
Provide a statement of funds needed and a projected income statement for three years. Provide a brief rationale as to how the team arrived at these numbers.

  • Before you upload your plan, please make sure it is proofed for grammar, spelling, punctuation, and proper sentence construction.
  • Your plan will need to be converted to PDF in order to upload it to Startup Compete. Please give this PDF document the same name as that of your business.
  • When the PDF conversion is complete, please ensure all pages were properly converted. Plans that are missing pages cannot be judged and will be disqualified.
  • Don’t take chances on your hard work going to waste – proofread your plan carefully!

To submit:

  1. Go to yesforarkansas2017.startupcompete.co and log in.
  2. Click on your account name at the upper right hand corner of the page to access your profile.
  3. Click on the “Business Ideas” tab.
  4. Find the business name you entered in the Intent to Compete process. Click “Edit.”
  5. Update the name of the business if it changed since submitting the Intent to Compete.
  6. Update your content in the “Business / Concept Summary” box. This should be a short, two- to three-sentence paragraph stating your company’s purpose.
  7. No further information is required. You do not need to check the option at the bottom that asks, “Display Your Business on the Startup Compete Public Directory?” unless you choose to do so.
  8. When finished with this page, click “Save.” You will then be taken to the Startup Compete Competition Participant Agreement. Feel free to read the agreement if you like, but you can go ahead and click “I Agree.” You will then be taken to the Application page.
  9. Update the sponsor, school, and team member information. You will then see the prompt to upload your business plan.

Congratulations and good luck!


In addition to bragging rights and a real entrepreneurial experience, there’s also cash, a school trophy, and a certificate for your portfolio or your resume to be gained by entering Y.E.S. 2.0!


See which teams — and their advisors — racked up cash and other awards in previous Y.E.S. 2.0 competitions!