OPPORTUNITY

Make Your Idea Reality

Win $3,000 for Best New Venture Idea

The new annual SOU Business Venture Tournament is an opportunity for students to win up to $3,000 in award money by developing the best idea for a new start-up venture or business proposal. Other prizes include 2nd place $700, 3rd place $250, and most sustainable venture award $500.

All SOU students are eligible to participate in the tournament. The competition is open to all undergraduate degree programs at Southern Oregon University. Entry forms should be submitted by the deadline of March 15, 2024.

The Business Venture Tournament encourages students to Think Big and pursue dreams that may someday change the world. The mandatory Venture Workshop uses the student’s venture idea to educate students about the business aspects of any venture. The idea can be from a capstone, project, or other source.

Participants gain free hands-on experience with idea proof-of-concept, market research, venture promotion, and presentation skills while preparing for the competition.

The Tournament deliverables mirror real-world steps that new start-ups do when seeking venture capital. The unique experience is fun and winning will result in start-up money for venture ideas backed with solid planning.

Choose a Topic and browse this website to learn more!

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General Timeline

Winter Term 2024

Students consider ideas that may come from capstones or projects and submit the entry form by March 15, 2024.
Supportive courses are discussed with advisor or Tournament Master.

Participants begin training for the competition in the mandatory Tournament Workshop in Moodle starting March 2024.

Students attend tutorials and receive training for the Tournament projects. The 1-minute pitch, business venture plan, and 10-minute formal presentation begin development.

Spring Term 2024

Participants complete the 1-minute pitch and begin a marketing campaign for student votes that count for 20% of the competition scoring. The business venture plan and 10-minute formal presentation are finalized.

May 2024

Final Competition and Gala Event on May 23, 2024

Five Division Winners Compete for the Award.

Judges and Audience

Benefactors Present Award Money to 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and Sustainability Winners.

Tournament Entry

All students enrolled at SOU in the academic year 2023-2024 are eligible to participate. Venture start-up ideas do not require full development for entry. The workshop will help students develop the idea during Winter and Spring terms with guidance for each Tournament project.

Note: The Tournament does not substitute for program degree graduation requirements.

Required Deliverables

Participants must submit three projects for judging:

  • Formal Business Venture Plan
    The plan defines the idea, product, or service and reports supportive research.
  • 1-minute recorded video “Pitch”
    The pitch is uploaded to the Tournament Voting Platform. Students then use social media to market the pitch and gain student votes for their idea!
  • 10-minute Formal Presentation
    Students present the venture plan to judges and share their passion for the idea with supporting evidence of marketability.
Guidance and Training

The Tournament Workshop provides free resources and training to all contestants. The mandatory free Tournament Workshop begins sessions in March 2024 until the final competition in May 2024. Students may also choose to take SOU catalog courses to supplement or add skills for a competitive edge. The mandatory Workshop, tutorials, and other free resources help students understand how to develop each project.

Excited to Play, But Not Ready

All interested students are encouraged to start early by taking courses and training to obtain a competitive advantage in the Tournament. Visit with your advisor and/or Tournament Master to discuss a course schedule that meets your goals.

SOU Faculty & Staff

The Business Venture Tournament includes all academic programs from all Southern Oregon University Divisions. All faculty and staff are invited to visit the link below to learn how to support students and volunteer as mentors and guides.

Tournament Mission

Encourage and support ideas that can make a difference in the World.
Ideas that incorporate Social, Economic, and Environmental Sustainability values.
Ideas that provide value to our communities.
Ideas that say
WOW!

TOURNAMENT

Requirements

RESOURCES

Preparation

SOU Supportive Courses

Tournament Preparation The business venture plan is an essential part of planning for the success...

Training

Workshops & Tutorials Participants in the Business Venture Tournament may not have an opportunity to...

Mentorship

Personalized Assistance University studies provide a solid foundation of skills relevant to the modern workplace....

Ready to change the World?