UM and eMerge Pitch Night Winners

* Each team receives $1250 as an award.  Teams have been contacted via email.

Undergraduate Track

  • EcoTarp LLC
    • Richard Parrillo
  • IKO
    • Joe Bentham
    • Bennett C. Richter
    • Joshua E. Halper
    • Philip Dressler
    • Ariana Robinson

Graduate/Alumni Track

  • Munoa
    • Mariana Munoz
    • Arturo Vidal

MBS undergraduates and graduate students plus alumni (2009-19) are invited to be a part of the Miami Innovation Adventure (formerly Business Plan Competition). This startup business competition, hosted by the Miami Herbert Business School, encourages entrepreneurship and recognizes successful business ideas from a wide range of disciplines.

We are accepting NEW entries for the Miami Innovation Adventure

Submit your written business plan by March 17, 2020. 


The top 12 teams from the UM and eMerge Pitch Night will receive mentors from the elite business community to assist in submitting a written business plan and a chance to compete in the semi-finals (April 1, 2020) and Finals (April 2, 2020).

There are two separate tracks: (1) undergraduate student track; (2) graduate student and alumni track.



Have questions? Email us at

For enrolled students, receiving an award may have an impact on your financial aid eligibility/package. Please contact the Office of Financial Assistance Services for more detailed information:

Undergraduate Office of Financial Assistance Services
Link to the Graduate Office of Financial Assistance Services


General Information



The Miami Innovation Adventure is a startup business competition that encourages all UM students and Alumni (graduation years 2009-2019) to create something "out of the ordinary" by closing the gap between a market need and a real solution to TAKE MIAMI (or your preferred city) to the NEXT LEVEL.  It fosters pitches, workshops, mentoring and judge interaction while giving student-entrepreneurs real-world experience.  


University-wide competition to "TAKE MIAMI (or your preffered city) to the NEXT LEVEL". 


You will need a business idea in the startup or early growth stages.



The judging criterion for the Miami Innovation Adventure (aka UM Business Plan Competition) is to select the most believable plans. 

The judges are successful entrepreneurs and the rankings will be guided by the scoreboard (see below), but should be consistent with the approach that would be used by an early stage investor.

There are two main rounds of competition: the Semifinal Round on Wednesday, April 1, 2020 and the Final Round on Thursday, April 2, 2020.  All selected teams MUST be available on both dates to present their plan to the judges at the times indicated on a detailed schedule provided in advance.

Multiple business plan submissions are NOT accepted. Each individual or team should only appear in ONE submission. Teams are expected to state how much financing they are looking and we recommend that teams be prepared to address questions about their terms. 


The only individuals who will have access to your written business plans are entrepreneurship program staff, your mentor and the judges who are assigned to read your plan.

Scoring Criteria – Business Plan

The ranking will be based on the believability in the venture.  Judges will rank the teams from first and so forth, sequentially.

Judges will fill-out three scorecards for each team in the Semi-Finals Round (after having judged the written business plans and only selected teams invited to pitch in that round). 

Scorecards cover:

Part I               Written Business Plan             25%

Part II              Verbal Presentation                25%

Part III            Business Viability                   50%


Scoring – Written Business Plan Evaluation

The final written business plans are due by Tuesday, March 17, 2020 by 11:59am (EST) for evaluation. Judges will review the written business plans of each of the teams in their track and complete Part I of the scorecard for each plan. 

Part I is designed to help assess the written business plan, focusing on key elements and the effectiveness of the summary financial data.  Judges will evaluate the written business plan in advance of the competition and complete Part I of the scorecard online.  We will make every effort to provide the feedback to teams prior to the semifinal round.

Scoring – Semifinal Oral Presentations

Each judge will listen to and evaluate the oral presentations of the teams in their track on Tuesday, April 1, 2020.  Judges will use Parts II & III of the scorecard to determine their rankings:

Part II assesses the poise and professionalism of the presentations

Part III evaluates the perceived believability of the venture

The winning teams from each of the tracks will be determined by the total scores for Parts I-III.  They will then be invited to pitch during the Finals on April 2, 2020.

Scoring – Final Round

Winning teams in the final round will be determined solely by the judges’ ranking of the teams.  This ranking will be determined Thursday night (April 2) after all of the teams have presented to the judges. 

The rankings from each of the judges will be added and the teams with the best total scores will be the winners in each track. 

Contents of the Written Business Plan

Please ONLY submit a 5-page business plan including the information below and a 1-page appendix.  Failure to comply with the rules/guidelines may be subject to disqualification.

Business Plan (total pages 6) should cover:

  1. Executive Summary (i.e. company overview)
  2. Product or Service description (i.e. problem solving);
  3. Industry/Competitor Analysis;
  4. Market/Customer Analysis; Marketing and Sales Plan;
  5. Management Team and Staffing Plan

Appendix - Financial Summary and/or Projections (1 page max)

Financial Data: Financial data should include a cash flow statement, income statement, and balance sheet.  We recommend projecting annual financials for at least five years along with a monthly plan for year 1.  Data should be included in a summarized fashion in the main section of the business plan.  Explain 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 can be included in the appendices.

Appendices: Should be included only when they support the findings, statements and observations in the plan.  All appendices must fall within the one page limit; any pages over this limit will not be posted or otherwise provided to the judges.

LINK for submitting your business plan:  The final written business plan should be submitted using the link below on or before 11:59am (EST), on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. 

  1. Please submit an electronic version as a PDF or Word doc using this link: .    Any other delivery form will not be accepted.  Only teams meeting this deadline will be considered for this competition. Instructions on how to submit are below.

Changes to your Business PlanOnce your written business plan is submitted by Tuesday, March 17, 2020, you will not have a chance to modify it


  1. Please use the following link to submit your business plan:  When you click it, make sure you are using Chrome as your web browser.  If not, please copy/paste into Chrome.
  2. If you are a NEW participant to the business plan competition and did not submit a business plan or concept paper last year, please click on "Registration" and create a new account with your personal information (under Organization name, use UM), then click "Register". After, please verify the activation link in the email address you provided by clicking on the link provided  (it might take a few minutes).  Log in again and go to step “a” below to continue.
  3. If you have already submitted a concept paper or business plan last year and remember your email address and password, please log in. If not, please follow the instructions on   # 3 above to create a new account using a different email address.
  1. Once you have created a new account and verified the activation link or logged in using a previous email address: type Miami Innovation Adventure 2020 in the search bar on the top right hand side. Do not hit "enter" right after,just wait until the name shows up in the list, then you click on the name and this will take you to a new page. 
  1. Once you are logged in, please click on "create a new submission" and select your track: Undergraduate or Graduate/Alumni. 
  2. Fill out the title of your business idea/project and an abstract/description (brief).
  3. Add any other members to your team (name, last name, phone, organization or school you/student is attending, if a current student). You must fill in all of the team members’ information and the school they attend (if an enrolled student) before you can attach and submit your business plan.
  4. Attach your Word/Pdf document in "Upload from computer" link.  Make sure you are ONLY submitting 6 pages maximum (including the appendix).
  5. Fill out additional questions for all members in your team.
  6. Click "Submit"
  7. If you encounter any problems or have any questions, please email us at



The Miami Innovation Adventure and is open to all University of Miami students in good academic and financial standing during the current academic year.

There are 2 tracks to participate: Undergraduate and Graduate/Alumni (graduation years between 2009-2019).  You may participate alone or in a team.  If you are an Undergraduate student competing in a team, all your team members must be Undergraduate students as well. If you are a graduate student and/or alumni, you may have mixed teams among the graduate and alumni, or just graduate or alumni students, or alone.  UM Employees (even if enrolled students) are not allowed to participate.


The student or team could win prizes up to $100,000 (including in-kind) among both tracks and depending on winning place.


March 17, 2020 - 5 page written business plan plus 1 page appendix 



To those students/teams who are invited to submit a business plan in Spring 2020, The LaunchPad will offer 2 workshops at the Miami Herbert Business School to assist them with writing a business plan and financial modeling. These workshops are mandatory for Undergraduate non-business students, but open to all participating students (Undergraduate and Graduate) in the Business Plan Competition.  A light lunch will be provided to all those in attendance.

2020 Workshops - Business Plan Competition

Workshop 1: Business Plan Essentials - date TBD

Location: TBD

Workshop 2:  Financial Modeling - date TBD


Please RSVP to:


Each year, as oral presentations approach, some students become concerned about potential issues of confidentiality. Remember that the judges are largely entrepreneurs, investors, and financial professionals who deal with confidential information in the normal course of their work, and as such, you can expect them to behave professionally. You should feel free to exclude any information you regard as truly proprietary, but keep in mind that this may have a negative impact on your performance in the competition. Also keep in mind that your general venture idea is NOT proprietary, and in the vast majority of cases revealing it will have no impact on your competitive position. No judge, mentor, or UM faculty/staff should ever be asked to sign any sort of nondisclosure agreement, and your presentations may be open to the public.
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