The Big Bang Business Plan Competition

    The Big Bang Business Plan Competition is hosted each year by the Graduate School of Management at the University of California Davis. The competition is organized by MBA students every year and takes place over eight months during the course of the regular school year at UC Davis. The process begins with mixers and workshops during the Fall Quarter, is supplemented by rough and final drafts of executive summaries during Winter Quarter, and culminates with completed business plans and the final competition in Spring Quarter.

    Big Bang requires that all teams have at least one member associated with UC Davis, either as an alumnus, current student, faculty or staff member. The contest organizers have created an “Entrepreneur’s Exchange” forum where potential team members can connect with one another. This allows those wishing to participate who are not already part of the UC Davis community a chance to hook up with team members who do qualify on their own. Additionally, companies that have already obtained $250,000 or more in equity funding are not eligible to participate.

    At the competition’s workshops, teams learn such concepts as writing business plans, financial planning and marketing, legal topics and intellectual property protection. The competition also provides team interaction, interdisciplinary effort of writing the executive summary and the business plan, and networking with successful investors and professionals who serve the new business market. Top venture capitalists and angel investors, who mentor the semi-finalists during one-on-one sessions, carefully review plans.

    The competition asks all competitors to register by January. All competitors are required to write two-page executive summaries, which are due in February. Semi-finalists are announced in March and they must submit full business plans (of no more than 35 pages) by April.

    At the final competition in May, finalists present their proposals before the crowd before winners are announced. First and second place teams take home $15,000 and $5,000 respectively. One team can also get $2,000 for the “People’s Choice” award, chosen by the people who attend the awards ceremony.