Category Archives: Entrepreneurship

Lights, camera, action! A look inside the UW Business Plan Competition

Sara Jones, Assistant Director

Last quarter, 12 TMMBA students successfully made it into the Investment Round of the UW Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (CIE) Business Plan Competition.  This is no small feat since only 36 out of 92 teams were accepted.  During the Investment Round, 230 judges each had $1,000 CIE dollars to “invest” in the teams.  The 16 teams with the highest investment advanced to the Sweet Sixteen Round.  I really enjoyed attending the event this year. There was a lot of excitement in the room and it was fun to see our students pitching their business ideas to local venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and investors.  This year TMMBA had 7 students on 3 different teams make it to the Sweet Sixteen Round!

Here is a short video from the Investment Round to give you a feel for the competition.

UW Business Plan Competition – 2010 Investment Round from Foster School of Business on Vimeo.

Business Plan Competition Takeaways

Hani Rachidi, TMMBA Student (Class of 2010)

Last week during the final rounds of the business plan competition we saw a very strong pool of finalists. The diversity of ideas was awesome – from an assisted walking mechanism to green bricks. The winner, Yongopal offers a compelling platform for ESL conversations between South Korean students and US college students. While our team, TrueLight, made it to the sweet sixteen we did not advance to the final six. Some key lessons learned though are useful for any would be contestants or budding entrepreneurs.

  1. Secure IP by either an Option or License
  2. If you are not the inventor have the inventor on your board and with you in the competition
  3. Have a beta product/prototype at the least.
  4. If there’s an elephant in the room (meaning a big assumption or barrier to your success) expose it and deal with it strongly
  5. Have an advisory board that has some clout

And lastly, bring viral passion to the presentation.

The Business Plan Competition – TrueLight FLIIP


Hani Rachidi, TMMBA Student (Class of 2010)
So the closure of any academic pursuit is a diploma or title of some kind. I think in business school that closure should not only be a degree, but if you are fortunate enough a business. In the past few months, my teammates from the TMMBA program have formed a venture called TrueLight. I’m proud of our team and how far we have come from just a bunch of strangers during orientation near the washington/canadian border. We are now a team with not only an academic purpose but also a real business venture!

Follow our team as we revolutionize the experience of viewing and interacting with content on mobile devices through our interactive pico projector.

This LG concept device is a perfect fit for the FLIIP. This LG concept device is a perfect fit for the FLIIP.

TMMBA heads to the Business Plan Competition

Sara Jones, Program Manager

Yesterday Tina and I attended the Business Plan Competition Investment Round. This was my second year at the event and there were 10 TMMBA students participating. I enjoy going because it’s a great opportunity to see our students in action and I’m always amazed at the business ideas that are out there.

The Investment Round was setup like a trade show. Judges were given “CIE dollars” to invest and the teams spent 4 hours pitching their idea to the judges to try and get them to invest in their business. The room was buzzing with energy and sometimes it was hard to hear through all of the action. I look forward to attending the next round, Sweet Sixteen, and learning more about the business plans that made it.

Alexei Zyuzin, SmartFin Technologies

Frode Kristensen & Umesh Mokate, Safetracker

To sum it up, the Business Plan Competition is a great opportunity for TMMBA students to network with other entrepreneurial spirits, flush out their business idea, and have a chance at winning seed money.