Entrepreneurship Experience for College Students in Southern Virginia
Open to ALL Southern Virginia college students in ALL majors
Overview: The RISE Collegiate Business Plan Competition is open to students of all types, backgrounds, skills, interests, and majors. This hands-on entrepreneurship education experience is designed for students who are passionate about developing a new social venture, product, or service.
Eligibility: Students must either 1) be enrolled at higher education institutions in Southern Virginia or 2) have a permanent address in Southern Virginia if attending school online or elsewhere out of the region. High school students who are dual enrolled are eligible to complete. Students do not need prior experience in business or entrepreneurship. This experience is designed for students ages 16 and older.
Collegiate Business Plan Competition Registration
The RISE Collegiate Business Plan Competition begins in the fall semester and concludes with a pitch day in March or April during the spring semester of the academic year. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay updated on program offerings.
The RISE Collegiate Business Plan Competition (CBPC) is designed for college-age students to gain real-world experience in entrepreneurship. Teams of students with diverse backgrounds, skills, interests, and majors will work together for six months (October through March) with support from entrepreneurship educators, resources, and mentors.
Students will learn how to collaborate on a team, interview customers, and develop a business model for an innovative product, service, or social venture.
Timeline (example from 2022-23 competition)
- Round 1: Register & Submit Video (90-seconds maximum) – due October 22, 2022
- Round 2: Business Model Canvas – due November 18, 2022
- Round 3: Notification of Progression to Pitch Event – December 15, 2022 (Teams that do not progress will be given an option to schedule an appointment with Jacob Dolence to review feedback.)
- Round 4: Feasibility Study Workshop and schedule appointment with outside mentor for feedback – January 23, 2023
- Round 5: Feasibility Study Due – February 15, 2023
- Round 6: Final Business Plan Due – March 16, 2023
- Round 7: Business Pitch Event at Hampden-Sydney College – March 23, 2023
Participating students must be enrolled at a higher education institution in Southern Virginia (see list below) – OR – must have a permanent address in Southern Virginia if attending college online or elsewhere.
Higher education institutions in Southern Virginia include:
- Averett University
- Danville Community College
- Longwood University
- Hampden-Sydney College
- New College Institute
- Patrick Henry Community College
- Southside Virginia Community College
- Southern Virginia Higher Education Center
- Dual Enrollment Students*
*High school students who participate in dual enrollment college courses are eligible to participate in either the CBPC or the Student Idea Summit.
Questions about eligibility? Contact us a email@example.com
1. Create a Team
Teams may consist of 1 to 7 members. Building a team with diverse skill sets is recommended. Teams can add or remove team members up until the January Workshop. Teams can include students from multiple schools.
Assign a team leader to ensure all deadlines are met throughout the competition.
Need help finding additional team members? The CBPC Planning Committee can help you connect with students across campus or at other schools. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Select a Business Idea
Innovative product and service ideas are highly encouraged. All business ideas must have the potential to be viable, legal entities eligible to operate under the laws of Virginia.
Teams may enter multiple business ideas in the first round, but only one (1) such business idea may compete in the semifinals. If two submissions from the same team leader are selected for the semifinals, teams can break up or add additional team members as needed.
3. Register your team by the application deadline – TBD for the 2023-24 competition
“Talking to Humans: Success starts with understanding your customers” by Giff Constable
Talking to Humans is a practical guide to the qualitative side of customer development, an indispensable skill for vetting and improving any new startup or innovation. This book will teach you how to structure and run effective customer interviews, find candidates, and turn learnings into action. For a free digital copy download, fill out the Non-Profits/Schools form found here.
- Project Connect – Averett University ($4,000 in prize money awarded)
- The Ville – Longwood University ($2,000 in prize money awarded)
- Fail Harder Fitness – Hampden-Sydney College ($2,000 in prize money awarded)
- BFX Studios – Patrick & Henry Community College ($1,000 in prize money awarded)
- You’re Not Alone/YNA – Danville Community College ($1,000 in prize money awarded)
- Sara Wall – Patrick & Henry Community College ($1,000 in prize money awarded)
- Dusten Wood – Longwood University ($750 in prize money awarded)
- Danielle Whittington – Longwood University ($750 in prize money awarded)
Director, Educational Innovation and
Faculty, Cormier Honors College
Dr. Andrew King
Director, Flemming Center for Entrepreneurship
Chief Entrepreneurship & Innovation Officer
Dr. Peggy Wright
Chair, Business Administration
Southern Virginia Higher Education Center
Associate Director, Communications & Outreach
Patrick & Henry Community College
Dr. Nancy Phillips
Professor and Department Lead for Business Technology
Interested in becoming a sponsor of this program?
Let’s talk! Send us an email and we will set up a conversation.