You can call us here: 540-443-9100

2014 VT Student Business Concept Challenge

The objectives of the challenge are to encourage students to develop their entrepreneurial ideas, enhance understanding of requirements for a successful business venture, and showcase the creativity of students at Virginia Tech.

Grand Prize - $10,000
Thanks to the support of our generous Student Business Concept Challenge sponsors, the grand prize winner of the Virginia Tech Student Business Concept Challenge will:

  • receive $10,000 in scholarships
  • receive start-up assistance from VT KnowledgeWorks
  • receive summer workspace in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center
  • qualify for the 2014 VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Challenge (week-long, expense-paid celebration of student entrepreneurship with a $25,000 grand prize)

Paul Feagan, Joe Acanfora, and Jeff Morris with Vestigo
Winners of the 2014 Student Business Concept Challenge

View last year's grand prize winner here.

People’s Choice - $5,000, sponsored by Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business

The People’s Choice award will be selected by vote of the event attendees.  VT KnowledgeWorks would like all contestants and audience members of the Student Business Concept Challenge to participate in honoring the most outstanding teams, based on the judging criteria.  The formal judging panel uses these same criteria to determine the winning team.  The team/concept with the highest overall ranking by the attendees, and which is not selected by the judging panel as the grand prize winner, will earn the $5,000 People’s Choice award.  The $5,000 will be awarded to the selected team in the form of scholarships.

Sebastian Walker, Don Choi, Steven Zimmerman, and John Lucas with Project OrganiCo
Winners of the 2014 People's Choice Award

2014 Student Challenge Rules
Eligibility: The competition is open to all graduate and undergraduate students at Virginia Tech. All participants must be full-time, registered students at Virginia Tech with an average team age of 27 years or less to participate and receive prizes if selected as a finalist team. Up to five finalist teams will be selected to present at the Challenge.

It is assumed that business concepts will be based on an evolving technology-based business concept that, at the time the application form is submitted, has not developed into a commercially available product.  Most teams are expected to have a prototype product/service in development, but the product/service will typically not have undergone customer evaluation or assessment.

Proposed products/services that support a sustainable environment or specifically address needs of underdeveloped countries are encouraged, but no special credit will be assigned to such business concepts.

Guidelines and Deadlines

1. February 14, 2014: Individual students or student teams must register by purchasing an Intent to Compete form by midnight of February 14, 2014.

2. February 14, 2014: Students must submit a one-page summary of the business concept by following the one-page submission guidelines by midnight of February 15, 2013. These will be reviewed by a panel of faculty and local business leaders, and those chosen to participate in the competitions will be announced relatively soon after.  One-Page Summary Guidelines ~ Review before submission.

3. March 7, 2014: The students and teams that were chosen to compete must submit a more detailed business concept document by following the submission guidelines. This is to be a three- to five-page document and up to five finalists will be announced relatively soon after. The business concept document will be critiqued using the criteria listed in the guidelines.  Business Concept Guidelines ~ Review before submission.

Note: Business concept documents should be submitted to

4. April 18, 2014: Up to five finalists will present their business concepts at the Entrepreneurship Challenge on April 18 before a panel of judges as well as angel capital, business leaders, and others attending the Challenge.  

Final presenation slides must be submitted to Dick Daugherty at no later than midnight on Monday, April 7.

Presentation Guidelines ~ Review in preparation for presentation.

Example presentation ~ An example of a "real" business plan presentation.

How to Prepare
1. Meet the above mentioned deadlines.
2. Carefully review and follow instructions and formats for the

3. Review the Frequently Asked Questions section.


Company: VT KnowledgeWorks
Street: 1715 Pratt Drive, Suite 1000
Postal/City: Blacksburg, Virginia 24060
Phone: 540-443-9100
Social Links
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
© Copyright 2011 by VTKnowledge Works