University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee

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

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the New Venture Business Plan Competition?  A: The New Venture Business Plan Competition is a competition designed to foster entrepreneurial spirit among UWM students and alumni, promote practical business skills, and encourage the creation of new, for-profit ventures. The competition’s structure – with successive phases of plan development – will help entrants fine-tune their ideas and polish their presentations. Entrants will also have the opportunity to attend workshops on writing a business plan, forming a company, and commercializing an idea.

Q: Why should I enter the competition?  A: Enter the competition if you wish to:
  • Have the opportunity to earn significant cash prizes
  • Gain valuable experience in writing an effective business plan
  • Test your ideas in a simulated real-world setting
  • Have your ideas evaluated by experienced business professionals  

Q: How do I enter the competition?A: Individual entrants or entrant teams may register their Intent to Compete online or in person. See the Competition Calendar for important dates and deadlines.

Q: Who is eligible to enter the competition?   A: The competition is open to all current full-time or part-time UWM undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral students, as well as all UWM alumni who have graduated since January 2008.

Q: What resources are available to help me? A: Informational workshops are offered throughout the competition period, including opportunities for individual consultation. In addition, all entrants will receive feedback on their executive summaries and their full business plans prior to final submission. The competition also offers links to Additional Resources if you have any questions. Please contact Debbie Roy at (414) 229-3824.

Q: What are the prizes?   A: The UWM Foundation will host the Final Competition and will award significant cash prizes that can be used to further the successful commercialization of the winners’ ideas.  The following prizes have been generously provided by La Macchia Enterprises to the UWM Foundation for use in the Final Competition:

  • First Prize:        $7,500
  • Second Prize:   $3,500
  • Third Prize:       $2,000  

Q: Does the 30-page business plan maximum include appendices? A: No. Up to 20 additional pages of appendices may be included.

Q: How many years of financials should I include in my business plan?A: You should include a minimum of three years of financials, reported by month and by year.


Q: How long is the final oral presentation?A: All presentations are limited to 15 minutes, followed by 10 minutes of Q&A with the judges.

Q: Will every team who submits a business plan present to the judges at the final competition?A: Depending in the number of finals business plans submitted the judges may conduct a preselection round based on the written business plan to limit the number of teams presenting at the competition.

Q: Who judges the final business plans and the final competition?
A: The independent judging panel will be selected from several different functional and industry areas to evaluate the final business plans and the final competition. Judges will have meaningful experience in or exposure to early-stage businesses.