Statewide Collegiate Business Plan Competition open to students of any major


WLU website

Christine DeWitt standing in the Gary E. West College of Business wing located on the second floor of Main Hall.

The state of West Virginia is hosting its 16th annual West Virginia Statewide Collegiate Business Plan Competition. To compete, students must research and come up with an original business pitch for a product or service. The Business Plan Competition (BPC) is open to all West Virginian undergraduate and graduate students in any major. Students can enter by themselves or with a team of up to four other students.

The purpose of the BPC competition is to provide college students throughout the state with an opportunity to showcase their talents and bring their entrepreneurial dreams to life through a competition that will help students grow. Winners of the competition will receive funding and collaborative assistance from investors to potentially start up their own company or business based on the plan presented.

Christine DeWitt, instructor of finance and general business, says that she encourages her students to sign up for the competition. “Even if they don’t win, they would still have the experience,” explained Dewitt. Dewitt furthered her previous statement by pointing out students who enter as a team not only gain experience but can improve their ability to cooperate with other people which is an important quality to have in the workforce.

According to the West Virginia BPC website, “Our goal for the Business Plan Competition is to work collaboratively across the state with a mission to move West Virginia forward by engaging young minds to solve West Virginia’s greatest problems. The future of our state is at hand and we are working to involve young talent from across the state to share their ideas. We will provide students with the education, skills, contacts and motivation necessary to create a viable start-up company in West Virginia. Finalist teams will pitch to investors in the final round.”

The BPC consists of three rounds and three online workshops. Feedback and instruction are given for each round to help participating students improve their pitches. According to the competition guidelines, it is not necessary to have a background in business; in fact, they welcome team members who range in all forms of expertise.

The first submission for round one of this competition will consist of a 90 second YouTube video and is due on Nov. 5 by noon eastern time. The instructions and deadlines for the competition can be found by going to the timeline tab on the website. The competition takes place throughout the academic year until the final round which takes place on April 6.

West Virginia also hosts a business plan competition for high school students that has different instructions and is scored separately from the collegiate competition.

The WV Collegiate Business Plan Competition is hosted by the West Virginia University (WVU) John Chambers College of Business and Economics and Encova Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

For more information visit or contact Dallas Mullett from Encova Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship by emailing [email protected] or calling (304) 293-7831.