Wharton Business Plan Competition

Knowledge@Wharton has the eight best business plans from their annual challenge.

The annual Business Plan Competition begins as students turn in brief summaries of business ideas. Over the course of the school year, their ideas evolve into more detailed summaries and then, for 25 semifinalists, full-fledged business plans. Judges winnow those plans down to eight finalists, who are invited to present at the Venture Fair, held this year on April 25.

It's at the Venture Fair where the finalists get their shot at business-school stardom and cash: The winner receives $20,000. In front of an audience of investors, faculty and students, each team has 10 minutes to outline its plans and then be grilled by five judges for another 10 minutes. This year's judges hailed from Shelter Capital, Savvian, Pequot Ventures, Johnson & Johnson and Quaker BioVentures. The competition, sponsored by Wharton Entrepreneurial Programs, isn't limited to Wharton. It's open to any team that includes a Penn undergraduate or graduate student. The three top finishers receive cash prizes as well as in-kind contributions of legal and accounting services.

Check out the company descriptions and see what areas are hot for startups. Then scroll to the bottom to see who won the contest.

  • J

    I have an engineering background with almost no business training, so I admit maybe I’m ignorant about some business terminology but…of the eight competitors listed here, I would call five of them inventions, not business plans. If you come up with a patentable killer app that does the job cheaper and more effectively, how good a businessperson do you have to be? IBroker and Home-Base are good ideas, though IBroker might have a tough time differentiating itself. As for BPS, re the quote “Biometric would dispense with these (ID theft) worries by replacing credit and debit cards with fingerprints”. I would push convenience too on this, and be careful not to oversell the security aspect. It would reduce theft, not dispense with it – if the cops can replicate your fingerprint by dusting something you touched, a crook can too. Or he can just steal the ROGER that you and the last 300 customers used to identify your prints and charge away. Also,”And as anyone who’s watched CSI: Crime Scene Investigation knows, no two people’s prints are alike”. CSI is not a documentary. They’ve used plot scenarios involving my area of expertise that literally had me doubled over laughing. Here’s a business plan (not my own – I heard it somewhere else) – A TV show about prosecutors who have to deal with jurors who think CSI depicts reality.