+ entrepreneurial thinking
@ SNC Tahoe
Business Plan Competitions
Challenge the status quo and your own creativity to find innovative solutions to real problems and opportunities.
Research, develop and refine your proposal with the mentorship of dedicated faculty and successful entrepreneurs.
Understand the essentials of effective teamwork by making it happen.
Learn to think on your feet, and to work through the intensive preparation that makes that possible.
The business plan competition series at SNC Tahoe is a cornerstone of our commitment to our students’ professional preparedness and entrepreneurial thinking.
How It Works
Sierra Nevada College Business Plan Competitions
All SNC Tahoe students are eligible to compete in a sequence of business plan competitions which mirror the idea-to-fruition process of launching a new product or enterprise. At each event participants present in front of a live audience, receive detailed feedback from judges drawn from the business faculty and Lake Tahoe’s large community of successful entrepreneurs and business innovators, and have the opportunity to begin working with faculty and community mentors to develop their project to the next level.
August: The Innovative Idea Competition
Students present the Unique Selling Proposition of an idea to address an existing problem or market opportunity. Ten winners each receive $50. All students are encouraged to incorporate the judges’ feedback and begin to meet with a faculty mentor to conceptualize their idea into a business proposition.
October: The Pitch Competition
Ten contestants are selected to present their business plans from a pool of 3 minute pitch videos submitted by students. First, second, and third place winners are awarded cash prizes. Students who will continue in the process assemble a team, which works intensively with its mentors through the fall and winter on strategy, product development, marketing, financials, and oral presentation.
February: The President’s Cup Business Plan Competition
The President’s Cup (formerly the Trepp Competition) uses the same rubrics and criteria as the statewide D.W. Reynolds Business Plan Competition later in the spring, to give the teams which will continue the most relevant feedback and experience. Competing teams are judged by two separate panels of judges on a written business plan; their ability to adapt and incorporate feedback into a revised written plan; and finally, live oral presentations.
The President’s Cup oral presentation evening is one of the most exciting events of the academic year. The teams present their business ideas to a panel of external judges, using PowerPoint, video, and often working physical prototypes, before an enthusiastic audience from the college and community. Each team has five minutes to make their pitch, present a short market analysis and financial summary, and respond to questions from the judges. Three winners receive $6,000 in combined cash prizes.
The SNC Tahoe teams then have have four to six weeks to prepare for the regional D.W. Reynolds Competitions.
Regional Business Plan Competitions
April & May: D.W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup & Tri-State Business Plan Competitions
The Governor’s Cup is open to both undergraduate and graduate student teams from all Nevada colleges. Each year, approximately fifteen to twenty teams submit written plans and participate in the first round of oral presentations. Seven undergraduate and seven graduate finalists are selected to make their final pitch to an audience of several hundred guests at the Governor’s Cup Banquet.
The three winning and graduate undergraduate teams and three graduate teams are awarded $100,000 in combined cash prizes. The Lieutenant Governor’s Cup Competition awards a $10,000 cash prize for the business plan that best employs clean, renewable, or efficient energy technologies and services.
The first and second place undergraduate and graduate teams are automatically entered into the D.W. Reynolds Tri-State Business Plan Competition, which brings together winners from the state competitions in Nevada, Arkansas, and Oklahoma.
At the D.W. Reynolds Tri-State Competition, two undergraduate and two graduate teams win an additional $100,000 combined, and separate $2000 prizes are awarded for the best undergraduate and graduate 90 second “elevator pitch”.
April 18, 2016
February 24, 2016
June 1, 2015
April 20, 2015
February 25, 2015
April 18, 2014
February 27, 2014
May 22, 2013