2014 marks a big change to Freeman’s flagship entrepreneurship event, The Tulane Business Model Competition, which was formerly known as the Tulane Business Plan Competition. The name change indicates the national shift away from traditional business plan competitions. The Tulane Entrepreneurs’ Association (TEA) hosts the competition. This year TEA has partnered with other BMC hosts, like Harvard and Stanford, hoping to become the Southern Regional Hub for the International Business Model Competition (IBMC) in the future. The TBMC invites students from schools all over the south to compete to win a $25,000 cash prize, and earn a spot in the semifinal round of the IBMC.
Selma Alamin, Design Director for TEA, explains that there are really only two rules for the competition:
1) You must be a student or have a student team
2) You must be willing to take a chance and get your hands dirty
“Beyond that,” she says “we are looking for students with business ideas who can articulate why they think their business will work. They also must be willing to test their hypotheses in the real world with target customers.”
Ms. Alamin goes on to explain that it is not about crafting a “long static document with an in-depth financial model—this competition is about ideas, and how great and potentially profitable an idea looks on paper.” Applicants are judged on how well they identify and test the drivers of their business, not on how successful their business has already been. To further prove this point, Thomas Altman, TEA’s Director of Innovation and Strategy, says that businesses with substantial revenue and prior significant investment will not be considered.
The deadline to apply is tomorrow, February 14th at midnight. If you have that “great idea” and are interested in applying, don’t let that deadline scare you away; the application requirements are not too taxing and can be found here.
Written by Sarah Turner, MBA 2