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Friday, March 23 • 9:00am - 10:30am
University-based Business Plan Competitions: Does institutional environment affect participation and outcomes?

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Universities initiated new business plan competitions (BPC) during the last decade at a 22% annual growth rate. Despite increasing popularity, even avid proponents of BPCs question their efficacy. There is sparse documentation of BPC's usefulness in "sorting out" and elevating innovative growth-oriented business models that drive economic development. We compare competitions hosted by nationally top-ranked programs in entrepreneurship (Princeton Review/Entrepreneur.com), engineering (ABET), top-rated and second-tier general business programs (AACSB). Findings suggest that institutions with top-ranked entrepreneurship programs were less likely than top-ranked engineering programs to reward entries from high-value ventures such as energy, IT, and medical products or solutions. The study has implications for universities considering a single-institution-based BPC. It stimulates discussion among program administrators who address the mix of competitors, the way competitors are attracted, and how to enhance the quality of entrants into appropriate BPCs.


Kimble A. Byrd

Kimble A. Byrd is Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship at Rowan University. He combines a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School with over twenty years of university business school teaching and professional work experience as a lawyer in both private practice and government service. He co-directs the Rohrer Business Plan Competition.

Linda Wabschall Ross

Linda W. Ross is Professor of Entrepreneurship at Rowan University, where she co-directs the Rohrer Business Plan Competition. In addition to teaching, she advises the campus CEO club.

Friday March 23, 2012 9:00am - 10:30am

Attendees (4)