Monday, September 29, 2008

Business Plan Competition!

This Business Plan Competition is aimed at students, university graduates, scientific staff and professors as well as entrepreneurs, business employees, inventors and developers. Anybody from anywhere in the world, who has an innovative and high-growth nanotechnology or polymer-based materials business project can participate.

To participate in the competition any idea must have the following characteristics:

  • Nanotechnology or polymer-based materials related - Nanotechnology is defined as the techniques and procedures used to manipulate the matter at the nanoscale level (10-9 m). For a broader definition please refer to classification systems of Patent Offices (i.e. USPTO, EPO, WIPO, etc.).

  • Business oriented - The fundamental objective of the Competition is to promote the creation of start-up ventures, in any application field of nanotechnology and polymer-based materials, in specific regions of Italy. Participants must aim at developing their ideas into real businesses.

  • Start-up phase - The competition is intended for new business ideas, and not to provide expansion capital to existing businesses.

    Owners of existing businesses are not precluded from entering the competition. However, the Organizing Committee reserves the right to evaluate the eligibility of teams that have already started operations (the product or service has already been delivered to the customers, or the company has already been established), on a case-by-case basis. Within such limitations, existing business owners are encouraged to enter.

Only after registration, Entry Teams will be allowed to submit an Executive Summary of their business project. Early submissions are encouraged. The Executive Summary must be emailed in PDF format to the competition's email address.

Receipt confirmation will be given within 24 hours.

The Executive Summary must not exceed 4 pages (excluding title and appendices) of text typed, single spaced, 10 or 12 font size, and at least 2 cm margins on all sides. Detailed spreadsheets and appropriate appendices should follow the text portion of the Executive Summary, and will not be counted in the 4-page limit. However, each Team should presume the judging panel will not necessarily read the appendices. Nevertheless, appendices should be included only as support to the presented findings, statements and observations.

Executive Summaries must be written in English.

Each Team must indicate a team member as referent for the verification of the contents of the submitted Executive Summary. If necessary, this reference will act as a contact point during the preliminary screening by the Organising Committee.

Executive Summaries must include/address the following indications:

1. Business Concept: explain your idea and its innovation. Be direct and effective. Basically, how you would describe your business to a potential investor/customer.

2. Opportunity and Strategy: focus on the existing problems/needs you solve/meet with your services or products. Highlight the primary benefits your idea brings to customers and how you would tackle them.

3. Technology: outline the technology at the base of your business idea. Do not be too technocratic, focus on the core technological features of your offering. For specific information about the technology involved use the appendices. Describe your position regarding the protection of Intellectual Property.

4. Market Analysis and Competitive Advantage: describe the target market, how big it is and its key features and trends. Highlight why customers would buy the products, and the market opportunity for sustainable margins and growth in the long term. Consider and indicate the competitors and how your company would face them. Highlight your competitive advantage and entry barriers for potential competitors. Keep the focus on the keys to success in your competitive environment.

5. Economics and Financials: explain in more details the assumptions used for revenues and expenses projections. Give an essential prospect on when cash flow would become positive. Outline your capital needs and what you would use such capital for. Try to be as clear as possible so the judges can see what your business potential is.

6. Team and Organisation: give a short summary of each Team member's background, what they would bring to the company, and how he/she would help the company to succeed. Briefly describe an implementation plan, with milestones and key success factors. Illustrate existing and potential risks involved.

7. Appendices: any additional detailed or confidential information that could be useful to the readers of the Executive Summary but not appropriate for distribution can be presented here. Appendices can include: detailed technology description; patents; market studies; highlights of Profit and Loss statement and/or Balance Sheet; etc.

For more specific information you are kindly requested to consult their Official Rules and Requirements which is available as a .pdf download

A Total Amount of € 600.000 Grand Prizes - Anybody anywhere with an innovative and high-growth nanotechnology or polymer-based materials business idea can participate and try to win one of the 2 Grand Prizes of € 300,000 each, using the money to start operations in Italy.

The two prizes are not cumulative: Teams must compete either for the nanotechnology or the polymer-based materials category.

Nanotechnology category - The winner of the nanotechnology Grand Prize will receive the € 300.000 to start its operations inside the national nanotechnology cluster in a specific region of Italy.

Polymer-based materials category - The winner of the polymer-based materials Grand Prize will receive € 300.000 to fund a start-up in the technological district on polymeric and composite materials of a specific region of Italy.

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