Get Ready for the 2023 HSBPC!

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Screening Round Entry Due Date

2023 Competition Dates

  • Mar 21: Screening Round Entry Due
  • Mar 28: Semi-Finalist Teams Announced
  • Apr 16: Pitch Clinic for Semi-Finalists
  • May 12: HSBPC Semi-Finals
  • June 2: HSBPC Finals & Awards

Don't miss out on the Wednesday workshops to help you prepare for the HSBPC!

HSBPC Wednesday Workshops: Online workshops to prepare your screening round entry are held every other Wednesday 12-1pm via zoom (click here to join the zoom):

  • 12-1pm via zoom: January 18, February 1, February 15, March 1, and March 15

HSBPC Office Hours: Drop in  for a one-on-one conversation with IEC staff to ask questions and get feedback on your business plan, every other Wednesday 12-1pm at the IEC office (Pigott 432A).

  • 12-1pm in Pigott 432A: January 25, February 8, February 22, and March 8

Missed the workshop? No Problem! Read all about it here:

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 hosts the annual Harriet Stephenson Business Plan Competition (HSBPC) – teams led by Seattle University 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, students, alumni, and faculty as audience members. The Semi-Finals round consists of a fastpitch competition and a two-hour trade show that will be held in person on the Seattle University campus. The competition ends with The Finals & Awards Celebration, which will also be held in person at a venue in Seattle.

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 $150 million that is contracting with the US military (Vita Inclinata Technologies, 2018).

HSBPC Program Details & Application

View Past Winners

One of the IEC's largest programs, the HSBPC provides a platform for all SU students and alumni to pitch their ideas and launch their businesses. Video created by Nils Gollersrud, Bridge MBA '20.

Harriet Stephenson Business Plan Competition Prize Sponsors


Grand Prize ($20,000)

The Herbert B. Jones Foundation & The Madeline Haydon Award for Entrepreneurship

2nd Place Prize ($10,000)

John Meisenbach & The Madeline Haydon Award for Entrepreneurship

3rd Place Price ($5,000)

In Memory of Don Leuthold & Friends of the IEC

4th Place Prize ($2,000)

Lindsey McGrew '16

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

John Castle Family & Ro Health

Social Innovation Award ($1,000)

Elaine Baylor & Friends of the IEC

Pitch Judge Award ($500)

Kurt Wedgwood

Tradeshow Judge Award ($250)

Friends of the IEC

Semi-Finals Audience Choice Award ($250)

Friends of the IEC

If you are already a student entrepreneur, or aspire to be an entrepreneur, you should participate in the Harriet Stephenson Business Plan Competition as many times as possible. The competition is a free program that most students take for granted. I've learned so much through the competition, and it leaves me with the desire to learn so much more.

Dylan Bade 2020 Semi-Finalist Team, BarBuddy


Headshot of Peter Rowan

Peter Rowan

Lawrence K. Johnson Endowed Chair of Entrepreneurship

Amelia Marckworth

Amelia Marckworth

*currently on maternity leave*

Headshot of Janie Ng with a white background

Janie Ng

Interim Director of Community