Experiences shared from former grand prize winners.


2017 Winners

Full press release and  pictures!


Rules & Guidelines 2014

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. It is assumed that business concepts will be based on an evolving technology-based business concept that, at the time the application form is submitted, has not developed into a commercially available product.  Most teams are expected to have a prototype product/service in development, but the product/service will typically not have undergone customer evaluation or assessment. Proposed products/services that support a sustainable environment or specifically address needs of underdeveloped countries are encouraged, but no special credit will be assigned to such business concepts.

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 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.

Prizes will be awarded in the amount of $25,000 for first place, $5,000 for second place, and $5,000 for the People's Choice. Please note tax will be withheld from the prize payment. The standard withholding rate is 30%.

Presentation Guidelines 
Each student team will deliver a 10-minute presentation about their business concept at The Hotel Roanoke before a panel of judges and interested onlookers, including other competing teams. 


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
Financial Summary (projected revenues, operating income, resulting funds required) that shows the financial viability of the business based on product or service sales (not philanthropic or grant funding) 15
Market Capture Plan (market entry, first customer capture & market growth projections) 10
Team & its core competencies; how other needed core competencies will be provided 10
Proposed Business Model (marketing channels, alliance partnerships, cost & profit structure) 10
Professional Presentation (slides, presentation format) 10
Total 100