Document Type


Publication Date

June 2005

Publication Title

Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference

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Last Page



Business | Engineering Education | Entrepreneurial and Small Business Operations


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.


© 2005 American Society for Engineering Education. This article originally appeared in the proceedings of the 2005 ASEE Annual Conference, and can also be found online at this link.
Conference SessionIP, Incubation, and Business PlansPaper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon.