I’m leaving for New York city today to participate as a judge tomorrow in the Forbes.com Boost Your Business business plan contest. This will be my second year. I love it.
I like judging business plan contests. I’ve judged the two big contests in Texas, both the University of Texas Moot Corp and the Rice University contest. I’ve judged the University of Oregon’s New Venture Competition 12 times. I’ve also judged at Notre Dame University, University of San Francisco, and some others.
As I leave to judge this one, I’m thinking about five reasons why I really like it:
It’s open to any U.S. business, MBA-related or not. The MBA contests are reserved for teams with MBA members. Forbes is for everybody.
The criterion for winning is simple and easy to understand. The winner is the business that can do the most good with $100,000. That doesn’t make the decision easy at all, but it makes the competition clear.
The public gets to vote; not just the judges. The public vote helped choose the five finalists from the 20 semi-finalists you can see on the Forbes.com Website right now. The vote is closed now but soon you’ll be invited to view the five finalists.
The competition is available online. Anybody can go to the Website to see the presentations, questions from the judges, the entrepreneurs’ answers, and vote on the winner.
The prize is simple and easy to understand: $100,000 for your business. It’s not an investment, or a loan, or goods valued at whatever; it’s half in good old fashioned money, and half in advertising.
You can see for yourself on the website: click here for the Forbes.com contest site.