First Deadline Approaches for Canyon Challenge Business Plans
By Doug Carroll
GCU News Bureau
Budding entrepreneurs seeking guidance for the upcoming Canyon Challenge met Wednesday in a Williams Building classroom to receive pointers from Assistant Professor Tim Kelley, who is overseeing the inaugural campus event.
Kelley said he has fielded at least 80 inquiries, most of them online, about the challenge, which will award a first prize of $3,500 to the best plan for a startup business. Cash prizes also will be given for second and third places.
Although the deadline for submission of a two-page executive summary of a business plan isn’t until next Friday, March 23, three such summaries already have been filed.
“For executive summaries, I’m a big fan of bullet points and concise statements,” said Kelley, who was involved in a similar competition in 2003 at the Thunderbird School of Global Management that had more than 40 entries — and a finalist from India.
The “unknown factor,” Kelley said, will be online entries. If any of those make the finals, their plans will be presented virtually, possibly via Skype.
Six judges will review the executive summaries and make a first cut within a week. Those still in the running will be required to submit a PowerPoint and full business plan by Friday, April 6.
“We want the PowerPoint because we want an idea of how good of a show they’ll put on,” Kelley said.
Five finalists then will be chosen to present their plans from 1 to 3 p.m. Monday, April 16, at GCU Arena, and Kelley is hoping they’ll turn out their supporters to create a big-game atmosphere. Each finalist will be limited to a 10-minute presentation.
Potential investors will be in the house, so there’s no such thing as too much showmanship from the presenters.
The judges for the Challenge are KBCOB Dean Kevin Barksdale, John Moore, Lori Soukup, Brian Smith, Stacy Wolski and Kim Donaldson.
“We’re building the foundation for this,” Kelley said. “Most (of the entries) will be seeking some form of capital to get up and running. Use of funds is normally a category you’d put in an executive summary.”
For more information about the challenge, contact Kelley at 602.639.7721 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Executive summaries are to be submitted directly to him.