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Oklahoma State University

Students pitch business plans for prize money

Monday, January 27, 2020

The Riata Business Plan Competition will award $45,000 in prize money to students in Friday's finals.

Semi-finalists in the annual student Riata Business Plan Competition have been selected to compete Friday, Jan. 31, for $45,000 in prize money in the competition’s finals. Hosted by the Riata Center for Entrepreneurship and the School of Entrepreneurship in the Spears School of Business, the competition promotes entrepreneurship and small-business development by focusing on student created, managed and owned ventures.

“The business plan competition has been a great opportunity for me, an engineering major, to expand my horizons and learn something different,” said Chandler Smith, a student whose business plan was selected for the finals.

The competition is open to any current Oklahoma State University student in any discipline. In the first round of judging Jan. 15, 19 business concepts presented by more than 30 students were chosen for the finals.

Students, competing as teams or individuals, presented 10-page business plans and slideshows to judges in one of three competition tracks. Main Street Lifestyle Businesses include products or services for a larger market, High Tech Businesses have an intellectual property or technology component, and Social Enterprises offer solutions to social, cultural or environmental issues. Prize money will be awarded in the finals to the top three student ventures from each track.

In the finals, to be held live in the Riata Center in the OSU Business Building, competitors will make 10-minute presentations of their business plans to a panel of judges followed by 10 minutes of Q&A. The judges will then pick the top winners. First place in each track wins $6,000, followed by $4,000 for second and $2,000 for third. The remaining finalists will receive $1,000.

“The Business Plan Competition is one of the many opportunities OSU provides its entrepreneurial students, and I believe it’s one of the best as well,” said entrepreneur major Henry Cannon, who competed in 2019 and returns this year. “No matter what stage a student is in with their business, improving their business plan and pitching it to industry experts is always an incredibly valuable experience. Additionally, the prize money can make a meaningful difference to early, student-led startups.” 

Participants will also be considered for the Richard L. Tourtellotte Family Scholarship of $3,000, which encourages business creation in Oklahoma and academic study of how governments and the private sector can work together to grow local economies and create jobs.

Contact: Jeff Joiner | Communications Coordinator | 405.744.2700 | jeff.joiner@okstate.edu

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