By Devon Wilkinson//News Editor
For the last six years, the Center for Entrepreneurship at High Point University has hosted a Business Plan Competition that gives students a chance to present their ideas in front of a panel of judges with cash prizes being awarded to the students with the most successful business plans.
“Thanks to a sponsorship from BB&T, students have the opportunity to win money and actually fulfill their dreams,” said Kathryn Elliott, director for the Center for Entrepreneurship.
“Conducting a Business Plan Competition like this can be a major incentive for HPU,” Elliott said. “It creates better visibility across campus for our entrepreneurially minded students who have an idea or a business notion from any course of study to have an outlet for advancing their ideas.”
According to Elliott, HPU is continuously looking to bring new opportunities and new experiences to its students for the betterment of the student body.
“Knowing they can progress their innovative business ideas right here on campus with the support they need to be competitive is a valuable thing,” Elliott said.
Although the top five finalists split awards up to $25,000, all participants gain experience and exposure.
“All other applicant’s business ideas will also be featured in the competition booklet that is produced and handed out,“ Elliott said.
Once the finalists are selected, the remaining students will be assigned a personal mentor to help prepare them for the competition.
“Students who present are showcasing their ideas to successful business people and entrepreneurs,” Elliot said. “[The students get to] experience the reality of pitching to a potential investor.”
The Business Plan Competition familiarizes participants with real-life business strategies that can give them countless advantages later in their career.
“Aside from the extraordinary prizes, [students] have so much to gain from this experience,” said Leah Larson, HPU senior and former competitor.
Brandon Holder, HPU alumni, recommends competing in the competition.
“From the competition I gained a lot of confidence and validation for myself and my organization,” Holder said. “Being able to see my business go from paper to an actual business throughout the competition really gave me the confidence to want to pursue my organization full speed.”
Students who are interested in competing should have their applications submitted by March 3. Finalists will be announced on March 17.
“It is always intriguing to see what resourceful and ingenious ideas our students have,” Elliott said.
For more information on the Business Plan Competition, contact Elliott at firstname.lastname@example.org.