What is the Entrepreneurial Concept Competition?
The Entrepreneurial Concept Competition is a preliminary event for the cross-university competition called the UVA E-Cup. Its primary purpose is to encourage the development of new ventures, either for profit or social benefit, by members of the UVA community.
"The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. Remember, the greatest failure is to not try.”
- Debbi Fields, founder of Mrs. Fields Cookies
Concept competition entrants must submit a written
proposal that incorporates the elements described under
Requirements. Concepts are evaluated on their
viability in the current marketplace and social environment. New
this year, Darden and U.Va. students will be encouraged to
structure their entries around a design-based innovation process.
workshops will cover the topics of visualization, systems
thinking, empathy, journey mapping and reframing. These workshops
will enable students to collaborate across a wide range of
disciplines, providing multiple opportunities for students to
cross-pollinate business ideas within a design-thinking
In general, a winning idea does not have
to be and often will not be "novel." For example, a previous
finalist proposed creating a better format and targeting a new
market for karaoke lounges. If your idea is not entirely new, plan
to address this issue in your "Market Opportunity" section to
discuss issues such as why there is still plenty of opportunity in
the market, how your approach to the problem or the customer is
unique or better than those currently in practice, why your
management team is unique or better than your competition's,
- Submission Deadline: TBA
- Finalists Announced: TBS
- Finals: TBA (kick off event for Darden E-Conference)
To submit your concept visit www.UVACup.org.
The Entrepreneurial Concept Competition requires a business or not-for-profit proposal in general terms and should outline the idea, the market, the competition, and competitive advantages. Specific market and financial forecasts are not required, although participants should have a basic idea of the level of financing they would need to start the business. Concepts are evaluated on their viability in the current marketplace.
The submission should be in the format of an Executive Summary. The Executive Summary should be two to three pages of text and two exhibits plus resumes, 10- or 12-point font and one-inch margins. Some additional thoughts on the Executive Summary are as follows:
- Write a short paragraph describing your entrepreneurial concept.
- Start with a one-sentence description of the underlying idea.
- Determine the customer/market.
- Decide how the business will generate revenue or become self-sustaining
- State what makes the concept unique.
- Determine the "Pain" or problem that the entrepreneurial concept addresses.
- Explain the solution the concept provides.
- Discuss why these product/service benefits are real and valuable to customers.
- If applicable, calculate the total revenues for the target market. (This can be expressed in terms of total revenues or total expenditures by customers, or can be expressed in terms of total customers multiplied by the average amount spent per customer annually.)
- If revenue is not applicable, how would you measure success?
- Discuss your current or anticipated competition. Describe what other solutions exist.
- Describe the critical success factors and critical risks.
- Articulate milestone and longer-term goals.
- Describe the attributes of any product or service.
- Explain how the product will be produced or how the service will be performed.
- Determine how much or what types of resources would be generally required.
- Who are members of the team?
- What are their backgrounds?
- What are their intended roles within this proposal?
- Name of Team Captain
- Telephone Number
- E-mail Address
The Entrepreneurial Concept Competition will be 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 in, submissions, and information disclosures for the competition 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.
The same criteria is used at all levels of the UVA E-Cup competition: from
concept submissions to each track, to presentations at each track
semi-final, to presentations at the University-wide E-Cup final
Please visit the official E-Cup website for Judging Criteria. Keep these criteria in mind when submitting concepts and
preparing presentations for the competition.
- First Prize: $3,000 and MUST COMPETE in the UVa E- Cup
- Second Prize: $1,500
- Third Prize: $ 500
Payments: Unless otherwise specified, the entire payment will be made directly to the team captain. To split payments between team members or pay to a business entity, please contact the competition organizer for more information.