Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Business Model Competition?
The Business Model Competition represents the first, national business model competition and is part of a ground breaking approach to entrepreneurship that focuses on the process of improving the inputs into entrepreneurship rather than the outputs. Specifically, rather than focusing on outputs like business plans or fundraising, this new approach focuses on the key tasks of testing unexamined assumptions in the field and developing validated business models which is usually manifest through a deep customer understanding and traction. The BMC is open to students nationwide and internationally.
Who Can Participate?
The Business Model Competition is a university and international competition, the “Moot Corp” of Business Models, and has been designed to encourage and reward this new approach to entrepreneurship. Participants should be students at a university enrolled with at least 6 credit hours in the fall or winter semester of 2012, prizes are in cash, and judging will be completed by a panel of international experts.
How Is the BMC Different than a Business Plan Competition?
Rather than focusing on developing a robust business plan, complete with financials and slick presentations, the business model competition focuses on identifying and precisely defining the assumptions of the new venture, testing those assumptions in the field, and then changing (pivoting) based on the lessons learned. Inspired by ideas from Customer Development (Steve Blank), Lean Startup (Eric Ries), and Nail It then Scale It (Nathan Furr), the difference between a business model and a business plan is a focus on inputs rather than outputs. Specifically, a focus on testing assumptions rather than gathering data, developing validated learning rather than writing a business plan, getting outside the building rather than researching inside the building, applying lean development rather than relying on product development, and “reinventing” or changing course rather than executing on the plan. Prizes go to those who 1) most clearly identify their assumptions, 2) generate the most robust learning in partnership with customers, 3) most effectively pivot in response, and 4) gain the most demonstrable traction in the marketplace.
When to Participate?
Begin right away. Developing a business model takes time. But the official deadline for the International BMC is early 2013 to submit your business model and May, 2013 for the final competition. Semi-finalists will be notified in advance to allow them time to make travel arrangements.
How to Participate
To participate all you have to do is submit your business model by the deadline. However, if that is all you did you would be missing a learning opportunity that could change your business. Instead look at the resources page for information about the process and content of what you should submit.
What is the Submission Format?
The application consists of an emailed entry including the following:
- Fill out the full application form entered under the "Submit!" tab
- Submit your finished presentation file (.ppt, .pptx, or .mov made from keynote) **Details about the information you need in your slides can be found in the "Official Rules" on the Resources tab**
- Provide a synced oral presentation (<10 minutes long) with your presentation
How Will I Be Judged?
Each round of the Business Model Competition is generally judged using the following criteria and weights (details included in the back of the “Official Rules”). These categories were developed by venture capitalists from around the country and indicate what emphasis the investor places on various parts of your summary.
- Knowledge of a bona fide pain substantiated by customer discovery and development (25%)
- Progress made in arriving at a “nailed” business model (25%)
- Clear identification of assumptions, description of assumption tests, and findings (25%)
- Preliminary round – The judges from this round primarily come from BYU faculty teaching these principles and exercising business model development inside and outside class.
- Semi-Finals– The same judges.
- Final Event – The final event is judged by Nathan Furr, and possibly a few others.