Introducing the Burgess New Venture Challenge, bringing Michigan State University student entrepreneurs a new partnership and amplified investment.

Our Mission

Burgess New Venture Challenge

The Burgess New Venture Challenge is Michigan State University’s premier student entrepreneurial showcase. The program represents best-in-class experiential learning, focused on innovation, business planning, and taking proactive initiative. Our goal is to empower the entrepreneurial mindset and create lasting impact with our students as they transition to their careers in the global marketplace.

Awards and Prizes

The total purse for the event is $42,000, which is divided over the top five ventures. As well, two People’s Choice Awards will be granted.

Awards are granted to the winning teams in tranches based on milestones and in the form of scholarships that are refunded to the students as long as they do not have any outstanding balances (tuition, tickets, etc.) with the University.

What are the Prize Values?

1st Place: $15,000
2nd Place: $10,000
3rd Place: $5,000
4th Place: $3,000
5th Place: $2,000
Ten other teams will receive seed funding in the amount of $500 and People’s Choice will be 2 at $1000.

Key Dates & Judging Process

Phase 1: Intent to Compete

Due by January 16, 2019:
The first phase of the challenge requires the completion of an Intent to Compete form, which provides a summary of the business idea or concept. Applicants will be asked to answer questions related to the following aspects of the business or idea:

• What opportunity or problem are you addressing?
• What is your proposed product/service and how does it address the opportunity/problem?
• Who wants your solution? How large and/or valuable is the potential market?
• How do you make (or plan to make) money?
• What costs are associated with your business or launching your idea?
• Who is on your team? Why are you/they qualified to do this?

All applications will be reviewed for completeness, accuracy, and clarity of the above outlined criteria.

After completing an Intent to Compete, applicants must attend five (5) workshops, which are offered on a monthly basis. Students can attend these workshops in any order they wish.

Workshops are all held in the 300 Room located at 325 E. Grand River Ave., East Lansing, MI 48823, from 12–1pm. You can register for these at eship.msu.edu/calendar.

Business Model & Value Proposition Canvases: October 1, November 5, January 9
Go-to-Market & Pitch Decks: October 8, November 7, January 14
Financial Modeling: October 15, November 12, January 16
Business Planning: October 22, November 26, January 23
Legal: October 29, November 26, January 30

Phase 2: Business Plan Development

Final Business Plan Due by March 10, 2019:
In Phase 2 applicants will be tasked with preparing a professional business plan for their company or idea.

Teams that choose to participate will be supported in numerous ways to ensure the production of a high-quality plan is in this process.

Mentorship Meetup: January 30, 2019, 5:30-7:30pm in The Hatch and The 300 Room at 325 E. Grand River, East Lansing. Applicants will participate in an Mentor Meetup to develop relationships with experienced professionals with in-depth business planning and development experience. These mentors will serve as a sounding board for participants’ plan development.

Applicants will also receive complimentary access to LivePlan business planning software.

Plans will be due via upload to Submittable by 11:59pm, March 10, 2019.

Phase 3: Judging & Showcase Final

Event Date: April 17, 2019
Judging Process: Upon receipt of completed and qualifying business plans, each plan will be distributed to a network of seasoned judges who will score according to strengths and weaknesses. Applicants will receive written feedback for areas of improvement. Judges’ scores will be compiled and the top fifteen (15) applicants will be notified by April 1, 2019 of their acceptance to the Showcase Finale.

Showcase Finale (April 17, 2019):
Unlike traditional business plan competitions, the Burgess New Venture Challenge does not require a live pitch presentation to a large audience. Instead, finalists will attend a “tradeshow format” event, during which each team will have a display area for marketing material and will actively network with the audience, including judges, to share their vision and goals for their business ventures or ideas.

During this event each team will be given 7 minutes with our judges in a separate location. In this closed session, challenge participants will be expected to answer questions regarding their proposed ideas and present any additional materials they feel support their case.

Key Information:
Date: April 17, 2019
Location: The Wharton Center, Jackson Lounge
3:30 p.m.: Finalists arrive at venue to set up.
5:00 p.m.: Event venue opens to public
4:30 p.m.: Judges start visit with teams.
7:45 p.m.: Brief program and awards

A panel of judges consisting of distinguished alumni, as well as respected members of Michigan’s investment and business community, will be in attendance to determine the winning teams.

Note: The panel will be made up of different individuals than those that participated in choosing the Top 15.

Rules, Eligibility, & Declaration

• Once I have applied, I understand I must attend the five required workshops to be eligible to be consider for a finalist position.

• I agree that this company is at least 50% owned by a registered Michigan State University student, unless approved by administration.

• If my company/idea won a monetary award at prior GreenLight Michigan or Broad Business Model Competitions, I am not eligible to compete in 2019’s Burgess New Venture Challenge.

• If selected as a finalist, I will respond by the required reply-by date.

• If selected as a finalist, I understand I may be contacted on a regular basis and provide data on my company status, metrics, and, where applicable, financials.

• If I attend the Burgess New Venture Challenge, I understand that my images may be used—but not limited to—for marketing materials and social media campaigns.

• If I am selected to receive a financial award, I will make my best effort to promote the Burgess New Venture Challenge as a supporter of my company.

For more information, please reach out to Katie Chalker: chalkerk@spartaninnovations.org