With a large selection of around 50 nationwide and over 60 regional business plan competitions in Germany, start-ups will find the possibility required to present their business idea and promote it. But how exactly does a business plan competition work? And what are the requirements for participation? We answer these and other questions in the following article. In addition, we present three of the most important nationwide business plan competitions in Germany.
How a business plan competition works
Business plan competitions are free events that help founders turn their business idea into a marketable business plan. This is one of the most important documents for founders, as a business plan acts like a compass and indicates the direction of the start-up. Even if funding such as B. If the start-up grant is to be applied for, a professionally prepared business plan including a financial plan is required. The creation or further development of this is the focus of a business plan competition. The participants of the classic competition go through three phases: Brainstorming, rough concept, finished business plan – always under the critical eye of the coaches. The overall winner, who can be a founding team or an individual entrepreneur, will receive cash or non-cash prizes. In addition, the participants benefit from direct expert feedback on the business plan and the business model as well as from the exchange with other founders.
Which founders can take part in a business plan competition varies depending on the competition. While only founders from a specific region or from a certain federal state can take part in regional competitions, nationwide competitions are open to participants from all countries. However, these competitions also have other provisions such as the industry or the number of participants. The requirements that must be met for participation vary depending on the competition. However, company founders should first ask themselves what goals they are pursuing before deciding to participate in a business plan competition.
That target of the business plan competitions is the mobilization of economic growth potential and the promotion of the entrepreneurial spirit.
History of business plan competitions
The idea of the business plan competitions comes from the United States. The first competition is the “MIT $100k Entrepreneurship Competition”. The aim of this was to motivate people with innovative ideas to start a business. In Germany, the idea of business plan competitions germinated a little later. In 1995, Professor Dr. Sven Risas and Professor Dr. Günter Faltin the business plan competition Berlin-Brandenburg. The Munich Business Plan Competition (MBPW) followed in the same year.
Three of the most important business plan competitions
There is now a whole one bandwidth in business plan competitions. The most important include:
- Science4Life Venture Cup
- Business plan competition medical industry
Business plan competition Science4Life is looking for life sciences innovations
The Science4Life Venture Cup is Germany’s largest industry-specific business plan competition, which supports start-ups from the life sciences, energy and chemistry sectors on their way from the business idea to the finished business plan in three phases (idea phase, concept phase, business plan phase). In addition, the competition offers founders access to important contacts such as former founders, sector and industry experts.
The start2grow business plan competition is open to all sectors and regions
The start2grow business plan competition was first initiated in 2001 by the Dortmund Economic Development Agency and has been held continuously ever since. Entrepreneurs from all over Germany who have a technological or digital business idea for an innovative product or service can take part. In the final, the 20 best start-ups present their business ideas on a stage and thus have the chance to win prize money.
Business plan competition medical industry is also looking for company successors
The medical industry business plan competition is Germany’s only start-up competition in the field of medicine and healthcare. This has been organized by “Startbahn Ruhr GmbH” and the association “Pro Ruhrgebiet” since 2014.
Anyone who wants to become self-employed with an innovative medical product or service idea can take part in the competition. The competition is also open to existing companies that are not active on the market or are not older than twelve months. Business founders who are planning a company takeover or company succession can also participate.
Play it safe with business start-up advice
Creating a business plan is one of them biggest challenges for start-ups. Although business plan competitions offer a good opportunity to create a business plan, if you want to be on the safe side and avoid mistakes, you should prepare the business plan as part of a business start-up consultation. In addition, a start-up consultant can also help with subsidy and subsidy loan applications (service: consultant search).
Tip: List of business plan competitions in Germany (external PDF link)