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College of Business

CWU Student Business Plan Competition


Student entrepreneurs enrolled at CWU are encouraged to enter the Student Business Plan Competition (BPC).  The BPC is presented and administered by the CWU Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (I4IE).

The purpose of the BPC is to foster innovation, promote business ideas and facilitate the development of a business plan. Students can take an idea for a product, service or process (including an app) and engineer a representation of the idea, e.g., a product design or design of the service or process. This could produce a tangible result of the innovative idea such as a product prototype or a schematic of the service or process that is the basis for meeting a market need or problem. The idea is then documented by developing a business plan.

A total of $10,000 in cash for start-up will be awarded. The 1st place winner will receive $5,000, the 2nd place winner will receive $3,000, and the 3rd place winner will receive $2,000.

The monetary award is designed to serve as "seed capital" to start-up your business idea. It is expected that these funds will be used to secure a business license, purchase equipment and/or supplies, purchase inventory, initiate marketing/promotion of the business or other business-related expenses. The monetary award is made in two (2) payments, and requires evidence of how the first payment was utilized before the second payment is made. It is expected that monetary awards are requested within 12 months of the award notification. If funds are not accessed within 18 months of the award notification, then the award may be canceled.

Cash awards for the CWU Student Business Plan Competition are provided by the Herbert B. Jones Foundation (Seattle) and in conjunction with activities during the Symposium On University Research & Creative Expression (SOURCE) at CWU. The SOURCE Conference will be held on the CWU Ellensburg campus, where finalists for the BPC will make an oral presentation of their written business plan.


CWU students and student teams are encouraged to enter the 2016 CWU Student Business Plan Competition. Key dates are provided in the table below. The process involves 5 steps:

  • Create and submit an Abstract of the business idea;
  • Screening of Abstracts to determine meritorious Abstracts;
  • Meritorious Abstracts will develop and submit a comprehensive, written Business Plan;
  • Screening of Business Plans to determine the six (6) finalists;
  • Each finalist will present the Business Plan at the SOURCE Conference where the top 3 awards are determined.

Additional information includes the following:

  • Previous winners of the BPC are not eligible to compete.
  • At the time of Abstract submission, the name and contact information for the faculty advisor/mentor must be provided.
  • Awards will be distributed after the completion of set deliverables agreed upon by the students and the CWU Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
  • The cash awards in the BPC are not wages from the College and there will be no withholdings for any required tax payments. Students receiving awards will receive an IRS Form 1099 early in the following calendar year for the payments indicating the amount of the payment. A copy of the IRS Form 1099 is sent to the IRS. Please plan for a tax liability accordingly. If you receive financial aid, please be aware also that there may be implications for the need-based portion of your award in a subsequent year.

BPC guidelines and judging criteria for evaluation of abstracts, business plans and oral presentations are provided at these I4IE links.

  1. BPC Judging Criteria
  2. Oral Presentation Judging Form

As a reminder, the CWU Student BPC begins with the submission of a maximum 2-page (e.g., maximum 1,000 words) Abstract due electronically by 12:00 A.M PST, Friday, March 10, 2017

The SCORE Chapter of central Washington is comprised of mostly retired business executives who offer their services and the SCORE template for business plan development.

For more information about the CWU Student Business Competition, email:
     Dr. Bill Provaznik, Director, I4IE at
     Dr. Kara Gabriel, SOURCE Director at

Access information about the UW BPC at:
Click on "Preparation" (left-side menu) and then click on "Start-Up Resources" to access helpful resources (e.g., "Write a Winning Business Plan").

Access information and schedule of dates and topics for the UW Resource Nights at:

Abstract Submission Form

ABSTRACT Judging Criteria & Guidelines

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