Experiences shared from former grand prize winners.


2017 Winners

Full press release and  pictures!


Rules & Guidelines 2013

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.
  • - Presentations at the Global Student Challenge must be made in English.

Presentation Guidelines 
Each student team will present its business concept at The Hotel Roanoke before a panel of judges, and interested onlookers, including other competing teams. 

  • - Presentation Guidelines - Review in preparation for presentation. We ask that you cover the requested information but feel free to do so in the appropriate order for your team/presentation.
  • - Example presentation ~ An example of a "real" business plan presentation.

Other helpful information to prepare your presentation:

  • - Include in your presentation what the value proposition of your business concept is.
  • - Each presentation will be about 10 minutes long, followed by a 10 minute question and answer session led by our judges. Review who this year's Global Student Challenge Panelists/Judges are.
  • - Review the agenda of team presentations during the Global Student Challenge.
  • - We recommend (but you’re not limited to) only having two speakers from your team present, since 10 minutes is a short amount of time to cover your information. The rest of your team is more than welcome to join you at the end of the presentation when the panelist addresses questions.
  • - Since this is a business concept competition, we are not implementing any non-disclosure agreements with participants.  If you are uncomfortable with releasing certain information about your business idea, please do not include this during your formal presentation on August 22.  Precise technical details are probably inappropriate for a 10 minute presentation anyway.  
  • - There will be an Apple laptop that supports PowerPoint, Keynote, and Prezi presentations for all students to use during the Global Student Challenge. Have your presentation saved to a USB drive and ready to upload on Wednesday, August 21.
  • - There will be one podium with a wired mic, plus the option to use one handheld mic and another wireless mic that you can clip-on to your attire.


Judging Criteria Maximum Score
Clear Description of Customer Need Being Met and that Customers are Willing to Pay for Product or Service 15
Target Market Size Quantification (number of customers, annual dollar size) 15
Competitive Advantage in Marketplace (include table comparing with competitors and venture's IP position) 15
Proposed Business Model (marketing channels, alliance partnerships, cost & profit structure) 15
Market Capture Plan (market entry & growth) 10
Team & its core competencies; how other needed core competencies will be provided 10
Financial Summary (projected revenues, operating income, resulting funds required, expected return on investment, proposed exit strategy) 10
Professional Presentation (slides, presentation format) 10
Total 100




The Prizes
First Place -$25,000*
Second Place - $5,000*
People's Choice - $5,000*

* Please note tax will be withheld from the prize payment. The standard withholding rate is 30%.

Students will compete for a $25,000 grand prize and VT KnowledgeWorks Global Challenge Trophy, which their team name will be engraved on the Global Challenge Trophy, residing at VT KnowledgeWorks as a permanent tribute to their outstanding effort.  

The team awarded second place will receive $5,000.  All participants will take home priceless memories and a personal global network of student friends.

People’s Choice - $5,000
The People’s Choice award will be selected by vote of the event attendees.  VT KnowledgeWorks would like all contestants and audience members of the Global Student Business Concept Challenge (Thursday, August 22, 2013) to participate in honoring the most outstanding teams, based on the judging criteria.  The formal judging panel uses these same criteria to determine the first and second place teams that receive the $25,000 and $5,000 awards, respectively.  The team/concept with the highest overall ranking by the attendees, and which is not selected by the judging panel for either the First or Second Place award, will earn the $5,000 People’s Choice award.