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The TiE International Business Plan Competition is a Global

initiative supported by TiE Delhi, TiE Brussels and Rice


University.

Team Member
Instructions
Guide &
Handbook

Contents
Program Overview: .......................................................................................................................... 3
Eligibility .......................................................................................................................................... 3
General Requirements for Both Rice and Investor Track ........................................................... 3
Outside Funding:..................................................................................................................... 3
Nature of Ventures: ................................................................................................................ 3
Additional Requirements for Rice Track ..................................................................................... 3
Student Enrollment:................................................................................................................ 3
Team Size: ............................................................................................................................... 3
Team Composition: ................................................................................................................. 4
Student Involvement: ............................................................................................................. 4
Prior Activity: .......................................................................................................................... 5
GENERAL GUIDELINES ..................................................................................................................... 5
Non-confidentiality: .................................................................................................................... 5
Copyrights & Permissions: .......................................................................................................... 5
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY..................................................................................................................... 6
Executive Summary Submission: ................................................................................................ 6
WRITTEN BUSINESS PLAN ........................................................................................................... 6
Written Business Plan Submission:......................................................................................... 6
Contents of the Written Business Plan: .................................................................................. 7
ORAL PRESENTATION ...................................................................................................................... 8
Business Sessions: ....................................................................................................................... 8
Chapter Competitions: ................................................................................................................ 8
Regional Finals:................................................................................................................................ 8
Shark Tank Rounds: ................................................................................................................ 8
Final Round: ............................................................................................................................ 9
Equipment:.................................................................................................................................. 9
ELEVATOR PITCH.............................................................................................................................. 9
Overview ..................................................................................................................................... 9
Rules ............................................................................................................................................ 9
Judges Evaluation Criteria ......................................................................................................... 10
Suggested Guidelines ................................................................................................................ 10

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Program Overview:
The competition is for new, independent ventures in the seed, start-up, or early growth
stages. Generally excluded are the following: buy-outs, expansions of existing companies, real
estate syndications, tax shelters, franchises, licensing agreements for distribution in a different
geographical area, and spin-outs from existing corporations. Licensing technologies from
universities or research labs is encouraged, assuming they have not been commercialized
previously.
The TiE International Business Plan Competition is a 2 track competition in which teams can
choose either the Rice University Track or the Investor Track. Those who choose the Rice Track
must meet additional eligibility requirements including having at least two student team
members on their team, one a graduate level student.

Eligibility
General Requirements for Both Rice and Investor Track
Outside Funding: All ventures MUST be seeking outside equity capital, typically early stage
venture investment or early stage angel investment. Except in the case of teams entering the
Social Ventures Track, all ventures must be for profit entities.

Nature of Ventures: The competition is for new, independent ventures in the seed, startup, or early growth stages. Generally excluded are the following: buy-outs, expansions of
existing companies, real estate syndications, tax shelters, franchises, licensing agreements for
distribution in a different geographical area, and spin-outs from existing corporations. Licensing
technologies from universities or research labs is encouraged, assuming they have not been
commercialized previously.

Additional Requirements for Rice Track


Student Enrollment: This track is for students enrolled in a degree program (students in
certificate programs are not eligible) in the current academic year. Students who graduated in
the preceding academic year are not eligible to participate. However, an exception will be made
for students who both worked on their business plan or technology in the prior academic year
and graduated during the preceding summer, i.e., the summer of 2014. An exception will also
be made for students from non-US universities that have a different academic calendar.

Team Size: The presenting team should include at least two students and not exceed five
students. (At least two students must ultimately be able to travel to Delhi or Brussels and
Houston to compete and both must participate in the oral presentation of the business plan).
Non-student team members are welcome to travel to Delhi or Brussels and Rice with the
student team, but are prohibited from participating in the presentations or Q&A sessions. More
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than five students can travel with the team, but only five students can serve as presenters.
Faculty advisors or other team mentors are encouraged to attend.

Team Composition: This track is primarily for graduate students, but undergraduate
students can compete as long as at least one graduate student is a member of the ventures
startup management team and at least one graduate student is a part of the presenting team
that travels to Rice University. A team with some undergraduates will be allowed to compete,
and the undergraduates may participate fully. All graduate students, not just MBA candidates,
are eligible to participate in the competition. This includes executive MBAs, MD candidates, JD
candidates, other Masters Candidates, and PhD Candidates. Individuals in University
Postdoctoral positions are not eligible to compete as students.
Non-students may be members of the ventures management team and may participate in
planning the venture. However, only students may present the plan and answer questions from
the competition judges. The maximum number of student competitors on a team participating
at all level competitions is five (5), although there is no restriction on the total size of the
ventures founding team.

Student Involvement: The competition is for student created and managed ventures,
including new ventures launched by licensing university technology. Students are expected to:
(1)
(2)
(3)
(4)

be the driving force behind the new venture,


have played the primary role in developing the business plan,
have key management roles in the venture, and
own significant equity in the venture.

In general, a member of the student team should be CEO, COO, or President of the venture, or
members of the student team should occupy 50% or more of the functional area management
positions that report directly to the CEO, COO, or President.
Members of the student team are expected to also own equity in the new venture. It is
anticipated that the presenting students should own 50% of the equity that is allocated to the
management team, and 20% overall equity. (One objective of this rule is to exclude ventures
formed and managed by non-students who have given little or no equity to MBAs for writing
their business plan.)
The competition is supportive of MBA/graduate teams that have created a business plan to
launch a new venture based on university-developed research and innovations. A goal of the
competition is to support the commercialization of promising university technologies through
the licensing of technologies to start-up ventures.
Recognizing that the equity structure of these new university-based ventures may not yet be
established, the 50% equity ownership rule may be waived in this situation. This waiver will be
examined on a case-by-case basis.

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Prior Activity:
Ventures may compete only once. Teams that have competed at MOOT CORP (now Venture
Labs Investment Competition) in a previous year are ineligible to compete at Rice, and therefore
the TiE International Business Plan Competition.
Ventures with revenues in prior academic years, i.e., before August, 2014, are excluded.
Ventures that have raised equity capital from sources other than the members of the student
team or their friends and families before the current academic year, i.e., before August, 2014,
are excluded. However, both student and other team members may have worked on an idea or
new technology in previous academic years or in the case of the student team members even
prior to entering graduate school, provided that their venture had no revenues and raised no
outside equity capital prior to the current academic year.

GENERAL GUIDELINES
Non-confidentiality:
All sessions of the competition, including but not limited to oral presentations and
question/answer sessions, are open to the public at large. Any and all of these sessions may be
broadcast to interested persons through media which may include radio, television and the
Internet. Any data or information discussed or divulged in public sessions by entrants should be
considered information that could possibly enter the public realm, and entrants should not
assume any right of confidentiality in any data or information discussed, divulged, or presented
in these sessions.
Due to the nature of the competition, we are not able to ask judges, reviewers, staff, or the
audience to agree to or sign non-disclosure statements. However, TiE Global, the Rice Alliance
for Technology and Entrepreneurship, the organizers of the TiE Events and RBPC, will make
every effort to limit distribution of business plans presented at the competition. TiE Global and
The Rice Alliance cannot guarantee that other individuals will not obtain access to electronic or
hard copies of the business plan. All presentations are open to the general public, and some
presentations may be videotaped. Attendance by media personnel is expected during Finals at
Rice.

Copyrights & Permissions:


If a team uses copyrighted materials and/or images from a third-party in their submissions or
presentations, they must obtain permission and authorization in advance from the owners to
use this material.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Executive Summary Submission:
The final executive summary from each team is due along with the application in iStart by
Sunday, October 12, 2014. Please submit the file in Adobe Acrobat PDF. No other format will
be accepted. Files should be named according to the following format: ES_CompanyName.pdf.
This will be uploaded to your istart account with completed application.
Teams will be evaluated on the quality of the Executive Summary. Teams will be notified of
whether they are invited to compete by Monday, October 20, 2014.
Guidelines: Executive summaries must be limited to 5 pages of text (typed, double-spaced,
minimum 12 point font, and 1" margins on all sides.) The Executive Summary should include
information on:

Company summary
Customer/market analysis (market size and potential market share)
Product or service description
Intellectual property status (e.g., patents, licenses, etc.)
Competitive differentiation
Management team and/or advisors, including relevant experience
Financial highlights
Status and offering of the company (how much investment you are seeking)

In your executive summary, we expect you to convey:


The problem or need your company solves
The size of the accessible market & evidence that customers will buy your product/service
Your differentiation vs. competition and how you will sustain that
The experience of your management team and/or advisory boards
The current state of development (e.g., beta, customer trials, etc.)
Timeframes to achieve significant revenue and/or cash flow positive
The amount of funding you are seeking

WRITTEN BUSINESS PLAN


Written Business Plan Submission:
A complete written business plan from the invited and confirmed teams will be due November
23rd, 2014 in iStart. Please submit an electronic version in Adobe Acrobat PDF. No other
format will be accepted. Files should be named according to the following format:
BP_CompanyName.pdf. These will also be submitted via your iStart account.
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Written business plans are limited to 20 pages of text (typed, double-spaced, minimum
12 point font, and 1" margins on all sides), and includes the executive summary and summary
financial data. Detailed spreadsheets and appropriate appendices should follow the text portion
of the plan but will be limited to 10 pages. Plans with fewer than 10 pages of appendices may
not use the remaining pages to increase the size of their business plan beyond 20 pages. In
total, the maximum number of pages is 30.

Contents of the Written Business Plan: Business Plan should include (max 20 pages)
Executive Summary
Product or service description (incl. current status of development beta,
prototype, etc.)
Customer/Market analysis (market size and potential market share)
Sales and Marketing Plan (how you will go-to-market)
Intellectual property status (e.g., patents, licenses, etc.)
Competitor Analysis (competitors and your competitive differentiation
Management team and/or advisors, including relevant experience
Financial highlights (cash flow, income statement, & balance sheet)
Offering of the company (how much investment you are seeking, uses of
funding, possible exits)

Business Plan Financial Data:


Financial data should include a cash flow statement, income statement, and balance sheet. This
data should be included in a summarized fashion in the main section of the business plan.
Include an explanation of the offering to investors indicating how much money is required, how
it will be used, and the proposed structure of the deal, (i.e., stock, debentures, etc.) and possible
exit strategies. Detailed financial data and tables should be included in the appendix.
Please note: The team is not required to reveal the exact desired terms of the deal (i.e.,
proposed company valuation and percentage of company being offered). However, teams
should expect to be asked about these terms and should be prepared to answer these questions
in some fashion (if this information is not already provided in the written plan.) It is up to the
team to assess the BEST way to address this question; however, past experience indicates that
some judges will want to know a team's estimated company valuation.

Appendices:
Appendices should be included only when they support the findings, statements, and
observations in the plan. Because of the number of teams in the competition, judges may not be
able to read all the material in the appendices. Therefore, the text portion of the plan (20 pages)
must contain all pertinent information in a clear and concise manner. All appendices must fall
within the 10 page limit; any pages over this limit will not be posted or otherwise provided to
the judges.
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Changes to Your Business Plan:


Once your written business plan is submitted it will be provided for review by the judges. You
will not have a chance to modify your written business plan prior to the competitions. However,
if you feel the need to modify your plan, when you make your oral presentations during the
competition, you can incorporate these changes into your presentation.

ORAL PRESENTATION
Oral presentations will take place at all three levels of the competition. Teams should arrive to
the competitions at least one hour prior to the start time to ensure all preparation is done prior
to the start of the program. The winning teams from the Rice will be provided further
instructions specific to the Rice Competition prior to their arrival in Houston.

Business Sessions:
During the second Business Session teams will be given the opportunity to practice their
presentations and get mentor feedback. There will be no practice sessions during the Regional
Finals, unless arranged by teams with mentors privately.

Chapter Competitions:
During the Chapter Competitions, each team will have 15 minutes to present its business
plan. The presentation will be followed by a 20-minute question-and-answer session with the
judges. THIS TIME LIMIT WILL BE STRICTLY ENFORCED.

Regional Finals:
The finalists from each Chapter will go onto the Shark Tank Rounds in the Regional Finals. Those
who are chosen to continue with the competition after this intense round will go onto the Final
Presentations during the second half of the day in which they will be given the chance to
present their Business Plans one Final time.
Shark Tank Rounds:
The Shark Tank Round is formatted differently than the Local Chapter Competition and
will provide competitors with a third type of presentation experience. There will be
several teams in each flight (depending on the number of Chapter participating); each
will have a total of 25 minutes for presentation and Q&A. However, there will be no
individual time limits on the presentations or Q&A. Judges are encouraged to interrupt
at any time and ask questions. Students should be prepared to make shortened
presentations to accommodate the less structured format. Judges will be encouraged to
ask questions throughout the presentation.

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Final Round:
The teams in the Final Round will have 15 minutes to present, followed by a 10 minute
question-and-answer session. There will only be 5 minutes between each presentation
for teams to set-up in the Final Round. For the Final Round, each team should be in
position at least 15 minutes prior to their designated presentation times.
Note: A team, once it has finished its presentation, may observe both the presentation and Q&A
session of the teams that follow it. (Teams may not observe other presentations until AFTER
they have made their presentation.) The same observation guidelines apply to the Local
Chapter Competitions and Business Sessions with mentors.

Equipment:
Teams should plan to bring a laptop and a copy of their presentation on a zip drive or CD. Each
presentation room is equipped with a large-screen projector and a room PC to run your
presentation. You may also connect your laptop directly to the projector to present.
Please let us know if you have any questions or have any special equipment needs. If you have
questions about audio/video equipment, please contact the Chapter Organizer as soon as
possible. Please note that if your presentation contains video, graphics, and/or sound, you
should let us know in advance, and we will try to help ensure that your presentation works
properly at the Competition. However, based on past experience, we cannot guarantee that
video, graphics, and sound will work 100% of the time.

ELEVATOR PITCH
Overview
The Elevator Pitch is your business overview that you should be able to deliver powerfully and
concisely to any investor who happens to ride the same elevator as you. The first impression is
critical in capturing the attention of a potential investor or customer.
The elevator pitch should provide enough information to pique the interest of potential
investors and strategic partners. It should provide a clear picture of the company and its
solution. It should be delivered effectively and succinctly.

Rules

Each team will be given a maximum of 60 seconds to present its elevator pitch to the
panel of judges.
Index cards or other notes will not be permitted for the Elevator Pitch Competition, as
you would not expect to have the benefit of these notes in a real life situation.
This presentation will be given by one team member. Only current students can
present at the competition. The 60 second Elevator Pitch will be uninterrupted. There

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will be no Question and Answer period. Teams will be judged on their oral
presentation alone.

Judges Evaluation Criteria

Judges will score each team that presents on a scale of 1 (excellent) to 7 (very poor). The
teams with the best (i.e., lowest) overall scores will be the winners.
Judges should evaluate each team based on how convincingly they present their
business concept, such that the judge would want to learn more about the company as
a potential investor. The best teams are those teams that an investor would want to
schedule a follow-up meeting for further discussion because they believe this company
represents a strong investment opportunity.
The best teams should communicate the following:

Clear explanation of their product/service and the problem it solves


How their company is unique and differentiated
Sizable market opportunity and ability to penetrate that market
Current Development Stage
Viable business model
Clear measures of success and potential exit opportunities
Understanding of how much money is needed and how it will be used

Suggested Guidelines
To help you focus your Elevator Pitch, remember to highlight the following key topics
remember youre just providing a teaser to the audience with the purpose of having them ask
"tell me more about your company":

Product and service offering (e.g., the problem and your solution)
Brief description of offering
What problem or need does it solve? What are the benefits of your product?
Unique Differentiators
Why is this unique or different from competition?
Is this difference sustainable (e.g., patents, intellectual property, etc.)?
Market Opportunity & Target Customers
Who are the targeted customers?
What is the size of the market?
Is there evidence they will buy the product?
Current Development Stage
What is the current status of technology/venture?
What are key next steps?
Business Model how will the company generate profitable revenue?
Milestones and Success Metrics
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What are the success metrics?


What is the exit strategy?
Capital Needs
How much funding is needed to move forward?
How will the money be used?
Why is your business an attractive investment?

Common Elevator Pitch Mistakes


No energy and passion in the presentation
Too much technical language; focusing on the technology rather than the customer
need
Failure to explain what customer problem you are trying to solve
Too much discussion about the idea and product and not enough explanation about the
market, business opportunity, and revenue models
Listing too many names of clients or partners. Indicate how many clients and name a
few big names to spark interest

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