San Jose State University’s Silicon Valley Center for Entrepreneurship has hosted a business plan competition for the last two academic years. The purpose of the Silicon Valley Business Plan Competition (SVBPC) is to stimulate interest in entrepreneurship among students and help to create new start-ups. The winners have typically been MBA students with an engineering background. This paper documents the process of planning and implementing the SVBPC as it has evolved at San Jose State University (SJSU), the resources required, and the key challenges encountered in organizing this annual event and widening participation in the competition. The paper reports on the criteria used for measuring the success of the BPC from a university’s perspective, and our findings regarding the key factors influencing success. The main findings are the need to incorporate the writing of business plans into the student curriculum, coach students to make business plans presentations to real investors and venture capitalists, and highlight the practical benefits to students of participating in the competition as going far beyond winning the competition.
Michael Solt, Asbjorn Osland, and Anuradha Basu. "How to Start a University Business Plan Competition: The Experience of San Jose State University" Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference (2005): 10.705.1-10.705.24.