What's a BMC?

A BMC, or Business Model Competition, allows students to present their business to judges for the opportunity to win seed funding. This competition is based on the methodology of the Business Model Canvas, and requires that companies tell their story beginning from the idea stage, including pivots along the way. Participants will provide a brief overview of their startup’s story from the initial idea to the current stage of the startup. All students enrolled in at least 6 s.h. and in pursuit of a four year degree at an Iowa college with a Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center are eligible to participate. These colleges include: the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, University of Northern Iowa, Drake University, and North Iowa Area Community College. This competition is held every spring.

A total of $50,000 in cash prizes will be awarded throughout the two day competition. This competition is co-sponsored by Iowa JPEC and the Sparks Family Entrepreneurial Fund. 

Questions participants will answer may include: What were the assumptions in your original business idea? How did you validate them? What has been the result?  A BMC is a presentation on your startups' entire journey, not just its current state - remember this when preparing for questions you may be asked.

Top finalists will be eligible to compete in the Pappajohn Student Entrepreneurial Venture Competition and the International Business Model Competition (IBMC).

How it works

Participants will present a five minute long PowerPoint presentation with a completed Business Model Canvas and financial projections to a panel of judges. The presentation will be followed by five minutes of questions from the judges. The judges and the competition coordinator will be the only people in the room with the presenters. There are two days of competition. Both days include a five minute pitch and a five minute Q&A time.
 

  • Day 1: Early Stage Companies
    • Have NOT achieved revenue (OR)
    • Have NOT won $1,001 or more in business competitions
    • The winner of Day will advance to compete in Day 2
       
  • Day 2: Advanced Companies
    • Have achieved revenue (OR)
    • Have previously won $1,001 or more in business competitions
    • This day serves as the qualifier for the International Business Model Competition and Pappajohn Business Competition

Eligibility

  • The company must have a student co-founder who has a controlling interest or equal controlling interest with other co-founders.
  • The presenter(s) must be student(s) and either be a co-founder or employee of the company.
  • All students enrolled in at least 6 s.h. and in pursuit of a four-year degree at an Iowa college with a Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center are eligible to participate. These colleges include: the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, University of Northern Iowa, Drake University, and North Iowa Area Community College.
  • If you have previously placed and been awarded funds of $5,000 or greater for your venture at this Iowa JPEC Business Model Competition you are NOT eligible to compete in this competition again for the same venture.

$50,000 in prizes 

All seed money will go to companies rather than individuals and be used to launch and grow a company. Each winner will be required to complete a high level plan for how the money will be used. Leaders of the Iowa JPEC Founders Club will be following up with each winner to ensure and enable the effective use of the seed capital. For some of the larger awards, half of the money may be awarded soon after the competition and the other half awarded after initial milestones are met.

In addition, the best student business will be selected to move on to the International Business Model Competition held by Brigham Young University. Three student businesses will also qualify for the Pappajohn Student Entrepreneurial Venture Competition for the chance to win additional funding.

Non University of Iowa Students

Students that are not enrolled at the University of Iowa are ineligible to receive prize money through Iowa JPEC. However, they can use this competition to qualify to advance to the International Business Model Competition.

Qualifiers

This BMC is a qualifier competition for two additional business competitions.
 

  • International Business Model Competition: The winner of the BMC will represent the state of Iowa at the International Business Model Competition.
     
  • Pappajohn Student Entrepreneurial Venture Competition: Each Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center in the state of Iowa is eligible to send three student businesses to the Pappajohn Student Entrepreneurial Venture Competition in Des Moines.

Resources

Check out these resources to help you prepare for the BMC:

Next Steps

We are currently not accepting applications for the Business Model Competition. Please check back in early 2020!

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