International Business Plan Program Rules


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International Business Plan Program Rules

  1. 1. » The program is open to all students enrolled in an institution of higher learning during this competition. » Proof of official enrollment by the posted deadline (February 11th, 2014) is strictly enforced in order to remain a participant. » Note: There will be no refunds for any reason.
  2. 2. » Teams must start the competition with 4-5 members and maintain no less than two students and no more than five students throughout the program. » Categories are available for undergraduate and graduate students. » Participants must be enrolled as a student throughout the program and their category (undergraduate or graduate) will be determined by their status as of the date business plans are due. » Teams may mix undergraduate and graduate students, but will be considered as participating in the graduate student category and must pay the appropriate application fee.
  3. 3. » The Business Plan should address exporting, importing and/or Foreign Direct Investment opportunities in the following sectors of high importance to our Region: • • • • • • • • • • Aerospace/Aviation IT/Cyber Security Manufacturing Biosciences/Healthcare Automotive Logistics & Distribution Tourism Environmental Technology/Green Industries Energy Food and Beverage
  4. 4. Each proposal and business plan must address an environmental concern. For example: waste reduction in its packaging, minimizing the carbon footprint of its production, or reducing emissions related to distribution.
  5. 5. » Each team will be assigned a corporate mentor by the Free Trade Alliance.
  6. 6. » Proposals and business plans must have an import or export focus for either a good or service. ˃ They can be for new business opportunities or for an existing business.
  7. 7. » At least one participant from each team will be required to participate in the first round team presentation and, if earned, the final round presentation. ˃ If unable to physically attend the presentation, a video conference presentation is acceptable and will need to be scheduled well in advance. ˃ Failure to present at any level will result in disqualification.
  8. 8. » By participating in this business plan program, you may qualify for credit toward your degree. ˃ Check with your school to determine if you are able to receive course credit for participation. » It is the responsibility of the participant to submit any required information to their professor/advisor in order to receive course credit. » Your professor may attend your presentation(s) when they are scheduled and be copied on your final scoring when requested.
  9. 9. » English proficiency is required and all submissions and presentations must be completed in English.
  10. 10. » Participants cannot be directors, officers, employees or immediate family members of employees of the Free Trade Alliance. » Student interns of the Alliance and prior participants may compete.
  11. 11. » During the preliminary round, written proposals will be reviewed and evaluated by a committee made up of business professionals. ˃ This will make up 20% of the score. ˃Due date FEBUARY 28th 5:00 p.m. CST » The business plan and presentation will be completed in front of a judging panel. ˃This will make up the remaining 80% of the score. ˃ and follow a 5 minute presentation and 10 minute Q&A format. ˃Presentations will be April 4, 2013
  12. 12. » Earned bonus points will only be awarded during the preliminary round (see page 4 for of Guide Book more details). ˃ The deadline for proof of enrollment and proof of nationality is February 11th, 2014.
  13. 13. » The four teams in each category (graduate or undergraduate) with the greatest point totals will advance to the final round.
  14. 14. » All business plans and presentations will be reviewed and evaluated by judges. Comments and evaluations may be returned to their respective teams and professors on request given or before April 21, 2014.
  15. 15. » Teams that earn a position as a finalist will execute a 10 minute presentation reviewed and evaluated by a panel of executive judges. ˃ These presentations will take place in auditoriums and be observed by an audience of student participants on April 5, 2013 » Judges in this round will have 15 minutes for Q&A and 10 minutes to deliberate. ˃ NOTE: The decision in the final round will not necessarily be based on the number of points scored, but rather on the judging panel’s qualitative evaluation of the plan’s entire business model and consultations with each other following the presentation. » Winners will be announced shortly after at the Awards Ceremony Luncheon.
  16. 16. » All written submissions must be turned in electronically. ˃ Submissions will be considered late one (1) second after each deadline passes. ˃ Acceptance of late work will be at the discretion of the Free Trade Alliance with automatic deductions enforced if accepted.
  17. 17. » Student teams are responsible for providing each judge on their judging panel(s) a copy of their printed business plan. ˃ It must be printed exactly as it was submitted electronically with no changes. ˃ If changes are determined, that team will be disqualified.
  18. 18. » In the event that a team believes that a member is not contributing to the plan, they may bring the matter to the attention of the Free Trade Alliance for resolution and possible removal of the student. ˃ The team should provide their grievance in writing no later than the business plan deadline (March 26, 2014). ˃ FTA will then consult with all members of the team to suggest possible solutions and, if deemed appropriate, remove the participant from the team. + The removed participant will be unable to share in any prize monies or awards. + They will not receive a refund of their application fee or be placed on a different team. ˃ Grievances received after the deadline will not be accepted (any prize monies earned by the team will be divided equally amongst its members, or as previously agreed and submitted by all team members).
  19. 19. » The Education Foundation will cover only 1st Class Postage when sending winning students their checks and distanced students their certificates. ˃ If additional postage and/or options are requested or required, the winner will cover the additional cost of actual postage out of their winnings.
  20. 20. » The only individuals who will have access to the business plans will be the Free Trade Alliance, evaluators, judges and any professors that require them for purposes of course credit. » All business plans submitted will be treated as confidential. » Should the team submitting the business plan be considering implementation of the plan, they should advise the Free Trade Alliance in writing so that, should there be a possible conflict of interest with any of the judges, those judges may recuse themselves from judging.
  21. 21. » The authors of the business plan will retain all rights to the plan, at all times prior to and following the competition. » The Free Trade Alliance is not responsible for any information disclosed by the authors, and the authors hereby release and discharge the FTA, its directors, officers, agents, volunteers and employees (the “Indemnified Parties”) from all liability, claims, demands, losses or damages caused or alleged to be caused in whole or in part by the Indemnified Parties or otherwise. » The authors shall further indemnify, defend and hold harmless each of the Indemnified Parties, from any claims, expenses, attorney fees, losses, liability, damage or costs incurred or resulting from such claim. » Due to the nature of the competition, the FTA will not require judges, reviewers, staff or the audience to sign any non-disclosure agreements for any participant / author. » Participants / authors shall be responsible for adopting any measures they deem necessary to protect their intellectual property.
  22. 22. » NOTE: that an abbreviated description of the business idea (provided by the team) may be used in public documentation relating to the contest.