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Michigan Business Challenge - Calendar

About | Calendar/Apply | Prizes | 2015 Winners | 2014-15 Intercollegiate Competitions

The multi-round Michigan Business Challenge takes participants through the entire cycle of new venture creation from creating a strong pitch to conducting a marketing and financial assessment and writing a comprehensive business plan. The competition kicks-off in December with more than 80 teams competing in Round 1 and concluding in February with four competing teams at the finals. The Zell Lurie Institute facilitates starup workshops to help prepare student teams for the deliverables due for each round of the competition. Workshop presentations and handouts are posted on Ctools in "Zell Lurie Institute" in the “Michigan Business Challenge” folder.

Social Impact Track: This $15,000 award recognizes the business plan that best pursues a mission driven goal through its product/service offerings and underlying operations. Eligible teams will be selected during the first round of MBC to compete in the Social Impact Track starting during the second round. This award is co-sponsored by the Zell Lurie Institute, the Center for Social Impact, and the Erb Institute.

Round 1

Intent to Compete form Deadline
Monday, November 16 by 8 a.m.
Eligible teams who submit a complete Intent to Compete form as a single.pdf to will be invited to compete in Round 1.

MBC Information Session
Wednesday, November 4 at 5 p.m., R0240, Ross School of Business

Startup Workshop: How to Ideate
Wednesday, November 4 at 5:30 p.m., R0240, Ross School of Business
Learn how to brainstorm problems and solutions. Facilitated by Design + Business.

Startup Workshop: The Pitch
Monday, November 23 at 5 p.m., R0220, Ross School of Business
Learn how to create the pitch for presenting to a panel of investors. Students competing in Round 1 of the Challenge are encouraged to attend this workshop to refine their pitch presentations. Facilitated by Design + Business.

Round 1 Competition & Format
Friday, December 4 1-5 p.m., Ross School of Business
Teams will give a three-minute pitch to a panel of judges followed by four minutes to answer questions. Sixteen to twenty teams will be chosen to advance to Round 2. Each team will receive $200.

Round 2

Round 2 Teams & Social Impact Track Teams Announced

Monday, December 7 by 5 p.m. via email

Market and Financial Assessment Due
Monday, January 11 by 8 a.m.
Round 2 competing teams must submit a seven-page market and financial assesment that describes the market need or pain, market size, and preliminary financial assessment, to

To compete for the Williamson Award and/or the Undergraduate Award, please submit an application with the market and financial assessment.

Startup Workshop: Identifying & Sizing Your Market
Tuesday, December 8 at 5:30 p.m., R2230, Ross School of Business
This 90-minute workshop will help entrepreneurs understand how to evaluate the market for their product or service. Is it big and exciting enough for you to pursue? For investors to get excited about? We’ll look at proven approaches to conducting secondary and primary research, in order to glean answers to key questions such as: How big is my market? Is it ready for my solution? How can I break up my market into useful customer segments, and then which segment should I target first, and why? Who are my competitors, and how do I position myself to compete successfully against them? Facilitated by Jim Price, Ross Faculty & ZLI Entrepreneur in Residence.

Startup Workshop: Assessing Financial Feasibility
Wednesday, December 9 at 5:30 p.m., R0220, Ross School of Business
This 90-minute workshop will expose participants to several tools that can be useful in evaluating the financial viability of a startup business. The session will provide a brief overview of analytic tools to help address these key questions: How much money will it take to launch my company? Am I likely to be able to raise outside funding, and if so, from what sorts of sources? How big do we need to get to pay ourselves and quit our day jobs? How about to make a profit? Facilitated by Jim Price, Ross Faculty & ZLI Entrepreneur in Residence.

Startup Workshop: Social Impact Assessment
Thursday, December 10 at 5:30 p.m., R1220, Ross School of Business

Round 2 Competition & Format
Friday, January 22 1-5 p.m., Ross School of Business
Competing teams give a seven-minute presentation that describes their company's solution to a pressing market need or pain, an estimation of the market size, and their financial assumptions. This is followed by ten minutes of questions from the judges. Eight-ten teams will be chosen to advance to the semi-finals and will each receive $300. Four teams will be chosen to compete in the Social Impact Finals.

Semi-finals and Finals

Semi-Finalists Announced
Monday, January 25 by 5 p.m. via email

Business Plans Due
Monday, February 8 by 8 a.m.
Semi-finalists and Social Impact Finalists submit their business plan as a single .pdf to

Start-up Workshop: Communicating with Investors

Semi-Finals & Finals
Friday, February 19 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Ross School of Business
Semi-finalists present their business plans for 15 minutes and will have 15 minutes to respond to questions from the judges. Four teams will be chosen by the judges to advance to the afternoon Finals. Finalists will discuss their businesses with the judges during a 25-minute interactive session.

Michigan Business Challenge & Dare to Dream Awards Reception
Friday, February 19 at 5 p.m., Colloquium, Ross School of Business
Open to the public!
Winning teams for all the competition award categories and the Fall and Winter recipients of Dare to Dream grants will be announced during an evening reception at the Ross School of Business. All teams, applicants, and guests are welcome to attend.

Michigan Business School