Eagle Innovation Business Model Competition (BIZCOM) is a competition designed to solicit innovative business ideas from the greater USI community and connect those ideas to teams, mentors, and resources to develop your business model.
BIZCOM teams will prepare for an expo-style market selection of finalists. Up to five (5) finalists will be selected based on simulated capital raised/public vote during a mock investment exercise engaging the region’s entrepreneurial community. Finalists will continue to develop their business ideas, supported by workshops and mentors, for presentation in the Finals. Three (3) finalists will be selected by expert judges (e.g. VC, technical, industry) as winners of cash and/or other prizes. For the 2018 BIZCOM, USI will contribute $21,000 toward prize money ($12,000 for 1st place, $6,000 for 2nd, and $3,000 for 3rd), with the possibility of additional cash and other prizes donated by sponsors to BIZCOM toward advancing the venture.
The Competition will be administered in three (3) phases: Submission, Customer Development, and Business Model Development.
Phase 1 - Submission
Up to seven (7) month period when participants will submit their ideas through the BIZCOM web-based application. Orientation and team building events will be included during the submission period.
Business Model submissions will be reviewed by a panel for innovativeness and technical and commercial viability. Ventures which are determined to be viable and sufficiently innovative will be notified that they are eligible for participation in the BIZCOM semifinal event. Ventures which represents products already presented during BIZCOM semifinal or finals events will not be selected, however teams may compete in subsequent years provided another product is proposed/pitched . Additionally, any venture which is post-revenue (typically limited to 25 units fielded or $25,000 in revenue) will be considered on a case-by-case basis in order to ensure fairness to other competitors.
Phase 2 - Customer Development
Up to one (1) month period during which workshops and mentoring will be provided to guide team preparation for the semifinals. . Each team will be given a chest height round table with 4 ft. radius for displaying their product and explaining the customer/user experience of their product/service in any way they wish using any materials they wish to provide (i.e. monitor, laptop, flyers, physical prototypes, etc.). USI reserves the right to request the removal of objections material from the venue at their discretion. Teams will prepare short pitches (1 minute elevator pitches, subject to change) to inform and attract attendees to their table.
Finalists selection - Semifinals Expo
Semifinalists will present their business ideas in an expo marketplace format. General public attendees will represent investors. Attendees will be provided an electronic voting mechanism in order to vote for their favorite ideas to advance. Children and friends and family of participants will be identified by BIZCOM participants and they will be given less voting power than other attendees. BIZCOM teams will pitch their ideas and invite the audience to their table. Attendees will be encouraged to do their due diligence and “invest” in the business of their choosing. Up to five (5 subject to change) finalists will be chosen based on “voting” totals.
Phase 3 - Business Model Development
Up to three (3) week period during which finalists will develop their business model to present to judges as part of their pitch (5 mintes + 15 minute Q&A) demonstrating innovativeness and commercial and technical viability. Workshops will be held to support business model development and final pitch preparation.
Finalists will present their business model to an expert panel representing technical and industry expertise, as well as venture capital. Three (3) finalists will be selected by judges as winners of cash and possibly other prizes. For the 2018 BIZCOM, USI will contribute $21,000 toward prize money ($12,000 for 1st place, $6,000 for 2nd, and $3,000 for 3nd), with the potential of additional cash and other prizes donated by sponsors and awarded by BIZCOM.
BIZCOM is organized by Eagle Innovation Accelerator (EIA) in collaboration with USI students and regional partners.
All BIZCOM competitors must include on their team a significant contributor (no less than one) with a USI email address who is a current student at USI. During the submission stage of the Competition, individual participants or teams of participants must submit their business ideas via the BIZCOM website (www.usi.edu/BIZCOM) to have their idea considered.
Submissions will not be considered if they are incomplete, late, or cannot be viewed due to technical error or if the idea is not an original idea of the submitting participant or team of participants. By submitting their idea, participants acknowledge and hereby agree that they will fully comply with these program guidelines including all participation requirements and all applicable USI policies and regulations. Failure by a participant to adhere to any of the aforementioned conditions will result in withdrawal of such participant’s (or their team’s) idea from the Competition. USI reserves the right to withdraw submissions from the Competition at its sole discretion.
The 2018 Competition will open for submissions starting on 3/23/2018 and will accept entries until midnight on 9/22/2018 at which time the submission stage of the Competition will close. Eligible submissions received during the submission period will be reviewed and evaluated by a panel of judges. Participants will be notified and invited to make a presentation during the live BIZCOM Event on 10/19/2018. Up to five (5 subject to change) finalists will be selected to pitch to an Expert panel on 11/2/2018. 1st, 2nd , and 3rd place will be selected.
All official BIZCOM communications will be delivered through the USI email address provided on the submission form. The BIZCOM team can be contacted through the “Contact Us” tab on the BIZCOM website.
Submissions will be evaluated and scored on the merits of the business idea (or social impact in the case of non-commercial participants). Product/technology does not need to have been developed in order to be considered, though technical viability will be considered. Supporting documents may be included to help illustrate and/or clarify an idea (i.e. drawings, wireframes, videos or documents) and may be provided along with the application. Submissions with supporting documents will not necessarily have an advantage over the submissions without such materials, but documentation may help the judges understand the idea.
Intellectual Property and Ownership
Any USI-owned IP, i.e. acquired by USI or created with “Substantial Use of University Resources”, will be treated in accordance with USI’s policies governing Intellectual Property including USI Patent Policy (https://www.usi.edu/ospra/research-policies). Notwithstanding the foregoing, with respect to any idea that does not contain USI-owned IP, according to the USI Intellectual Property Policy, the participant will be free to pursue the development of their business idea with no further obligation to BIZCOM or USI, including no shared interest or equity.
Fees and Expenses
There is no registration fee to participate in the Competition. Participants will be solely responsible for their own out of pocket expenses incurred via participation in the Competition and/or BIZCOM event, including travel and accommodation costs, if any.
1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place Prize money will be awarded as follows:
20% of the prize money won by a team will be distributed to the individual USI student team members of the winning teams in equal proportion.
The remaining 80% of the prize money will be distributed to the company or entity that is moving the business development forward (if neither is established, the USI student on the application will receive the funds on behalf of the team). The funds will be disbursed in two increments of 40%, with 40% being paid for development prior to and including the competition and the remaining 40% based on milestones achieved that are outlined in the development plan provided following the competition. The payment and milestones schedule will be affirmed by a committee comprised of the USI Technology Commercialization Coordinator, faculty members in the entrepreneurship program, and additional entrepreneurship advisers as may be included on the committee at the discretion of the Technology Commercialization Coordinator.
All agreed upon team milestones must be achieved and written notification to the Technology Commercialization Coordinator made by December 31st of the calendar year. For the 2018 competition, all milestones must be completed and written notice of made by March 31, 2019. If established milestones are not achieved by the appropriate deadline, then any related payments will be forfeited and the winnings that are not paid will remain with the Eagle Innovation Accelerator for future competitions.
Payment for achievement of milestones will not be unreasonably withheld, and the decision as to whether certain milestones have actually been achieved will be determined by the committee which shall have full discretion to make such determination.
Limitation of Liability
THE BIZCOM COMPETITION AND ANY ACTIVITIES AND SERVICES THAT ARE OR MAY BE PROVIDED IN CONNECTION THEREWITH ARE PROVIDED “AS IS.” USI MAKES NO REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, ANY AND ALL WARRANTIES, CONDITIONS, OR REPRESENTATIONS (EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, ORAL OR WRITTEN), WITH RESPECT TO THE COMPETITION OR PROTOTYPES, OR ANY PART THEREOF, INCLUDING, AS TO CONDITION OF TITLE, NONINFRINGEMENT, MERCHANTABILTIY, OR FITNESS OR SUITABILITY FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. USI WILL NOT BE LIABLE TO ANY PARTICIPANT/TEAM MEMBER, VC EXPERT, DEVELOPMENT PARTNER, OR ANY THIRD PARTY FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, OR EXEMPLARY DAMAGES OF ANY KIND (INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, ANY BREACH OF CONFIDENTIALITY, LOST PROFITS, LOSS OF OR DAMAGE TO DATA, LOSS OF BUSINESS, LOSS OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS, LOSS OF COPYRIGHT PROTECTION, OR OTHER ECONOMIC DAMAGE), WHETHER ARISING IN CONTRACT, TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE), OR OTHERWISE, AND REGARDLESS OF WHETHER USI WAS ADVISED, HAD OTHER REASON TO KNOW, SHOULD HAVE ANTICIPATED, OR IN FACT KNEW OF THE POSSIBILITY THEREOF. THE PROVISIONS OF THIS PARAGRAPH ARE INDEPENDENT OF, SEVERABLE FROM, AND TO BE ENFORCED INDEPENDENTLY OF ANY OTHER ENFORCEABLE OR UNENFORCEABLE PROVISION HEREOF.
Waiver and Consent
By participating in the Competition, each participant and team member agrees as follows:
I recognize, acknowledge, and understand that participating in the Competition carries with it certain inherent risks that cannot be eliminated, including the risk of loss of patent, trade secret, or other IP protection for a business idea.
Notwithstanding the risks, which I recognize and accept, and in consideration of being permitted to participate in any way in the Competition, I, for myself, my heirs, personal representatives or assigns, do hereby waive, release and discharge the Trustees of the University of Southern Indiana and its trustees, officers, employees and agents, from any and all claims for personal injury, accidents or illness (including death), and property damage, arising in any manner out of my participation in the Competition, including transportation to and from the Competition. I further acknowledge that the risks stated herein are not intended to be all inclusive and that my participation is voluntary and that I knowingly and voluntarily assume all risks known or unknown. I am eighteen (18) years of age or older.***
Spirit of the Competition
These guidelines are not all encompassing, and situations may arise that are not covered in this document. The organizers expect that any issues or disputes will be resolved in a spirit of friendly competition and professionalism. It is therefore expected that participants will maintain a proper standard of conduct and, above all, have a fun learning experience.
* Competition organizers, VC advisors, mentors, judges, sponsors, their employees, their spouses/domestic partners, and family members are not eligible to participate in the Competition.
**All dates subject to change.
***If you are under the age of 18, please contact BIZCOM to obtain a parent/guardian consent form.