March 14
Round 1 Entry
April 24
May 29
Finals & Awards

The Business Plan Competition was started in 1998 by Dr. Harriet Stephenson, a Seattle University faculty member who began teaching in 1967. It is designed to help students and alumni in launching new business ventures, including for-profit businesses, not-for-profit businesses, corporate entrepreneurship, and social enterprise. Participants enhance their Seattle University learning experience, gain feedback on ideas, develop networks, and expose their ideas to potential investors.

Seattle University Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center (IEC) at the Albers School of Business and Economics launches the 22nd Annual Harriet Stephenson Business Plan Competition (HSBPC) – teams led by students and alumni advance through three rounds of judging and feedback to see who will take home the $10,000 Grand Prize.

The HSBPC is a public event and draws hundreds of investors, advisors, business leaders, community members, student, alumni, and faculty as audience members. The Semi-Finals round on April 24 consists of a fast pitch competition and a two-hour trade show that will be held virtually this year. The Finals and Awards Celebration is a VIP invite-only event that will be held on May 29 at The Collective in SLU – sponsors, donors, volunteers, and friends of the IEC are guaranteed a ticket.

The IEC has launched entrepreneurial leaders for 30 years, providing students and supporters experiential engagement opportunities and life-long connections. Past winners of the HSBPC range from a nonprofit school for children with autism (The Madrone School, 2016) to a drone technology company valued at $150million that is contracting with the US military (Vita Inclinata Technologies, 2018).

Where are they now?

Our Past Grand Prize Winning Teams

2019: eDoula (prev. ‘Hatch’) | Digital pregnancy and birthing support app used in hospitals

  • Pilot launched at Evergreen Health

2018: Vita Inclinata Technologies Drone technology to stabilize helicopter swing loads.

2017: Discovery Health Specialized healthcare and patient support for maritime workers

  • Accepted in to the first cohort of the Washington State Maritime Blue Innovation Accelerator established by Washington Maritime Blue, the Port of Seattle and WeWork Labs in Janaury 2020

2016: The Madrone School Nonprofit school for children with Autism in Redmond.

  • Opened a second location in Woodinville in January 2020!

2020 Harriet Stephenson Business Plan Competition Prize Sponsors 

Grand Prize ($10,000)

The Herbert B. Jones Foundation 

2nd Place Prize ($5,000)

John Meisenbach

3rd Place Price ($3,000)

In Memory of Don Leuthold

4th Place Prize ($2,000)

Friends of the IEC

Swilo Social Innovation Award ($1,000)

In Honor of the Swilo Team

John Castle Award for Grit & Resilience ($2,000)

John Castle Family & Ro Health

Pitch Judge Award ($500)

Kurt Wedgwood

Tradeshow Judge Award ($250)

Friends of the IEC

Semi-Finals Audience Choice Award ($250)

Friends of the IEC

Templates and Resources

Round 2: Executive Summary Resources

Round 2: Executive Summary Resources

Show Your Support for our Future Innovators and Entrepreneurs

Show Your Support for our Future Innovators and Entrepreneurs


Amelia Marckworth

Amelia Marckworth

Interim Director