University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee

The competition is generously sponsored through private funding from La Macchia Enterprises, parent company of:



Business Plan Guidelines

Business Plans must be submitted by semi-finalists in the following format:

  • Cover page including business name and entrant name(s).
  • Word Document, maximum length of 30 pages (not including cover page)
  • Up to 20 additional pages of appendices may also be included
  • Page Margins: 1” on all sides
  • Font: Times Roman 12 pt or equivalent
  • Line Spacing: Double Spaced
  • Footer at bottom of each page must include business name and page number

Suggested Format for the Business Plan

Executive Summary
Business Overview
Description of the company and its business model
Mission statement
Products and/or services
Value proposition
Legal structure

Market Analysis
Target market, including size, analysis, and forecast
Overall industry analysis and forecast
Target customers
Barriers to entry

Competitive Analysis
The competition
Your competitive advantage (What distinguishes your company from the competition?)

Marketing Strategy
Methods of Distribution
Product Design
Timing of Market Entry

Operational Plan
Legal environment

Management Team
Biographical information on key members of the management team
Board of Advisors (including name, title, and company affiliation)

Financial Analysis
Detailed statement of assumptions for all major items in the financial statements
Overall financial model
Start-up requirements
Other analysis, as appropriate (e.g. break even analysis)
Summary and highlights of financial statements


Appendices (up to 20 pages maximum, not counted in 30 page plan maximum), for example:
Detailed financial projections through at least year 3, including:

  • income statement (a.k.a. profit & loss statement) by month and by year through year 3
  • balance sheet (including Day One balance sheet) by month and by year through year 3
  • pro forma cash flow by month and by year through year 3
  • budget analysis

Resumes of all key management, technical, and advisory people
Brochures and advertising materials
Industry or market research studies
Blueprints, plans, maps, photos of location
Magazine or other reference articles
Letters of support
Any other documents which support the assumptions of the plan