What are the Requirements and Juding Criteria?

Screening Round



Judged on:

  • Market Opportunity—There is a clear market need or opportunity presented, as well as the ways to take advantage of it.
  • Distinctive Capability—The company provides something novel, unique, or special that gives it a competitive advantage in its market.
  • Management Capability—The team can effectively develop this company and handle the risks associated with the venture.
  • Financial Understanding—The team has a solid understanding of the financial requirements of the business.
  • Triple-Bottom Line—The plan addresses the “triple bottom-line” in terms of the new venture’s impact on people and the planet, in some meaningful way(s). 
  • Either:
    • Investment Potential—The business represents a real investment opportunity in which you would consider investing, or
    • Potential to Meet Stated Goals—Although the business and its plan may not be an appealing financial investment (lifestyle busiensses, nonprofits, social enterprise, etc), it demonstrates a good ability to achieve the mission and goals of the entrepreneur and team.

What did past entries look like?

Why Participate?

Seattle University’s 20th annual Business Plan Competition is designed to help students and alumni in launching new business ventures:

  • For-profit Businesses
  • Not-for-Profit Businesses
  • Corporate Entrepreneurship
  • Social Enterprise

As part of this experience, participants will enhance their Seattle University learning experience, gain feedback on ideas, develop networks, be encouraged to participate in the UW's northwest invitational business plan competition, and expose their ideas to potential investors.

Are there cash awards?

Yes. The Grand Prize winner will walk away with $10,000! Please see below for all award categories and prizes.

Final Round

  • $10,000 Grand Prize
  • $5,000 Second Place
  • $3,000 Third Place

Other Cash Prizes

  • Social Innovation Award
  • Special Recognition Award
  • Elevator Pitch Judges Award
  • Trade Show Judges Award
  • Community Choice Trade Show Award
  • Community Choice Finals Award

Note: While not expected, please note that cash prizes and prize categories are subject to change.

Who can participate?

Any enrolled Seattle University students or Seattle University alumni can participate in the competition (see Rules & Eligibility for details). A team participating in the competition can consist of one or more contestants and can include non-students. However, there must be at least one SU student or alumnus on each team. We encourage all participants to take advantage of all the resources provided, mentors, prep sessions, etc.