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).

Templates and Resources


Round 2: Executive Summary Resources

Round 2: Executive Summary Resources

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!

Whether you are a student, alumnus, or a member of the community who wants to foster the entrepreneurial spirit, we have a way to accomplish that goal! By volunteering with the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center, the rewards are endless for both yourself and your counterpart.

Harriet Stephenson Business Plan Competition Opportunities


Trade Show Judge: Attend the Trade Show on campus, visit each team’s booth, and then judge the ~20 teams, based upon given criteria to help determine which teams advance to the Final Round. 

April 24 | Online, 3pm-6pm

  • Judges should have a business degree or 5 years of professional experience and/or coaching. Sign up using the link below.



Feel like you don't have enough time to commit to the IEC? That's okay! There are plenty of ways to support the IEC, even from the comfort of your own home. The IEC is a self-sustaining program and relies on grants and contributions from supporters to fund our programs, supporters like you.

Show Your Support for our Future Innovators and Entrepreneurs

Show Your Support for our Future Innovators and Entrepreneurs


Amelia Marckworth

Amelia Marckworth

Interim Director