‘Tis not the season for business plan competitions

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By Joe

Whenever we host a gathering of friends at home, our guests invariably crowd into the kitchen, in spite of all the space in adjoining living areas. If we go to someone else’s house, guess what?. The same phenomenon occurs.

It’s a little like that with the scheduling of business plan competitions. Most are drawn to the months of April, May, and June even when there are nine other months in the year. Our competition calendar really starts to thin out around this time.

Why not spread it out a little more? We would love to see more competitions happening over the summer months and through the fall.

Of course, just like the party host who must be in the kitchen to prepare food and drinks, the university-hosted business plan competitions generally have little flexibility. Most must schedule their final presentations in late spring towards the end of their second semesters.

But we see a number of regionally-focused and industry-specialized business competitions that schedule their events in the spring as well. They are often fighting the collegiate contests for media attention, and sometimes even for the same potential competitors.

For any group thinking about starting a business plan competition, our suggestion is to schedule it away from the spring “busy season.” You stand to receive more attention from start-up teams, from the media, and from prospective sponsors.

Photo credit: raisin.detre

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Joe Hurley is a CPA, author of "The Best Way to Save for College - A Complete Guide to 529 Plans", founder of Savingforcollege.com, and co-founder of Bizplancompetitions.com. He has also recently started making maple syrup.
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