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How To Start A University Business Plan Competition: The Experience Of San Jose State University

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

IP, Incubation, and Business Plans

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.705.1 - 10.705.24



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Paper Authors

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Michael Solt

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Ashbjorn Osland

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Anuradha Basu

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

How to start a University Business Plan Competition: the experience of San Jose State University by Michael Solt, Anuradha Basu, & Asbjorn Osland College of Business San Jose State University, CA

San Jose State University’s Silicon Valley Center for Entrepreneurship has hosted a

business plan competition for the last two academic years. The purpose of the Silicon Valley

Business Plan Competition (SVBPC) is to stimulate interest in entrepreneurship among students

and help to create new start-ups. The winners have typically been MBA students with an

engineering background. This paper documents the process of planning and implementing the

SVBPC as it has evolved at San Jose State University (SJSU), the resources required, and the

key challenges encountered in organizing this annual event and widening participation in the

competition. The paper reports on the criteria used for measuring the success of the BPC from a

university’s perspective, and our findings regarding the key factors influencing success. The

main findings are the need to incorporate the writing of business plans into the student

curriculum, coach students to make business plans presentations to real investors and venture

capitalists, and highlight the practical benefits to students of participating in the competition as

going far beyond winning the competition.

Before discussing the details of our business plan competition we will set the context in

terms of description about SJSU, its student body, Silicon Valley as the world center for

innovation, SJSU’s four incubators, and the College of Business’ strategic emphasis on

entrepreneurship as one of three niches.


Solt, M., & Osland, A., & Basu, A. (2005, June), How To Start A University Business Plan Competition: The Experience Of San Jose State University Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15403

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