2008 Business Plan Competition Guidelines
Business Plan Panel Discussion and Awards Ceremony
Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008
5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
B-level, 1 Pace Plaza, NYC
Business Plan Guidelines*
- 1. Cover Page – include the proposed name of the organization and contact information of the entrant(s).
- 2. Table of Contents – a list on the major sections of the plan and corresponding page numbers.
- 3. Executive Summary – an overview of the plan, not to exceed 1 page.
- 4. Business Description – details of the business and what it does.
- 5. Objectives – specific short and long term objectives of the business. You may include the broader goals of the organization as well as its vision and mission.
- 6. Market Analysis – an overview of the industry, characteristics of the market, and a description of the customers.
- 7. Product or Service Analysis – the specifics of your product or service and a description of the unmet need it fills.
- 8. Development and Production – details of research and development efforts, licensing agreements, the production process, and operations.
- 9. Competition – identify current and potential competitors, analyze the likely competitive response.
- 10. Business Strategy – how you will create and defend a competitive advantage.
- 11. Marketing Plan – an overview of the marketing mix and details of how sales will be achieved.
- 12. Management – An assessment of the entrepreneur and management team.
- 13. Finances – Specific details of the required resources and economics of the venture.
- 14. An investment proposal – the terms and conditions offered to investors. Include details of the current equity positions, proposed deal structure, and valuation methodology.
- 15. Critical Risks and Contingencies – an overview of internal weaknesses and potential threats facing the business, as well as actions that may be taken to mitigate them.
- 16. Milestones and Scheduling – an outline of key business targets and a timeline for achieving them.
- 17. Supporting Information – information that clearly illustrates and bolsters your plan. This includes pro forma financial statements (balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement), résumés, industry data, primary and/or secondary market research, product illustrations, legal agreements, etc.
Additional Guidelines for Social Ventures*
In addition to considering the above guidelines, plans submitted in the Social Ventures category should address the following criteria:
- 1. Assessing the need: does the proposed venture address a significant and pressing social problem?
- 2. Well-defined target: does the proposed venture adequately describe the problem it addresses and define the parameters within which it plans to operate?
- 3. Matching skills and objectives: does the entrepreneurial team demonstrate the skills and experience required to translate the plan into action?
- 4. Creativity: does the proposal approach the social problem in a creative, exciting, and dynamic way?
- 5. Feasibility: does the initiative aspire towards realistic and achievable goals, while thinking big? How effectively can it be implemented?
- 6. Sustainability: does the proposed venture include adequate strategies for fundraising and income generation? Does it consider the different dimensions of financial and social sustainability in a conscientious manner?
- 7. Social impact: how will the implementation of this social venture benefit the community and the multiple stakeholders involved?
* These are only general guidelines. Business plans may be submitted in other formats, provided they contain a one (1) page Executive Summary and do not exceed forty (40) pages in length.