Business plan competitions

Palo Alto Software is proud to be affiliated with some of the most prestigious business plan competitions in North America. We serve as corporate sponsors and competition judges for many academic contests and commercial venture competitions.

Featured competitions

Rice University Business Plan Competition

At this fantastic Rice Alliance event, Palo Alto Software president Tim Berry serves as a finals judge, and we sponsor the award for Best Executive Summary.

Rice University Business Plan Competition


We are a corporate sponsor of the University of Texas at Austin's premier business plan contest.

MOOT CORP Business Plan Competition

New Venture Championship

At our hometown event at the University of Oregon, we sponsor an award for the Best-Written Business Plan.

New Venture Championship

Notre Dame Business Plan Competitions

We sponsor Best-Written Plan Awards for both of Notre Dame's contests — the McCloskey Business Plan Competition and the Social Venture Plan Competition.

Notre Dame Business Plan Competition

Duke Start-Up Challenge

We are a sponsor of the 2010-2011 Duke Startup Challenge.

Notre Dame Business Plan Competition

Interested in sponsorship?

Our sponsorship program includes a complimentary copy of Business Plan Pro Academic Premier Edition software for each participant. The software allows a team to split up sections of the plan, work on their sections individually, and then compile their content into one plan. Additionally, it allows a team to continually update and modify their plan as they receive feedback.

Overall, the software provides an SBA-approved format for a team to write and manage their plan, allowing them to turn their focus from the mechanics behind the plan to other important aspects involved in a business plan competition.

If you are interested in learning more about how Palo Alto Software can sponsor your business plan competition, please contact our academic sales team.

Plan competition resources

In addition to free software, we provide a number of valuable resources to assist teams in writing a better and winning plan.

Top 10 business plan mistakes

Listen to Palo Alto Software president Tim Berry's recorded webinar on the top mistakes to avoid while creating your plan for a venture competition.

How to succeed in competitions

Read Tim Berry’s white paper about business plan competitions, how to win, and how to use Business Plan Pro to write a better competition plan.

Business plan templates

Get ideas from the 100+ sample business plans available on our site.

Business plan articles

Browse our library of articles on writing a business plan on our site.

Additional business plan competitions

Along with the featured competitions above, Palo Alto Software sponsors dozens of business plan competitions held around the country.

Hosting Academic Institution Competition Name
Alabama Universities Alabama Launchpad
Boise State University Bronco Venture Championship
Boise State University Northwest Venture Championship (International)
Brigham Young University BYU Business Plan Competition
Brigham Young University Hawaii (Center for International Entrepreneurship) The Willes Center for International Entrepreneurship 2008 Business Plan Competition
Cal Poly Ray Scherr Business Plan Competition
Clark Atlanta University OFC Venture Challenge
Chinese University of Hong Kong Hong Kong Social Enterprise Challenge
Cornell University The Big Idea Competition
Duke University Duke Start-Up Challenge
Fresno State The 'Dream it. Win it.' 25k Business Plan Competition
Georgia Tech Georgia Tech Business Plan Competition
Kent State University Ohio Graduate Business Plan Competition
New York University Berkley Center for Entrepreneurial Studies Business Plan Competition
Ohio State University The Deloitte Business Plan Competition at Fisher College of Business
Oregon State University The 2008 New Enterprise Challenge
Rice University Rice Business Plan Competition
Tulane University Tulane Business Plan Competition
University of Buffalo Panasci Business Competition
University of California - Berkeley UC Berkeley Business Plan Competition
University of California - Irvine Stradling Yocca Carlson and Rauth Business Plan Competition
University of Dayton University of Dayton Business Plan Competition
University of Delaware University of Delaware Business Plan Competition
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign V. Dale Cozad Business Plan Competition
University of Manitoba Stuart Clark Venture Challenge
University of Missouri - Kansas City 2008 Regnier Family Foundations New Venture Challenge Competition
University of Notre Dame McCloskey Competition
University of Notre Dame Sustainable Social Venture Competition
University of Oregon New Venture Championship
University of Portland University of Portland Business Plan Competition
Wichita State University Shocker Business Plan Competition