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2008 Idea Fair Details

Idea Fair General Format

Idea Fair teams submit a written 5-8 page business concept following the guidelines described below by Sunday, March 16, 2008. The business concept should provide a concise, thoughtful initial investigation into a promising new business idea. The idea should be innovative, feasible, and compelling, and must represent the original work of members of the team. All Idea Fair teams will have their concept reviewed by local experts and receive written feedback on March 24th. The top 15 concepts submitted will advance to the semi-final round, held on April 18th, where each team will deliver at 10 minute presentation and answer questions about their concept to a group of judges composed of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and business professionals. During the semi-finals, the 15 teams will be divided among 3 groups of judges, with 5 teams presenting in each group. Each semi-finalist team will receive direct feedback and advice from the judges on how to improve their business strategy. The top concept from each group will automatically advance to the final round. The runners-up from each group will enter a Wildcard Round, where they will each deliver a 2 minute “elevator pitch,” with the team with the most convincing elevator pitch advancing to the finals. In the finals, the 4 finalist teams will repeat their 10 minute presentation and field questions from an esteemed panel of judges in front of an audience. Each of the 4 finalist teams will receive a cash award in addition to continued mentoring and assistance.

Deadlines and Dates

11:59pm, Sunday March 16, 2008: Deadline for electronic submission of business concepts to ukideafair@gmail.com

Wednesday, March 26, 2008: Idea Fair Semi-Finalists notified and concepts returned with written comments.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008: Deadline for Semi-Finalists to submit final powerpoint presentation and business concepts electronically to ukideafair@gmail.com

12:00 pm – 3:30 pm, Friday April 18: Idea Fair Semi-Finals and Wildcard Round (location TBA). Semi-finals and Wildcard Round are closed to the public.

3:30 pm – 6:00 pm, Friday April 18: Idea Fair Business Concept Competition Finals. Finals and subsequent awards ceremony are open to the public (B&E 148).


• Student Qualfications: The Idea Fair Concept Competition is open to all full- and part-time UK students enrolled during the Spring 2005 semester. Non-students may be members of the management team and advise the team; however, only students may present the plan to the judges during the competition on campus, and 2) the concept and venture must demonstrate student creation, management, and ownership.

• Team Qualifications: Individuals may submit a concept, however this is discouraged. Entrepreneurship requires a team effort. Student teams should include at least 2 students and not exceed 5 students. No more than 3 team members should actually present the plan during the competition. No one possesses all the skills necessary to run a successful business and students should start by find a partner to help them develop the concept.

• Concept Qualifications: The Idea Fair is for new, independent student ventures in the concept stage or seed stage. The concept must be the original work of the student team. Generally excluded from entry are the following: buy-outs, expansions of existing companies, real estate syndications, tax shelters, franchises, licensing agreements for distribution in the local market, and spin-offs from established corporations. The licensing of UK technologies or UK research that has not been previously commercialized is not excluded and is encouraged.

• Limit on Concepts: Teams may submit only 1 concept. Students may participate on only 1 team.

• Attendance: Representatives from the semi-finalist teams must be present and able to attend the Idea Fair on Friday April 18th from 12:00pm – 6:00pm. Not all team members need to be present, although attendance is encouraged.

Written Concept Guidelines

Written business concepts must be submitted in electronic, Word Document or .pdf format, by midnight March 16th, 2008 to ukideafair@gmail.com. The Business Concept summarizes and presents the idea for initial evaluation in a short and compelling form. This is not simple a research report. It is a sales pitch! The effort involved in preparing the concept requires the team to carefully and realistically assess the opportunity. This action is the first step in developing a business plan. The business concept, when completed, will present the key information needed to evaluate the opportunity, without going into the depth that a full business plan requires. The completed summary should be between 5 to 8 pages and no more than 10 pages, including any supplemental documents you may wish to include. The written business concept should include each of the following sections. Bulleted points are provided for guidance on specific items you may wish to include in each section. To stay within the page limit, each section should only be 1 paragraph to 1 page in length.

1. Executive Summary:
a. clear and exciting 1 paragraph stand-alone introduction to the concept.

2. Company Overview:
a. What is the business purpose? What major problem is it trying to solve? What opportunity is this concept taking advantage of?
b. What is the overall strategy and goal?
c. What was the Genesis of the concept?
d. What is the current status of the concept (i.e. is it just an idea, do you have a prototype, etc)?

3. Products/Services:
a. Describe your product or service in more detail.
b. What are the features and benefits of the product or service?
c. Is there potential for intellectual property rights?
d. How is this product or service unique or differentiated from others in the market?
e. What is your competitive advantage? How will you protect your position in the marketplace?

4. Industry and Competitive Analysis:
a. What is the size, in units and dollars, of the market in which the company will compete?
b. What are the market trends affecting the industry?
c. What are the typical profit margins in the industry?
d. How many competitors are there?
e. What are the barriers to entry?
f. Who will your major competitors? How large are they? What are their strategies?
g. How are you different from your major competitors?
h. How do these industry parameters favor your concept?

5. Market Analysis and Market Strategy:
a. Who are the proposed customers?
b. What products/services are these customers currently buying? What is their current solution to the problem you are trying to solve?
c. What are your customers' true needs? What trends are affecting these needs?
d. At what price will your product or service be sold?
e. Have you talked to potential customers? What are they saying?
f. How will you reach your customers? What is your sales and promotion strategy?

6. Operations/Development Plan:
a. What is the current status of product/service development?
b. What is your timeline to develop your concept? What specific tasks must be completed? What milestones will be reached?
c. What activities/skills will be needed over time to make the venture a success?
d. How is the company protecting its proprietary information/technology?
e. What is your exit strategy?

7. Management:
a. Who are you and who is on your team?
b. What unique experience, skills, or assets does each member bring to the team?
c. Why is your team the right team to launch this venture? (If you don’t have a complete team that is OK. Simply say what other skills you will need to add).
d. Who else outside the current management team will need to be involved?

Oral Presentation Guidelines

• Note: These guidelines are for the oral Presentations in the semifinal and final rounds held on Friday April 18, 2008 from noon to 6:00pm. There is a separate section below for the Wildcard Round guidelines.

• Semifinalist teams must submit their final powerpoint presentation by midnight on Wednesday April 16th, 2008 in electronic format to ukideafair@gmail.com. In order to keep to our tight schedule, no changes can be made after that time.

• This powerpoint should be no more than 12 slides long and cover the information outlined in the written business concept presentation. The judges will not have read your written concept, so the powerpoint should provide a complete explanation of the concept.

• Teams will have 2-3 minutes to set up when their turn arrives, 10 minutes to deliver their presentation, followed by 5 minutes of question and answer. No more than 3 team members can present. A common strategy is for one member of the team to give the bulk of the presentation while other members provide support in areas of their respective expertise.

• After a team has presented, it may observe the other presentations and feedback.

• A laptop and audio visual equipment will be provided with your powerpoint file already downloaded. It is recommended that all teams come prepared with a backup copy on a USB drive.

• The final presentations will have the same 10 minute time limit followed by 5 minutes of Q&A as the semi-finals. The finals presentation will be to a new group of judges and in front of an audience. Therefore, the final powerpoint presentation should not contain any proprietary information.

• Remember oral presentation should be a compelling and persuasive! This is not a research report, where you demonstrate that you did the work, but a sales pitch where you convince the judges that you and your team can succeed.

Wildcard Round Elevator Pitch Guidelines

The winning team from each of the three semi-finalist groups will automatically advance to the finals. The runners-up team from each of the three groups will have an additional opportunity to advance to the finals via a Wildcard Round. In the Wildcard Round, each team of the 3 teams will be given a maximum of 2 minutes to present its concept to the panel of judges. This 2 minute presentation is called an “elevator pitch” because you should imagine that you’ve just stepped into an elevator with a venture capitalist, and you have a two minute elevator ride to convince her to invest in your business. At the end of the elevator ride, you won’t have given her all the details, but you want to capture her interest. The elevator pitch should include only the key, compelling points of the business concept. Get creative! You may want to include:

• Product or service
o Brief description
o What big problem does it solve?
o Why is this unique or different from the competition?
o What is your competitive advantage?

• Target Market
o How big is this opportunity?
o Who are the customers?
o Why will they buy the product?

• Current Stage
o What is the current stage of development?
o What are your next steps?

• Needs
o What do you need to move forward?

The elevator pitch will be given by only one team member. The elevator pitch will be uninterrupted. There will be no question or answer period, and teams will be judged solely on the compellingness of their 2 minute pitch. Please plan and practice ahead of time in case you have this opportunity.

More Questions?

If you have any other questions regarding the Idea Fair, please send them to ukideafair@gmail.com.