VIBE Business Plan Competition Returns | A&E | –

Entrepreneurs have a chance to snag a $30,000 grand prize in this year’s iteration of the VIBE Business Plan Competition.

Entrepreneurs have a chance to snag a $30,000 grand prize in this year’s iteration of the VIBE Business Plan Competition.
The VIBE Business Plan Competition is back — and the jackpot is even bigger than it was last time.
This year, the competition will include four stages — a structure differing from previous iterations of the contest — and offer a $30,000 grand prize for the entrepreneur(s) landing in first place. $15,000 of the prize will be in cash, with the rest coming in the form of services from law, accounting, and other professional firms.
Hosted by University of Washington Tacoma, VIBE — otherwise known as the Veterans Incubator for Better Entrepreneurship — aims to help both veterans and civilians with no military connections to explore business ownership. 
First-place winners aren’t the only people participants home a reward. The second-place winner gets $5,000; third will get $2,500.
“A business plan competition is like a crucible,” VIBE director Thomas Kuljam said in a release. “Entrepreneurs go through a process of thinking critically about every aspect of their business idea, boiling down what they know about the value of the idea, their target market, their competitors, and their financial plan.”
To qualify for stage one, or the “screening round,” entrepreneurs must submit their business plan by Feb. 3.
Stage two is the “Sweet 16 Trade Show” on Feb. 16, which will ask participants to work in teams to set up displays and interact with judges to pitch their ideas in a trade show-like format.
The “Practice Pitch” round, or stage three, will be noncompetitive. In this round, no teams will be eliminated and instead have the opportunity to tidy and sharpen their presentations in front of a panel of coaches.
The final stage — “Top Five Final Round” — will take place Feb. 23. and will see the teams that advanced from the previous round presenting their final presentations to judges who will select the winning teams.
In addition to the winning teams selected, there also will be a “people’s choice” award which will be decided by votes of confidence from the audience.
The VIBE Business Plan Competition is open to all college students in Washington, including those who graduated during the pandemic (between 2020 and 2022).
For more information about VIBE and the competition, contact Thomas Kuljam at or call (253) 225-4413.



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