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Rules & Guidelines 2015

The objectives of the Global Entrepreneurship Challenge Semifinals 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.


  • $10,000 - Plastics One Advanced Manufacturing Award for the outstanding tangible product
  • $10,000 - VT KnowledgeWorks Information Technology Award for the outstanding intangible product or service
  • $5,000 - An additional grand prize for one of the two teams that receive the Advanced Manufacturing Award or the Information Technology Award
  • $5,000 - People’s Choice Award sponsored by Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business

Thanks to the support of our generous sponsors, the grand prize winner of the Global Entrepreneurship Challenge Semifinals will also receive:

Jeremy Boone and Ben Newman with Calbico:  Grand Prize winners of the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Challenge Semifinals and of the Plastics One Advanced Manufacturing Award

View last year's grand prize winner here.

Jordan White and Ojas Mhetar with Beyond Reality:  winners of the 2015 VT KnowledgeWorks Information Technology Award

People’s Choice
The People’s Choice award will be selected by vote of the event attendees.  VT KnowledgeWorks would like all contestants and audience members 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.

Megan Lorey, Kelvin Aviles, Joselyn Martinez, Ryan Klavan, Joaquin Bur, and Gabriella Jacobsen with Flow:  winners of the 2015 Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business People's Choice Award

View last year's People's Choice winner here.

2015 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.

A business concept is an attractive and well-researched market opportunity for which the team has devised a powerful and innovative response, including a viable financial business model.  The prize is focused on supporting educational entrepreneurship at an early stage of development.  Therefore, applicants must not have received cash investments from private investors, government agency funding beyond research grants, nor offered product(s) for sale except in market survey mode at the time the application form is submitted:  February 11, 2015.  The judges consider the viability of the market opportunity, the strength of the team’s response, the strength and balance of the team, the overall predictability of a success, and the professionalism of the presentation. 

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 11, 2015: Individual students or student teams must register by completing an Intent to Compete form by midnight of February 11, 2015.

2. February 11, 2015: Students must submit a one-page summary of the business concept by following the one-page submission guidelines by midnight of February 11, 2015. 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 6, 2015: 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 six 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 8, 2015: Up to six finalists will present their business concepts at the Global Entrepreneurship Challenge Semifinals on April 8 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 6.

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
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