Thriving on competition

March 19, 2013

Even before they graduate, Baylor students are already experiencing what it's like to compete in today's competitive business world through competitions in which they translate academic theory into business practice -- and vie for prizes in the process.

"As students participate more and more in competitions that are recognized nationally and internationally, they begin to see that they're competing already in the marketplace," says Dr. Terry Maness, BA '71, MS '72, Hankamer School of Business dean, pointing to Baylor entrepreneurship students' participation in three major competitions.

Now in its second year, the New Venture Business Plan Competition is a two-day, dual-round business plan and speed pitch competition open to all Texas-accredited institution students and alumni. The top 50 student teams receive feedback from expert investors, and 12 finalists earn up to $50,000 in cash prizes -- underwritten by an anonymous gift to Baylor -- for funding their ventures.

The annual Baylor Entrepreneurship Case Writing Competition, open to undergraduate and graduate students from around the world, welcomes unpublished submissions of "original cases that advance the field of entrepreneurship and contribute to the understanding of entrepreneurial phenomena." Students have a chance to win prizes up to $2,000.

And in the annual Baylor CEO Elevator Pitch Competition, Baylor undergraduate students pitch their business ideas to a group of judges for a chance to win $200 -- for just a two-minute pitch -- and the opportunity to compete in the National Elevator Pitch Competition in Chicago. The idea: a successful entrepreneur could walk into an elevator where he meets an investor and sell his idea to that investor in the two minutes that it takes for the elevator to reach the 20th floor. Ding!