Monday, August 16, 2010
Kauffman Unveils Tool to Help Simplify Business Plan Contests
The Kauffman Foundation is offering a tool designed to help universities and non-profits simplify and power up business plan competitions.
According to the foundation, more than 50 U.S. universities conduct business plan competitions annually, awarding upwards of $10 million in prizes and in-kind services. "While business plan competitions are an important part of entrepreneurial education, the time and complexity required to administer competitions can limit the size of competitions or prevent organizations from holding a competition," the group said in an announcement unveiling its new initiative.
The group says that the tool, iStart, aims to bring standardization and efficiency to these competitions, as well as transparency and access to the business plans themselves; increasing the number of new firms formed.
The iStart platform will help users learn more about the entrepreneurial ecosystem surrounding university entrepreneurship. It also provides users with access to both the plans that are created as a part of these competitions and the information that is created in the normal course of a competition. Universities and platform-users will be able to mine the data collected from business plan competitions across organizations, gain insight and educate entrepreneurs.