One of the most important keys to small business success is a well-conceived and presented business plan. The UNM Business Plan Competition offers a high-profile, real-world challenge where teams present business ideas to compete for startup funding and other prizes in two competitive categories, the Technology Ventures Track (utilizing Intellectual Property) or the Entrepreneurial Ventures Track (generalist, non-IP).
Students across all UNM schools and colleges, including graduate, undergraduate, and alumni who have graduated in the last five years, are eligible to compete. Teams can include an experienced partner from the business or investment community. Team registration, "Intent to Present," is open until January 27, 2015, however teams typically organize during fall semester in order to be well prepared for the March 27, 2015 competition.
The UNM Business Plan Competition is a marquee event for the business development mission of UNM, and in the past 9 years has successfully:
* Awarded $475,000 in prize money to 39 student companies
* Involved over 400 judges, mentors, sponsors, supporters each year from the
alumni and business community
* Promoted student ideas and new venture creation
* Provided an opportunity for students in business, science, and other disciplines
to present new business plans to Albuquerque area venture capitalists.
The Technology Ventures track encourages students to collaborate on teams that commercialize technology products developed at Sandia National Labs, Los Alamos National Lab, UNM, NMSU, or elsewhere in the state and is specifically focused on creating new technology firms that can be funded by venture and/or angel capital groups.
The Entrepreneurial Ventures track focuses on generalist companies, although the project may include a technology component. These student-owned startup firms bring inventions from lab to market and have the potential to boost New Mexico's economic development through job and wealth creation.
Students should check with Dr. Sul Kassicieh, firstname.lastname@example.org, early in the process if they are not certain which competition track is a better fit. The BPC offers the participating teams exposure to community business leaders and to potential funding for their firms.
"The UNM Technology Business Plan Competition is an unprecedented opportunity in my academic experience. I am not sure that without it my partners and I would be pursuing our own start-up firm. The competition allows students from diverse backgrounds to get their feet wet by meeting entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, scientists and engineers. It allows the opportunity to exercise all the business disciplines within a real business paradigm. This competition was the capstone of my MBA education."
J.B. Tuttle, Marketing Director for Microtection, LLC. Microtection (formerly MicroHound) won the $25,000 Michael Gallegos Prize for Entrepreneurship in 2009 and is working to commercialize a portable trace explosives and narcotics detector developed at Sandia National Laboratories.