Whoever created the first business plan competition was on to something. I applaud their idea and implementing it. That time passed. We know more effective ways to motivate learning entrepreneurship. Those competitions aren’t helping. They distract students from starting businesses with one-time awards too often created in the interests of venture capitalists, not aspiring entrepreneurs.
To illustrate, consider the question:
Which would you prefer: to win a business plan competition, to get investment, or to sell your product and make a profit?
These results don’t have to exclude each other but pursuing competitions takes time from getting investment and selling your product.
Students, I recommend looking at business plan competitions skeptically.
Faculty, I recommend you consider other ways to motivate practicing entrepreneurship than competitions that don’t create revenue from customers.
Few customers, if any, bought a product because its inventor won an award.
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