Columbus State Puts Finishing Touches on Business Plan Competition

COLUMBUS, Ga. - Columbus State University has finalized details of an inaugural Business Plan Competition announced last fall by the Turner College of Business and Computer Science.

Organizers have set entry and submission deadlines, a competition finale and prize amounts totaling $9,000 and established the competition as open only to students attending high schools and colleges throughout the greater Chattahoochee Valley.

“The goal is to prepare students to identify and capitalize on entrepreneurial opportunities that will benefit themselves and their community,” said competition director Kirk Heriot, CSU’s Ray and Evelyn Crowley Distinguished Chair of Entrepreneurship. “The competition could produce some creative ideas that lead to new jobs and boost the local  economy.”

Students can register, individually or in teams, now through March 14 via the competition’s website.

April 5 is the deadline for submitting the plans. A judging panel comprised of local entrepreneurs and CSU business professors will select finalists, who will be notified on April 19. Those finalists will present their plans to the judges on April 27. The presentations, starting at 9 a.m., will be open to the public at a CSU venue to be determined. Results will be announced the same day during a noon awards luncheon.

Awards per entry include a $4,500 grand prize and separate sets of first ($1,500), second ($1,000) and third ($500) place prizes according to college and high school divisions.

Apart from the prizes, the competition offers “a great learning opportunity,” Heriot said. “The process of writing a business plan sharpens research and writing skills and requires building a case based on facts instead of emotion and opinion. Ultimately, it instills an appreciation for the hard work and dedication necessary for starting a business.”

In addition to the competition's website, questions can be directed to Heriot at 706-562-1674 or heriot_kirk@ColumbusState.edu .