Business Plan

  • Darden's final competition of the academic year is the Business Plan Competition. The competition, open to all UVA students, features student pitches that demonstrate the value of the business, capturing the elements of a business plan in a high-impact power point, video, and executive-summary based format. 

    Please note that business ventures that previously placed in the competition or already have significant operations from participation in the Darden Business Incubator (i.Lab) are not eligible to compete in the Business Plan Competition.

    Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati

  • Eligibility

    • To enter the Darden-UVA Business Plan Competition, each team must include at least one current UVA student (can be undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, or post-doctoral student), faculty, or staff member. UVA alumni and others are welcome to join teams as well, provided one member of the team is currently affiliated with UVA.
    • Business ventures that have placed in this competition in previous academic years are not eligible to compete.
    • Ventures are not eligible if they achieved significant operation or received a third party "arms length" transaction.
    • Concepts based entirely on externally funded research may not compete but new applications of UVA funded research may compete. In order to compete, participants must have legal access to, ownership of, or written permission from the owners of the technology they are presenting.
    • Ventures that have participated in the Incubator program are eligible for the b-plan competition.


    • Submission Deadline: Thursday, 9 April, 2015
      Submission Site: YouNoodle Platform
    • Finals: (New Date) Wednesday, 29 April, 2015, 4:30-6:30 pm, with a reception to announce the winners following.


    The Business Plan Competition reflects the practices and requirements of investors today.  As such, a traditional "plan" is not required. Your submission should include the following:

    One page executive summary (see Resource section for examples)

    10 - 15 page PowerPoint, including: 

    • Clear description of the product or service being offered
    • Discussion of the market for this product or service
    • Outline of the business model and value proposition
    • Discussion of what you've done to de-risk your business, and an outline of the next steps for you and your team
    • Overview of the management team
    • Optional: Projected financials
    • Optional: Video "elevator" pitch (2 - 5 minutes)  

    Participants should be able to speak to the sales cycle, price point, product distribution, competitive advantages, and barriers to entry.  Finalists may revise their PowerPoint presentations for the final competition.

    Judging Criteria

    Competition submissions are judged on:

    • Concept originality
    • Uniqueness of value proposition
    • Uniqueness of competitive or first mover advantage
    • Business feasibility and sustainability
    • Overall presentation

    The Darden Business Plan Competition is open-session. Information deemed highly proprietary or sensitive should not be included or disclosed in either submissions or presentations. Concept documents will not be published or distributed except as described above. Participation, submissions, and information disclosures are wholly voluntary. Participants should note that they alone control the content of their disclosures. The Darden School, Batten Institute, and the University of Virginia assume no responsibility whatsoever for accidental or third-party breaches of confidentiality.


    First Prize: $10,000

    Second Prize:
    Third Prize: $1,000

    Fourth Prize: $500

    Please be aware that if you are a Darden or UVA student who receives financial aid, any award you win could impact your loan package (unless you are incorporated and plan to receive the award through that entity). If you plan to compete in one or more of these competitions at Darden or at other schools, and you receive financial aid, please speak with Susan Loduha, Director of Financial Aid at Darden ( or +1-434-924-4784), or your school's financial aid advisor, prior to the competition.