TMCC Business Plan Competition 2014-2015


Truckee Meadows Community College encourages the development of curricula and programs in the fields of innovation and entrepreneurship.

To encourage students from different academic disciplines to work together to develop new business ideas and good business plans for those ideas, and to promote greater participation and performance in the upcoming statewide Donald W. Reynolds Governor's Cup Business Plan Competition held each spring, TMCC has established the Business Plan Competition for students of Truckee Meadows Community College and TMCC High School. This year the Donald W. Reynolds Governor's Cup finalists will also have the opportunity to compete in the Tri-State Donald W. Reynolds Cup (Nevada, Arkansas, Oklahoma) competition following the Governor's Cup.

The TMCC Business Plan Competition seeks to teach students at all high school, college and university levels the importance of developing high quality business ideas and plans. The competition also seeks to provide them with the resources, not only to write comprehensive, complete and concise business strategies, but to also see those plans come to be realized. Participants of TMCC Business Plan Competition are strongly encouraged to participate in the spring Donald W. Reynold's Governor's Cup Business Plan Competition and the subsequent Tri-State Competition to compete for a share of the more than $250,000 in cash prizes offered.

Eligibility Back to Top

The competition is open to all full-time and part-time undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at TMCC and TMCC High School. Faculty sponsorship is required for this competition as well as for the Governor's Cup Competition. Individual participation is permitted, but teams of up to six students are preferred, and are given points for interdisciplinary teams. The business plan must be for a seed, start-up or early stage venture and must address the entire business concept (including implementation). At least one team member must have a key role in the company's management team. Proposals for the buy-out or expansion of an existing company, tax-shelter opportunities, franchise, real estate syndications, or a non-profit, and other consulting projects and analyses are not eligible.

Students who have competed in a previous year are eligible to compete again, however if they placed (first, second or third), they must present a new idea and may not present the same and/or a revised version of the business plan or idea presented the previous year. If they did not place in the top three, they may submit the same or revised version of the business plan or idea presented the previous year.

Judging Back to Top

The competition takes place in two parts. A panel of judges evaluates the written plans prior to the oral competition and selects the six semi-finalist teams. Each entry is evaluated in whole by at least two judges. Detailed feedback will be provided on all judged plans.

The final phase consists of a new panel of judges who will evaluate the finalist teams based upon their revised written business plan submission and their oral presentation. This panel selects the first, second and third place teams.

The judging is based both subjectively and objectively on the evaluation guidelines and the impressions formed by the business experiences of the judges. The judges score contestants on scales of 1-10 or 1-5, with 10 or 5 being the highest, 1 being the lowest, in several categories. Judges do not discuss their opinions of contestants until after all scores have been submitted. In case of a tie, the judges will reconvene and discuss the tied teams in order to determine a winner.

All judges ultimately consider the entire business concept of each business plan submitted, looking at overall feasibility, combined with significant capital gains potential, attractive investment possibilities and actual implementation. The most compelling business plan is one that effectively integrates all components of the plan, rather than simply forming a strong sum of parts.

Anonymous judged score sheets and notes will be available to students after the competition at the request of the competing student and/or student group. Oral presentation judges are also likely to give immediate feedback and advice during and after each presentation.

There will be awards given out in the following categories:

  • 1st Place: Scholarship funds and in-kind gifts
  • 2nd Place: Scholarship funds and in-kind gifts
  • 3rd Place: Scholarship funds and in-kind gifts

Additional awards consisting of scholarships and professional business services may be provided to winning team members depending on sponsorship support.

Timeline and Schedule Back to Top

Scheduled DateTimeDescriptionRoom
October 15, 2014 4:30 p.m. Business Plan Competition Informational RDMT 256, Dandini Campus
November 7, 2014 5 p.m. Intent Forms Due Intent Form and Instructions
December 15, 2014 5 p.m. Business Plans Due Submission Instructions
TBA 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Oral Presentations/Awards Ceremony TBA

Official Rules of the TMCC Business Plan Competition Back to Top

  1. The competition is open to all full-time and part-time undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at TMCC or TMCC High School. Enrollment is limited to the semester during which the contest begins. We rely on the students to verify they meet enrollment criteria.
  2. Intent Forms must be submitted no later than October 30, 2014.
  3. The business plan may be prepared under faculty supervision for credit in a regularly scheduled course or as independent study. The plan may also be prepared under faculty supervision with no official credit.
  4. Each team may submit only one business plan to the competition.
  5. Either an individual or a group may develop the business plan. Group size shall not exceed six people. The management team outlined in the plan will contain the names of individuals (if any) who are not associated with TMCC or TMCC High School. Presenting group members must be students and have a key role in the company. Non-student members of the venture's management team may not participate in any presentations, including the finals.
  6. The author(s) will retain all rights to the plan regarding its use at all times prior to and following the competition (except as stated below). Due to the nature of the competition, we will not ask judges, reviewers, sponsors, staff or the audience to agree to or sign non-disclosure statements for any participant.
  7. The business plan must be for a seed, start-up or early venture and must address the entire business concept (including implementation). Proposals for the buy-out or expansion of an existing company, tax-shelter opportunities, real estate syndications, non-profit, franchises, licensing agreements for distribution in a different geographical area, spin-outs from existing corporations,and other consulting projects or analyses are not eligible.
  8. The business should not have generated significant sales revenues prior to the competition. The business should not have received more than $200,000 in equity-related capital (such as seed capital or institutional funding), or generated more than $100,000 in gross revenue prior to the current academic year. Revenue generated during a test-marketing project may be excluded from this provision.
  9. The business may license technology from another company for manufacturing, use, sales and/or distribution purposes. Revenue streams for the business should not be based solely on deriving revenues from the licensing of its own technologies.
  10. The plans may not contain fabricated information about (but not limited to) the following: backgrounds, experience and educational level of members of the management team, stage of product development, product performance claims, market survey results, sales orders, marketing arrangements, customer, distributor or vendors.
  11. Plans are limited to 30 pages of typed text, which includes the executive summary and excludes appendices. Cover sheets are not counted in total number of pages.
  12. Summary financial data should include a five year pro-forma cash flow statement, income statement and balance sheet. Include an explanation to investors of how much capital will be required in the first and future rounds of investment, how funds from the first round will be used, what milestones will be met using the first round of funding, delineate possible exit strategies, identify companies or categories of companies for which this company might be an attractive acquisition candidate in future years. Business plans may include the expected Return on Investment (ROI) for investors and the proposed structure of the deal, i.e., loan, preferred stock, convertible note, etc.
  13. Appendices should be included only when they support the findings, statements and observations in the plan. Because of the number of teams/plans entering the competition, reviewers and judges may not be able to read all of the material in the appendices. Therefore, the text portion of the plan (30 pages) must contain all pertinent information in a clear and concise manner.
  14. One PDF version of the Business Plan, along with an Official Business Plan Submittal Form, is to be received by TMCC by 5 p.m. the day of the deadline.
  15. For finalist presentations, each team will be given twenty (20) minutes to present their business plan followed by a fifteen (15) minute question-and-answer session between the presenting team and the panel of judges. After competing, each team will receive a ten (10) minute feedback round from the judges. Judges will use that time to give advice, direction, and share experiences that relate to the business plan - bring note paper and pen because the feedback round will be very valuable. Each presenting team will have ten (10) minutes prior to its presentation for set-up/preparation and five (5) minutes after the presentation for equipment dismantling.
  16. A team may not observe presentations or question-and-answer sessions.
  17. All oral presentations, question-and-answer sessions and feedback rounds are open to the public at large. Further, it is likely that any or all of these public sessions will be broadcast to interested persons through media, which may include radio, television and the Internet. Any data or information discussed or divulged in public sessions by entrants should be considered information that will likely enter the public realm, and entrants should not assume any right of confidentiality in any data or information discussed, divulged or presented in these sessions.
  18. Student entrants agree to grant TMCC and/or organizations designated by them, the unlimited right to videotape, photograph, audiotape, transcribe or otherwise record all public sessions of the competition, including but not limited to oral presentations, question-and-answer sessions and feedback rounds. All entrants agree that TMCC and/or their designated organizations may use any such transcriptions and/or recording(s) (in whole or part) for such publicity and marketing purposes as their organizations may see fit, including those which may result in profit.
  19. Oral Presentations will be made at TMCC (date is TBA). The facilities will include sound, projection screen, and a computer running Windows 7 operating system and Microsoft Office 2010 products. Students will be required to bring a CD or USB device with the file containing any material they wish to project.
  20. Team members are not allowed to bring food or beverages into the rooms for presentation. (There will be a contestant lounge available for use before/after each team's presentation, and water will be provided at the podium in the presentation room.) Students may bring product samples for their presentations, but may not bring any promotional items or giveaways to the judges. Paper materials for the judges are allowed, but not required.
  21. The first, second and third place winning teams will be announced the same day at the awards ceremony after all presentations are made.

Contestant Entry Packet Back to Top

Business Plan Samples Back to Top

Business Plan Resources Back to Top