Rules and Regulations

I. Individual Requirements

  1. One member on each team must either be a full-time or part-time student of Rowan University or must have graduated from Rowan University within the last 12 months of the time of registration. 
  2. Students of any major are eligible and are strongly encouraged to participate. 
  3. Participants must be legal residents of the United States. 
  4. Full-time employees of Rowan University, the judges and immediate family members of each such person are excluded from participation. 
  5. An individual may not enter the Competition with more than one team. 
  6. There is a maximum of 5 team members. 
  7. A team may consist of just one team member (not recommended). 

II. Competition Guidelines

  1. All decisions made by the host or the judges relating to this Competition are final and binding in all respects. 
  2. Finalists are required to follow the event presentation guidelines, including an oral presentation. 
  3. Judges will be asked to evaluate the plans based upon their likelihood of it actually becoming the basis for a viable business.
  4. Teams are encouraged to seek guidance of Rowan University faculty, alumni, researchers and staff. 

III. Team Leader

  1. The designation of a Team Leader is required by all teams. This person is usually the member of the team that would be named as the leading officer in the proposed company (CEO, COO, CFO, CIO or Executive Vice President). 
  2. All the important information about the competition will be sent to this designated member. 

IV. Business Plan Qualifications

  1. The technology used in the business plan does not have to be original. 
  2. Contestants may use any reference materials or consult with professors at Rowan University and beyond (as long as the consulting source is not a judge in the competition). 
  3. All submitted materials must be the original work of the participating team. 
  4. Contestants must properly acknowledge any patents, trademarks or copyrighted materials of others that are incorporated into the contestants’ materials. 
  5. All team members must certify that all work on the Business Plan is original as part of the registration process. 
  6. Prize money is awarded to the winning Businesses, not to individual team leaders or members. Thus, the business must be formally established and be able to accept funding for payment of business expenses such as equipment or inventory, marketing, legal services or other legitimate needs associate with the start-up and launch phases. 

V. Business Qualifications

  1. The judges of the Competition will have the right at their judgment to determine whether or not a team is eligible for the Competition based on the above eligibility requirements.
  2. The Competition is for new, independent ventures in the seed or start-up stage or companies moving into significantly new markets or products outside of their current business ventures. 
  3. If a team previously competed in the final round of the Business Plan Competition, they may NOT compete again with the same business idea. The same team may, however compete with a completely new idea.
  4. If a team previously competed in any round of the Business Plan Competition EXCEPT for the finals, they are permitted to compete again with the same business idea.
  5. The business may license technology from another company for manufacturing and/or distribution purposes. The licensing from universities or research labs of technologies that have not been commercialized previously is acceptable and encouraged. 
  6. Outside Funding A team entry that has already received venture capital funding or funding commitments in excess of $25,000 is ineligible for the Competition. 
  7. All teams that have received funding or funding commitments equal to or less than $25,000 must disclose in writing on the team registration form and within the business plan the source and amounts of all funding received and/or committed 

VII. Intellectual Property – Ownership/Disclosure

  1. Contestants shall retain the copyright in the material they create for the contest. All copies of the Business Plan and PowerPoint presentations whether in digital or physical format will be destroyed by Rowan University after the completion of the competition. 
  2. Contestants must acknowledge the use of material owned or authored by others. Failure to do so subjects the team to disqualification from the competition and possible legal action for violation of federal copyright law.