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The initiative is based on the concept of bringing young entrepreneurs into contact with professionals of the Life Sciences expert-network to give them opportunities to exchange information as well as experiences and to give them a head start when founding new start-up companies.The main objective is the creation of new companies, which will have sustained economic success.“One of the best ways to start is to go into a structured forum,” she says.
And you don't have to win to benefit: Even losing business plan contestants get value from the experience because they learn to hone their narrative, presentation and business planning skills—skills that will serve them well if they go on to become business owners, Scherreik says.
Entering a contest, she adds, is an important part of the process of turning would-be entrepreneurs into actual entrepreneurs.
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Hundreds of business plan competitions throughout the U. award tens of millions of dollars to entrepreneurs who have what it takes to enter and win.
His long-term plans involve bulking up the Orange list of guides and ultimately creating a major global publishing enterprise.
The capital and contacts he gained from winning business plan contests significantly helped him on his way, Roth agrees.Clearly, Roth knows what it takes to win these contests. He credits a combination of good timing and good storytelling for the BETA win.Orange Octop.us, the company Roth was pitching in his most recent winning business plan, publishes strategy guides for FIFA soccer video games.Even more valuable than the funding may be the contact with potential mentors and the publicity that attaches itself to overcoming the long odds and triumphing in a big competition.“It gives you a lot more national recognition than being an aspiring entrepreneur working alone in your garage,” says Susan Scherreik, director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at Seton Hall University, of entrepreneurs who win business plan competitions.The university sponsors its own annual business idea competition called Pirates Pitch that awards ,000 in prizes plus a grab-bag of business services to two winning teams.By Monday morning, Roth had a business, a market, a product and, soon, sales.“The costs were nothing," Roth says, "and in its first year, it did tens of thousand of dollars.”Scherreik agrees that Roth’s ability to craft a beguiling presentation probably has a lot to with his wins. “Some proven success is also great, but having a great pitch is really important.”It’s not all about spinning a compelling tale, however.Roth, who graduated from Babson in 2014, scored first as a freshman with a business plan built around a Web application that won him 0 in the Green Rocket Pitch competition.“It wasn’t much, but it gave me the concept that I could win one of these things,” Roth says.Later, he made it to the semifinals of a much richer contest sponsored by Miller Coors that hands out as much as ,000 to winners.Win or lose, entrants also get valuable opportunities to polish their elevator pitches and presentations before professional evaluators, says Scherreik, who feels that face-to-face meetups have retained their value despite the ever-growing importance of virtual communication.As she explains, “People need to make those human connections.”Joey Roth has done well at three of the four business plan competitions he’s entered, mostly recently in the ,000 BETA Challenge held by entrepreneurial education powerhouse Babson College.