Faculty Scholarship 1994 - Present

University-Based Business Plan Competitions: Does Institutional Environment Affect Participation and Outcomes?

The number of university-sponsored business plan competitions (BPC) has increased rapidly over the last decade. Yet there is sparse evidence of BPCs' usefulness in sorting and elevating innovative business models that drive economic development. This study compares results of competitions hosted in four types of university environments: those with nationally top-ranked programs in entrepreneurship, engineering, first-tier and second-tier business programs, and unranked business schools. Findings show marked differences among the winners emerging from the four types of host institutions. The study has implications for universities considering a single-institution-based BPC. It may stimulate discussion among program administrators who address the mix of competitors, the way competitors are attracted,and inform how to enhance the quality of entrants into appropriate BPCs. It may inform students who plan entrepreneurial careers and seek an optimal launchpad.