Editor’s note: check out our latest selection of international business plan competitions that you can apply for in 2018.
Competitions are great opportunities to raise funding for your new venture, be it in an idea or a scale-up stage. Besides money, you can quickly expand your network and gain new partners or clients.
There are numerous organizations and foundations who sponsor various competitions and partner with other organizations throughout each year. Competitions vary from business plan competitions, elevator pitches, to social entrepreneurship competitions for students, faculty and the public.
The 29 best business plan competitions
Here is a list of the top business case competitions (the majority of them are international) for the end of 2016 and 2017.
1. KPMG International Case Competition (KICC) 2017
[Dates: April 10-13, 2017]
Discover the fast-paced world of casework and test your ability to develop innovative, real-world business solutions through this challenging and exciting learning experience. You will compete with talented students from around the world, gaining valuable insight into what it’s like to work with clients. And once you progress to the top of your national case competition, you’ll find yourself on an all-expenses-paid trip to beautiful Lisbon, Portugal.
And once you progress to the top of your national case competition, you’ll find yourself on an all-expenses-paid trip to beautiful Lisbon, Portugal for the 2017 international final. Participate in the 2017 KPMG International Case Competition and take the next step towards a successful future.
2. Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards [TBA]
The Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards is an annual business pitching competition. They reward student and graduate entrepreneurs by offering cash prizes, mentoring and start-up support.
If you are a student or graduate from one of their partner universities and have recently started a new business that could use some guidance and extra cash, then this is your chance to win one of the Entrepreneurship Awards. The Details of the 2017 awards will be released later this year.
3. NIBS Worldwide Case Competition 2017
[Deadline: November 1, 2016]
The NIBS Worldwide Case Competition is a test of problem-solving ability, business acumen, cultural insight, communication skills, and teamwork. Teams of four undergraduate students compete on behalf of their respective universities. They have a limited time to analyze written business cases, assess the challenges facing the organization, and present recommendations to panels of senior managers, policy-makers, and academics. In 2017, the competition will be hosted by the Satakunta University of Applied Sciences with the Championship Round taking place in Rauma, Finland during 26 February – 3 March 2017.
They have a limited time to analyze written business cases, assess the challenges facing the organization, and present recommendations to panels of senior managers, policy-makers, and academics. In 2017, the competition will be hosted by the Satakunta University of Applied Sciences with the Championship Round taking place in Rauma, Finland during 26 February – 3 March 2017.
4. Russell Investments International Case Competition (RIICC) [Deadline: October 30, 2016]
The Russell Investments International Case Competition is an annual event in which teams of undergraduate business students apply their knowledge and skills to a real-life international business problem.
Panels of judges evaluate team analyses and recommendations based on the teams’ diagnosis of the problem, application of theory and classroom concepts, ability to communicate ideas, teamwork, and creativity.
5. BBICC 2017 Belgrade Business International Case Competition [Dates: April 3-8, 2017]
Belgrade Business International Case Competition 2017 (BBICC 2017) is the global undergraduate business case competition that will be held for the fifth time in Belgrade, the capital city of Serbia.
A cultural diversity, challenging case, relevant knowledge, impeccable organization and unique spirit of Serbia are the key things that BBICC has to offer.
A cultural diversity, challenging case, relevant knowledge, impeccable organization and unique spirit of Serbia are the key things that BBICC has to offer.
6. Rice Business Plan Competition 2017
[Dates: April 6-8, 2017]
The Rice Business Plan Competition is the world’s richest and largest graduate-level student startup competition.
It is hosted and organized by the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, which is Rice University’s internationally-recognized initiative devoted to the support of entrepreneurship, and the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business. The Application process opens on October 2016.
7. BI International Case Competition 2017
[Dates: February 11-17, 2017]
BI International Case Competition invites prestigious schools from all over the world to compete in solving a real business case, provided by one of our corporate partners. However, the project is much more than just a case competition!
BIICC offers a unique program including social activities, workshops, and events, both for the international participants and all BI students. The registration will be opened in November 2016.
8. International Case Competition@Maastricht (ICC@M)
[Dates: May 7-13, 2017]
This challenge is for the 16 competing undergraduate business student teams is to address selected business cases and to present their solutions and recommendations to judging panels consisting of academics and business executives. During the ICC@M week, these teams will be addressing challenging international all-around business cases in a true crossing borders European environment.
And several corporate and social events are organized to engage business partners, SBE-students, alumni, and staff in this great event. ICC@M, therefore, provides ample opportunities for SBE and UM staff and students to be involved in value exchange with external stakeholders.
9. John Molson Undergraduate Case Competition 2017 [Dates: February 19 – 25, 2017]
Each year, the John Molson Undergraduate Case Competition prepares the world’s brightest undergraduate business students to become leaders in a globally interdependent, culturally diverse and rapidly changing economic environment, while fostering strategic thinking, innovative problem-solving and sound decision-making. The 9th edition of the Competition will take place from February 19th to the 25th, 2017.
10. APICS West Coast Student Case Competition 2017 [Deadline: January 31, 2017]
Teams of students are given a supply chain problem to be solved using a computer simulation game. Teams will develop solutions and then present their rationale for the solutions. Teams will receive the case, complete a practice round and one real round prior to attending the competition. The balance of the case will be completed on-site within two days. Any full-time university student who is an APICS member is eligible to compete. Date & Time: Friday, February 17th at 7:30 AM till Saturday, February 18th at 2:30 PM.
11. Gadjah Mada Business Case Competition (GMBCC) 2017 [Dates: March 7-9, 2017]
Gadjah Mada Business Case Competition (GMBCC) is an annual international business case competition organized by the Management’s Events that has now entered its fifth year. GMBCC intended to assist the business world in a way to find solutions to the problems faced by our client. GMBCC winner has the opportunity to prove their ability in solving real business problem and winning the prize of $3700.
12. 2017 KEYBANK FOUNDATION Minority MBA Student Case Competition [Deadline: December 1, 2016]
KeyBank and Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University will host its 13th Annual Minority MBA Student Case Competition on February 24-26, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio.
13. Technovation [Deadline: Rolling basis]
Technovation offers girls around the world the opportunity to learn the skills they need to emerge as tech entrepreneurs and leaders. Every year they invite girls to identify a problem in their community, and then challenge them to solve it.
Girls work in teams to build both a mobile app and a business plan to launch that app, supported by mentors and guided by their curriculum.
14. Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) 2017
The Entrepreneurs’ Organization’s Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) is the premier global competition for student entrepreneurs who actively run a business. EO GSEA nominees compete in qualifying competitions for the chance to advance to the Global Finals, held in April 2017 in Frankfurt, Germany. With more than 1,700 competitors from more than 50 countries, EO GSEA is an exclusive opportunity for student entrepreneurs to make connections, find resources, and grow their businesses.
15. Utah Entrepreneur Challenge (UEC)
[Deadline: February 21, 2017]
The Utah Entrepreneur Challenge (UEC) is a statewide, student business model competition. Teams from universities across the state compete for the best business plan and a chance to win more than $100,000 in cash and in-kind prizes.
Participating teams receive mentorship from community experts, and are judged by industry professionals. The grand prize is $40,000 in cash, and additional prizes are granted for best business plan, presentation, technology, and more. Many past winners have developed into successful enterprises. The competition is open to all university students across the state. Submissions will open on November 28, 2016.
16. Solvay Business Game 2017
[Dates: February 17-18, 2017]
Since 2007, the Solvay Brussels School of Economics & Management proudly organizes its annual real-life business competition, with 400 participants selected from over 1300 applicants from all around the world, making it the largest business game in Europe.
17. ODYSSEY: The MBA Games 2017
[Registration: Opens in November 2016]
MBA Odyssey Inc, announces 8th ODYSSEY from Thursday 23 March to Saturday 25 March 2017, in New York City. Get beyond the rankings as teams from each school go head-to-head in an entrepreneurial pitch, case competition, and negotiation.
Bringing together students from the top MBA programs across the world to compete in a two-day competition and connect with current business leaders in New York City.
18. Next Founders
Next Founders is a program that accelerates the growth of Canada’s most promising entrepreneurs by providing mentorship, access to capital, and unparalleled founder development. The want to help scale both the founder and their business. Scale your Business and your Mindset. Applications for the next cohort open in January 2017.
19. European Student Startups ESS17
[Deadline: December 9, 2016]
ESS is Europe’s first seed investment competition solely for students and recent graduates. They are looking for ambitious students and investors to take part. If you are a student with a great idea this is a great opportunity for you.
20. Diamond Challenge for High School Entrepreneurs 2017 [Deadline: November 27, 2016]
An innovative entrepreneurship competition for high school students offering $100,000 in awards. The Diamond Challenge provides a unique opportunity for teens to learn about entrepreneurship while putting their ideas into action.
While many entrepreneurship programs focus on principles of small business management, the Diamond Challenge focuses on unleashing creativity, encouraging a mindset of abundance and self-determination, and promoting purposeful entrepreneurial action.
21. New Venture Competition
[Deadline: December 11, 2016]
The New Venture Competition is an annual student competition sponsored by Harvard Business School’s Rock Center for Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise Initiative. Are you pursuing a new business or social impact venture?
Participate in the New Venture Competition through one of 15 regional competitions hosted by 18 alumni “hub” clubs around the world. The winning team from each regional competition attends the NVC finale and advances to online crowd vote finals.
22. Business Ideas Competition by LAUNCH.ed
[Deadline: November 25, 2016]
The ed Business Ideas Competition rewards businesses with promising potential and social enterprises from students and graduates of the University of Edinburgh. The ideas do not have to be fully developed, and entrants are not required to have a complete strategy to put the idea into practice.
23. Next 36 [Registration: Open now]
The Next 36 is a program that accelerates the growth of Canada’s most talented young entrepreneurs by providing mentorship, capital, and unparalleled founder development. Each year, we choose 36 young Canadian innovators and challenge them to build a new business venture or iterate and scale an existing idea with enormous potential.
24. The Hult Prize Student Competition 2017
[Deadline: October 31,2016]
Win US$1,000,000. Compete in the planet’s largest student competition to solve the world’s toughest challenges. The Hult Prize Foundation is a start-up accelerator for budding young social entrepreneurs emerging from the world’s universities.
Named as one of the top five ideas changing the world by President Bill Clinton and TIME Magazine, the annual competition for the Hult Prize aims to create and launch the most compelling social business ideas—start-up enterprises that tackle grave issues faced by billions of people. Winners receive USD1 Million in seed capital, as well as mentorship and advice from the international business community.
25. Postcode Lottery Green Challenge 2017
[Registration: Opens in March 2017]
The Postcode Lottery Green Challenge is the world’s largest competition in the field of sustainable entrepreneurship. Green startups from all over the world can submit promising sustainable business plans from the 1st of March 2017 for the 11th edition.
In order to be able to compete, your product or service must reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The winner will receive €500,000 to further develop their product or service, and to bring it to market. The runner-up will receive €200,000. The winner will chosen by an international jury.
26. CodeLaunch [Registration: Opens on January 1, 2017]
CodeLaunch is an annual seed accelerator for people and groups with ideas for “Apps” who are seeking seed funding. The CodeLaunch Pitch Day is the culmination of the competition and a showcasing of the best competitors. If you have an “idea for an app” and nothing more you are qualified to apply. If you have experience in business and passion for entrepreneurialism you are likely to advance. CodeLaunch will continue to grow each year and has become an event with widespread interest from the start-up community including Angel Investors, Venture Capital, and other entrepreneurial organizations and leaders.
27. Burton D. Morgan Business Plan Competition
[Deadline: November 9, 2016]
The goal of the Purdue University Burton D. Morgan Business Plan Competition is to provide an opportunity for Purdue students to learn about entrepreneurship through the development and presentation of a business idea to a panel of judges.
Participants in the competition have an opportunity to define their ideas in commercial terms and to compete for substantial cash prizes that could be used to further the commercialization of their inventions.
28. New York StartUP! 2017 Business Plan Competition [TBA]
The New York Public Library in conjunction with its sponsor, Citi Foundation, is proud to announce the 8th Annual New York StartUP! Business Plan Competition for New York-based startup entrepreneurs with cash prizes totaling over $30,000. Entrants gain practical insights about starting and growing a business, while using the comprehensive small business resources at NYPL’s Science, Industry and Business Library (SIBL).
29. Pitch Competition & Showcase 2016
[Deadline: October 20, 2016]
U.Pitch brings together the best students from a cross-section of universities in this ultimate national elevator pitch competition. In just 90 seconds, you could pitch your way to victory! Plus, you could get the opportunity to showcase your idea or startup in front of hundreds of entrepreneurs, investors, business leaders and other students from the entrepreneurial community. The 3rd Annual U.Pitch Competition & Showcase is coming back to Chicago on Thursday, November 10, 2016. Participants will compete for part of a $10,000 prize pool for their innovative business or idea. Applications are open through October 20. Semifinalists will be announced on October 25.
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