Tech Transfer Central
Technology Transfer Tactics sample issue

Achieving Maximum Impact from Campus Business Plan and Start-Up Competitions

Format: On-Demand Video, DVD, or PDF Transcript
Originally presented: October 10, 2013
CLE credits available. Click here for details.

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Campus competitions designed to promote start-up activity and university-based entrepreneurship have become an important tool for TTOs and others seeking to build a culture of innovation on campus – but to get maximum exposure and impact, they must be expertly managed and promoted. By focusing on the critical details and strategies needed to put on a top-notch event, you can multiply the many benefits reaped by your university and your tech transfer efforts:

  • Build your innovation ecosystem
  • Garner positive PR for your university and its commercialization efforts
  • Identify new entrepreneurs and technologies among students and faculty
  • Gain the interest of investors and licensees
  • Boost your campus’s culture of entrepreneurship
  • Capture the attention and support of top university administrators
  • Enhance ties with local economic development efforts and officials
  • Generate excitement and support for tech transfer 

These rewards don’t come easily, however, and they depend on outstanding planning and execution. That’s why Technology Transfer Tactics’ Distance Learning Division is hosting a one-hour webinar focusing on two vastly different yet very successful university-based business competitions: The CU New Venture Challenge from the University of Colorado at Boulder that hosts over 80 participating companies (each with at least one CU student or faculty member on board); and the Rice Business Plan Competition — an international, inter-collegiate competition that is the world’s richest and largest of such contests, with over $1.3 million in cash and prizes on the table.

We have recruited the leaders overseeing both events to share their best practices for creating, fundraising for, marketing, and maintaining a successful campus-based business competition. Plus, you’ll get a look at the inner workings of each competition during the in-depth case study portion of the program. Mr. Burke and Mr. Bernthal will review:

  • How to build excitement and support among stakeholders across campus and beyond
  • Strategies for ensuring maximum participation
  • Marketing to both internal and external audiences
  • Fundraising strategies that limit any negative impact on you TTO budget
  • Best practices for recruiting high-profile judges from a broad base of investors, business leaders, and entrepreneurs
  • Case studies of two super-successful competitions illustrate each event’s format and variants such as:
    • Screening mechanism for applicants
    • Prizes
    • Working with competing teams
    • Marketing tools and strategies
    • Judging criteria
  • How to maximize the impact of competitions on future commercialization efforts
  • Strategies for partnering with economic development groups
  • Building and maintaining momentum for future competitions
  • Case study of each competition’s evolution and success

Meet Your Expert Presenters:

Brad Burke is Managing Director of the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship. The Rice Alliance is a catalyst for building successful ventures through education, guidance and connections. Since its inception in 2000, the Rice Alliance has assisted in the launch of more than 250 start-ups which have raised more than half a billion dollars in early-stage capital. More than 1,000 companies have presented at the 125+ programs hosted by the Rice Alliance. The Alliance also hosts the annual Rice University Business Plan Competition. Over 133 past competitors are in business today having raised in excess of $394 million. Prior to his current position, Mr. Burke founded and managed the local office of Viant Corporation, a premier internet consulting firm that went public in 1999. Before Viant, he was a Principal with CSC Index, the management consulting division of Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC).

Brad Bernthal is director of the Silicon Flatirons Center’s Entrepreneurship Initiative at CU-Boulder and an Associate Clinical Professor at Colorado Law School.  Mr. Bernthal leads the law school’s Entrepreneurial Law Clinic, which provides free legal help to Boulder-area start-up companies.  He also teaches doctrinal courses in the areas of venture capital, telecom policy, and spectrum management. In addition to his academic work, he analyzes angel investment opportunities in the Boulder and Denver area.

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CLE Credits
We submit CLE applications in your state (excluding IL, LA, NJ, NY, PA) for an additional $50. Approval times vary per state. Application is not a guarantee of approval.

Texas CLE applications must be submitted 45 days in advance of the live program or the Texas State Bar charges a $100 “late filing fee” which is payable by the attendee and brings the total fee to $150. Florida CLE applications must be submitted 45 days in advance of the live program or the Florida State Bar charges a $150 “late filing fee” which is payable by the attendee and brings the total fee to $225.


CLP Credits
All Technology Transfer Tactics' professional development courses and designated educational offerings on the topics of licensing, technology transfer, and technology commercialization at Technology Transfer Tactics' conferences or meetings are eligible for CLP continuing education (CE) credits for certification renewal.

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