Ideas for a Better Future.                                                           


How to get started in the Annual Business Plan Competition

Have an idea for a new product, service or business? Submit your business plan to CCBC’s Center for Business Innovation 5th Annual Business Plan Competition (BPC) and you could win up to $10,000 in seed money. A total of $28,500 in seed money will be award to the top 6 winners. The winners are also eligible to participate in the Center for Business Innovation (CBI) incubation network that provides support in the areas of marketing and sales, website development, technology, accounting, human resources, management as well as access to investors and creditors, which can be invaluable for any start-up. The competition is designed to promote start-up ideas and economic development among CCBC students and alumni with the support of faculty and local entrepreneurs. 

Here's how it works:

  • Students interested in entering the competition must first submit an “Intent to Participate” email or registration that simply states that you would like to participate in the competition. Deadline: Oct. 13. Students and alumni may enter as individuals or as teams.
  • Participants are encouraged to attend 3 business plan workshops focused on developing a strategic plan, a marketing plan and a financial plan as participants work on their business plan.
  • A Screening Round is the initial review of plans by CCBC faculty in which the top 12 business plans are selected to advance to the final round.
  • The Center for Business Innovation will match the top 12 finalists with mentors who can help prepare the finalists for the final round of the competition.
  • The 12 finalists will make their business plan presentations to a panel of judges. The judges will choose the top 6 winning participants.

What do the Top 6 Award Winners get?

A total of $28,500 that will be awarded to the top 6 finalists to help the promote the business. Here is how the seed money is awarded:

  • First place winner receives up to $10,000;
  • Second place receives up to$7,500;
  • Third place winner receives up to $5,000;
  • Fourth place winner receives up to $300;
  • And two runner-ups will receive up to $1,500 each.

Plus, the Top 6 Award Winners get:

  • Invitation to work with CBI’s incubation network in which a class of students who can help implement the business plan during the spring semester. The winners will receive support in the areas of marketing and sales, website development, technology, accounting, human resources, management and will gain access to investors and creditors.
  • Scholarships to attend a 11-week course designed to help entrepreneurs launch and grow their businesses.
  • Up to four one-hour coaching sessions with experts in the business community on such topics as accounting, legal, marketing, insurance, information technology, and project management.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to participate in the Business Plan Competition, one of the following conditions must be met:

  • Current or former CCBC students with at least 15 credit hours successfully completed in any discipline within the last five years.
  • An alumnus of CCBC who has graduated with a credit degree or credit certificate.
  • A non-credit graduate of any of the certificate or apprenticeship programs offered by CCBC.
  • A student in the final year of a non-credit apprenticeship program offered by CCBC.

Those who already have a business started may participate as long as they meet one of the criteria above and have less than $100,000 in revenue, no more than 2 full-time employees and haven’t been in business more than 3 years. You can participate individually or as a team. All team members must also meet the same eligibility requirements.

Previous winners of the competition are not eligible.

Next step...

Register your intent to participate. Deadline is Oct 6.


Key dates to remember...

Intent to Participate Deadline

Friday, Oct. 6 - Complete the Intent to Participate Registration that simply says you intend to participate in the competition.

Strategic Planning Workshop

Saturday, Oct. 14, 10 am-noon, Essex Campus, BESS 216 

Marketing / Sales Planning Workshop    

Saturday, Oct. 21, 10 am-noon, Catonsville Campus, CLLB 035

Financial Planning Workshop 
Saturday, Oct. 28, 10 am-noon, Essex Campus, BESS 216
Executive Business Plan (5-7 pages)   
Deadline: Friday, Nov. 10
Screening Round   
Nov. 13 - 19
Final Business Plan Workshop     Saturday, Jan. 13
Full Business Plan – FINAL Submission Monday, Jan. 18
Final Round   Saturday, Jan. 27
Dinner & Awards Ceremony   
Saturday evening, Jan. 27
Center for Business Innovation Incubator Saturday, Mar. 1 – May 13

The Center for Business Innovation is dedicated to serving CCBC students and alumni who are interested in learning how to turn their ideas for new products and services into sustainable businesses.