Faculty Scholarship 1994 - Present

Business Plan Competitions: Start-up Idols and their Twenty-First Century Launch Pads

Business plan competitions (BPCs) promise to expand regional economies and catalyze new venture development. BPCs have evolved into a talent search and a launch pad for nascent entrepreneurs. 'American Idol' style contests are hailed and criticized. An assessment of BPCs as both business and pedagogical processes adds to the literature on competitions. This analysis examines a sample of top-ranked programs in entrepreneurship, engineering and general business. Do competitions reward innovative business models? Are there variations in the selection of winners, products or services? The study examines whether the 'elite' nature of the contest sponsor affects winner selection.