The University of Miami Business Plan Competition and the 'Canes Challenge, both hosted by the Miami Business School, encourage entrepreneurship among students throughout the University of Miami. The School recognizes that successful business ideas can come from a wide range of disciplines and may originate from an individual or from a group of individuals.

Both competitions have two separate tracks: (1) undergraduate student track; (2) graduate student and alumni track.

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.

Link to the Undergraduate Office of Financial Assistance Services:


Link to the Graduate Office of Financial Assistance Services:




1st Place, Grand Prize: $10,000 plus 3 months of co-working space (10 hours/week) ----- CYCLE, Noah Barrows, Anwar Khan, Colin Hively and Connor Pohl

2nd Place: $7,500 ----- EUREKA MATCH, Daniela de Negri

3rd Place: $4,500 ----- MONETA, Alejandro A. Alvarez & Quentin Wheeler

4th Place, Honorable Mention: $500 ----- SONO, Ahcene Ouldsaada & Andre Dalem

5th Place, Honorable Mention: $500 ------ SONDER CORPORATION, Timur Orazov & Bruna de Cristofaro Lopes de Souza

2019 UG track winners, CYCLE CYCLE - 1st Place in the Undergraduate Track 


2019 UG track 2nd place

EUREKA MATCH - 2nd Place in the Undergraduate Track

Daniela De Negri and Michael Wilson, Faculty Director, Entrepreneurship Programs



1st Place, Grand Prize: $10,000 plus 3 months of co-working space (10 hours/week)  ----- 

MANTRA, Dominic Natalizio

2nd Place: $7,500 ----- MY STUDENT BLUEPRINT, Eric Steen

3rd Place: $4,500 ----- CHEVEUX PARFAITS, Victor Flores & Vishnu Teja

4th Place, Honorable Mention: $500 ----- AUTOAD, Kyle Miner

5th Place, Honorable Mention: $500 ------ EYES ON HAITI, Ryan Nolan


2019 Graduate/Alumni Track winner, MANTRA

MANTRA- 1st Place in the Graduate/Alumni Track

Dominic Natalizio and Michael Wilson


2019 Graduate/Alumni Track 2nd Place, My Student Blueprint 

MY STUDENT BLUEPRINT - 2nd Place in the Graduate/Alumni Track

Eric Steen and Michael Wilson



The Paul K. Sugrue Spirit Award: $2,000 ------ EYES ON HAITI, Ryan Nolan

People's Pick Award: $1,000 ------MONETA, Alejandro A. Alvarez & Quentin Wheeler


2019 Paul K. Sugrue Spirit Award, Eyes on Haiti


Ryan Nolan and Michael Wilson


2019 People's Pick Award, MONETA


Alejandro A. Alvarez and Quentin Wheeler with Michael Wilson




Undergraduate Track (random order)

Alejandro A. Alvarez & Quentin Wheeler

Daniela De Negri

Ahcene Ouldsaada & Andre Dalem

Noah Barrows, Anwar Khan, Colin Hively and Connor Pohl

Timur Orazov & Bruna de Cristofaro Lopes de Souza


Graduate/Alumni Track (random order)

Eric Steen

Ryan Nolan

Victor Flores & Vishnu Teja

Kyle Miner

Dominic Natalizio


2019 Semifinalists
Undergraduate Track (random order)

Stephan Fisher

Gabrielle Shapiro

Alejandro A. Alvarez & Quentin Wheeler

Ahcene Ouldsaada & Andre Dalem

Timur Orazov & Bruna de Cristofaro Lopes de Souza

Daniela De Negri

Alexander Dolan

Noah Barrows, Anwar Khan, Colin Hively and Connor Pohl

Mark Akhimien & Kevin Gutierrez

2019 Semifinalists
Graduate/Alumni Track (random order)

Eric Steen

Peter Spence

Joe Bucciero & Andrew Fitzpatrick

Ryan Nolan

Victor Flores & Vishnu Teja

Kyle Miner

Maximilian Folonari & Anthony Miclet

Dominic Natalizio

Rylan McConville






Am I Eligible?

The University of Miami Business Plan Competition and the 'Canes Challenge are open to all University of Miami students in good academic and financial standing during the current academic year. The competitions are also open to all UM Alumni who are non-UM employees, graduation date must not be older than 2009.




General Information

The overarching judging criterion for the UM Business Plan Competition (“BPC”) is to select the plans in which the judges are most likely to invest their own funds. 

The vast majority of the judges are successful entrepreneurs.  Several others are private equity or financial professionals.  Their 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.

Teams are expected to state how much financing they are looking and we recommend that teams be prepared to address questions about their terms. 

There are 2 main rounds of competition: the Semifinal Round  and the Final Round.  All teams MUST be available  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 should only appear on ONE submission.

If the business plan submitted is based on a class project, either all members must be part of the team or those not entering/participating must approve the submission by the other team members in writing prior to the submission.


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.  We have asked them to treat your work product with the same care and respect for confidentiality. 

Note that a short description of your idea that you included with your concept paper may be used in public documentation relating to the BPC.

Scoring Criteria – Business Plan

The winners of the competition will be determined by the judges’ rankings of the teams.  As noted above, this ranking will be based on the judges’ willingness to invest in the venture.  The ranking will be completed by the judges at the end of each day’s competition.  Judges will rank the teams from first (team most likely to receive funding) and so forth.

To assist the judges in this decision process and to provide additional feedback to the teams, the judges will fill-out 3 scorecards for each team in the Semi-Finals Round.  The 3 scorecards will cover:

Part I               Written Business Plan             25%

Part II              Verbal Presentation                25%

Part III             Business Viability                   50%

The individual scorecards are designed to provide guidance for judges in evaluating the individual components of each team.  Scorecards are also designed to provide feedback from the judges at the end of the Semifinal Round.


Scoring – Process

In the Semifinal Round, teams will be grouped into tracks based on their scores of the written business plans and whether the competitors are undergraduate or graduate/alumni. The exact number of tracks will depend on how many written plans that meet the submission criteria are submitted.

Each track will have a different set of judges.  Each judge will assess the written business plans, oral presentations, and business viability of the teams in their track in the Semifinal Round of competition.

The winner from each track, along with up to one graduate and one undergraduate “wildcard” selected at the judges’ discretion, will advance to the final round.  Announcement of the finalists will be made on Tuesday afternoon (after the Semifinals round) via email and the Miami Business School website.


Scoring – Written Business Plan Evaluation

The final written business plans are due by (TBD) 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 before the Semifinals.  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.  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 viability of the venture

The winning team from each of the tracks will be determined by the total scores for Parts I-III from each judge of the teams within each track.  This ranking will be determined on the same day after all of the teams have presented to the judges.  The Scores from all the judges within a track will be aggregated and the team with the highest total score in that track will advance to the final round.  In the unlikely event that there should be a tie after the initial tabulation of rankings, the team with the highest viability scores will be declared the winner.


Scoring – Final Round

The winning teams in the final round will be determined solely by the judges’ ranking of the teams.  This ranking will be determined the night of the Semifinals after all of the teams have presented to the judges.  The judges will then rank the teams in the finals from highest to lowest per track.

The rankings from each of the judges will be aggregated and the teams with the lowest total scores will be the winners.  In the case of a tie, the team with the most number of first place scores will be declared the winner.


Contents of the Written Business Plan

Please only send a 7-page business plan including the information below.  Failure to comply with the rules/guidelines may be subject to being disqualified.

Business Plan:

  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 (2 pages 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.  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 appendices.

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: Should be included only when they support the findings, statements and observations in the plan.  All appendices must fall within the 2 page limit; any pages over this limit will not be posted or otherwise provided to the judges.


Written Plan SubmissionThe final written plan from invited teams will be due using the following link on or before (TBD). 

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

Changes to your Business PlanOnce your written business plan is submitted on (TBD), you will not have a chance to modify it.  It will be provided for review to the judges and you will receive the judges' written feedback on your plan prior to the final round, if you are invited to present.  


  1. You must use Chrome as your web browser.  Please use the following link to submit your concept paper: TBD.
  2. Click on "Registration" and create a new account with your personal information, then click "Register". 
  3. If you  have already submitted a concept paper or business plan last year and remember your email address and password, please log in. Choose from "All Conferences"- type Business Plan Competition 2020Do not hit "enter" right after, just wait until the name shows up and then you click on the name of the event and this will take you to a new page.  You may also just create a new account with a different email address if you have never submitted one before using this site.
  4. Once you are logged in, please click on "create a new submission" and select your track: Undergraduate or Graduate/Alumni. 
  5. Fill out the title of your business idea/project and an abstract/description (brief).
  6. 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.
  7. Attach your Word/Pdf document in "Upload from computer" link.
  8. Click "Submit"
  9. If you encounter any problems or have any questions, please email us at mbsentrepreneurship@miami.edu.




To those students/teams who are invited to submit a business plan in Spring 2020, The LaunchPad will offer 2 workshops at the Miami 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: mbsentrepreneurship@miami.edu.


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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