Experiences shared from former grand prize winners.


2017 Winners

Full press release and  pictures!


Rules & Guidelines

Business Concept Challenge
For the purposes of this event, a “business concept” is essentially a business plan without all the text.  It has all the important elements of a plan, but will be delivered for consideration and judging via a live presentation, rather than by means of a large document.

A business concept is an attractive and well-researched market opportunity for which the team has devised a powerful and innovative response, including a viable financial business model.  The teams compete via 10-minute presentations.  The judges consider the viability of the market opportunity, the strength of the team’s response, the strength and balance of the team, the overall predictability of a success, and the professionalism of the presentation.


  • -  Only full-time, university students are eligible to participate.
  • -  Participants may elect to work in teams of up to five members.
  • -  Eligibility for the finals is based on winning a significant student business concept competition in the team's home region.  An example of a business concept competition model can be viewed here.
  • -  Each regional institution desiring to send a winning student team to The Challenge must register via the Intent to Compete Submission.

Presentation Guidelines 
Each student team will present its business concept at The Dumas Center in Roanoke before a panel of judges, and interested onlookers, including other competing teams.  Student teams should prepare their presentation based on the following requirements: 

Judging Criteria

Clear Description of Product or Service and its Features
Concise Description of Underlying Technology and Required Development for Product or Service
Expected Customer Base and Match of Product/Service Characteristics to Their Needs
Market Size Description (growth rate, etc)
Competitive Position in the Chosen Market
Value Proposition: how the company will make money
Funding Needs and Potential Sources