Santa Clara University Silicon Valley Boomer Business Plan Competition

    The Silicon Valley Boomer Business Plan Competition is sponsored by Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business. Its goal is to encourage the development of companies that serve the growing 45-plus population in America: the generation known as the Baby Boomers.

    The competition has existed since 2005. At that time, Mary Furlong, Dean’s Professor of Entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University, defined the need for the contest in these terms: “As a market, aging is where technology was 30 years ago, and with the boomer population currently 77 million strong and growing, it is going to be one of the top priorities in the 21st century. We are on the frontier of amazing new innovations as the venture community and the corporate communities begin to invest in companies that will serve the burgeoning global aging marketplace.”

    The competition is divided into two categories, each with its own $10,000 prize. First is the Health category: business ideas that relate to opportunities focused on health, wellness, fitness, eldercare, or medical devices. Second is the General category for ideas related to the boomer generation in the areas of: travel, financial services, media, transportation, grand-parenting, relationships, social networks, real estate, fashion and beauty, recreation and play, spirituality.

    The contest is relatively broad in regards to just who can apply: Eighteen years of age and older at time of entry; students, faculty or staff at accredited four-year colleges and universities; entrepreneurs from early-stage companies with annual revenues of $0 to $1 million; and independent business professionals.

    Entries for the competition are open until the end of April, which is when competitors must email an executive summary of 3-5 pages to contest organizers. The business plan summary should detail the proposed business and how it would affect the target market of baby boomers. 20 semifinalists are selected – they must send a complete business plan by the middle of May, and 5 finalists in each category are notified by the beginning of June. In the middle of June, the final competition is held, with in-person presentations at Santa Clara University. Grand Prize winners take home their $10,000 prize immediately.