2018 Competition Changes

The 18th Annual Johns Hopkins University Business Plan Competition, sponsored by the Center for Leadership Education, will run from February through April 27, 2018.

A number of changes were made to this year’s competition to encourage greater participation among students and to provide teams with additional feedback about their business idea. The annual competition offers students from all Johns Hopkins campuses an opportunity to develop a business idea with guidance from business experts.

Teams compete for up to $6,000 in prizes in each of the four categories – Mobile Apps, Medical Technology/Life Sciences, Social Enterprise, and General Business. First place teams will earn $6,000, while second place will earn $4,000 and third place will earn $2,500.

For 2018, the entry requirements for teams will be eased. To enter the competition, teams must submit a 1 to 3 minute video pitch and a 1-page summary of their business idea. This package for the First Round is at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 18.

Teams that advance to the Second Round must provide a 2- to 3 -page executive summary of their business plan. This executive summary, which should incorporate judges’ feedback from the first round, is due at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, March 11.

Teams advancing to the third round will submit a full business plan, incorporating judges’ feedback from the prior rounds. The full business plan of up to 10 pages (excluding the cover page and appendices) is due at 11:59 p.m., Sunday, April 8.

Up to 16 teams in each category will advance to Competition Day on April 27. During the morning, each team presents their business plan to a team of judges comprised of alumni, former contestants, venture capitalists and other invited guests. Teams will present three slides over 6 minutes, with judges having 2 to 3 minutes to ask questions.

The best four teams selected in each category after the morning presentations will give 10-15 minute presentations on their business plans to judges in the afternoon, as they compete for the top three prizes in the category.

All teams will be eligible for an array of $200 awards in categories including Best Slides, Best Presentation, Most Original Business Idea and Best Engineering Intervention.

All winners will be announced during a networking and awards reception for all teams and judges, from 4-5:45 p.m. April 27. No awards dinner will be held this year.

Competition Day at the JHU Homewood campus will kick off at 9 a.m. with a Welcome Breakfast open to all participants, teams and judges. A keynote speech from a successful JHU graduate and welcoming remarks will be held at this time.

Teams will be able to enter the First Round, starting Jan. 5, 2018.

Teams with questions can direct them to Bob Graham at bgraham@jhu.edu.

JHU alumni interested in judging either online for the first three rounds or in person for the final rounds may also contact Bob Graham by email.

Full Business Plan Competition Schedule

Jan. 5, 2018 Platform to submit entries at bpc.jhu.edu opens

Sunday, Feb. 18 First Round – Submit up to a 3-minute pitch video and a 1-page memo on your business plan idea

Feb. 19-Feb. 27 Judging of First Round

Wednesday, Feb. 28 Advancing Teams Notified

Sunday, March 11 Second Round – Submit a 2-3 page executive summary of your business plan idea

March 12-19 Judging of Second Round

Wednesday, March 21 Advancing Teams notified

Sunday, April 8 Third Round – Submit a full business plan of up to 10 pages

April 9-16 Judging of Third Round

Wednesday, April 18 Advancing Teams Notified

Wednesday, April 25 Slides for Business Plan Competition Day submitted

Friday, April 27 Business Plan Competition Day at Charles Commons

8-9 a.m. Breakfast (open to all teams, judges)

9:00-9:30 a.m. Welcome and Keynote Speech

9:35 a.m-12:15 p.m. Presentations (9 minutes each)

12:30-1:15 p.m. Lunch (Judges’ lunch provided)

1:30-3:45 p.m. Top 4 teams in each category present final business plans

3:45- 5:45 p.m. Reception for all teams, judges (winners announced at 4:30 p.m.)

Johns Hopkins University Business Plan Competition