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 SNU Tahoe is a cornerstone of our commitment to our students’ professional preparedness and entrepreneurial thinking.
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the business plan competition events will be virtual until it is safe to gather.
How It Works
Sierra Nevada University’s Business Plan Competitions
All SNU 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.
November: The Preger Prize Creative Idea Challenge
The Preger Challenge seeks original ideas to stimulate and reward individual creativity among undergraduate students. The idea must be useful, novel, and practically implementable but does not have to be based in a specific business. This is also the one event in the competition series just for individual students rather than teams. Cash prizes are awarded.
March: 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.
April: The President’s Cup Business Plan Competition
The President’s Cup (formerly the Trepp Competition) uses the same rubrics and criteria as the pre-2018 statewide and tri-state business plan competitions. 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, with an enthusiastic audience from the college and community. The teams present their business ideas to a panel of external judges, using PowerPoint, video, and often working physical prototypes. 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.
How the Business Plan is Named
Each year, the college names the Business Plan Competition in honor of prominent members of the SNU community.
2020: The Haldan-Pascotto Business Plan Competition
2019: The Jim and Jan Steinmann Business Plan Competition
The D.W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup & Tri-State Business Plan Competitions
2004 – 2017
The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation launched Governor’s Cup Collegiate Business Plan competitions in Arkansas, Nevada, and Oklahoma in 2004, and the Tri-State competition in 2008.
The Nevada Governor’s Cup was open to undergraduate and graduate student teams from all Nevada colleges. Approximately fifteen to twenty teams competed each year, with $100,000 in combined cash prizes awarded to the top three undergraduate and graduate teams. The Lieutenant Governor’s Cup Competition awarded $10,000 for the business plan that best employed clean, renewable, or efficient energy technologies and services.
The first and second place Governor’s Cup undergraduate and graduate teams were automatically entered into the D.W. Reynolds Tri-State Business Plan Competition, which brought together winners from all three states to compete for an additional $100,000 combined to the top two undergraduate and graduate teams.