campus wide alert

The Big Idea: Business Plan Competition

logo-bigidea.pngWelcome to the second annual Big Idea Business Plan Competition. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit and live in the Rowan County region of North Carolina, this contest is for you!

2015 Winners
View a list of winners for the 2015 Big Idea Business Plan Competition.

About the Competition

You are invited to submit a brief outline of your business idea proposal to be considered by a panel of judges affiliated in the business community in Greater Rowan County.

Who Can Enter?
The Big Idea Business Plan competition is open to any Rowan County resident ages 16 and up who have a business idea they wish to be considered. Business plan developers can be either individuals or teams.

Contestants must be from one of three categories:

  • High school (must have a sponsoring teacher in order to participate)
  • College Student
  • Adult

Five finalists will be selected from each category and work with mentors to further develop their business idea. Mentors will work with finalists to develop a final business plan in the business model canvas style and a 2-3 minute video pitching their ideas. The final business plan and video from each of the finalists will be used to determine winners in each category.

How to Enter
There is no entry fee and competitors may register and submit their entries online beginning February 1st. Participants will be asked to submit a broad summary of their business concept online via a web form. All entries must be submitted by Sunday, March 8 at 11:59 p.m.

Submit Your Entry


Winners will be announced at our awards ceremony on April 30 from 7 to 9pm in the Tom Smith Auditorium at the Ketner School of Business on campus. View 2015 Winners

Important Dates

  • Submissions Open: February 1, 2015 (applicants will be able to set up their Pitchburner account and begin building their submission using the link on this page)
  • Submissions Close: February 28, 2015

  • First Round Reviewing by Judges Opens: March 2, 2015
  • First Round Reviewing by Judges Closes: March 13, 2015

  • Five finalists in each division will be notified by Monday, March 16 of their finalist status and they will be assigned to a mentor(s). Finalists and mentors will work together to complete the business model canvas and a three minute "pitch video."

  • Mentoring Begins: March 17, 2015
  • Mentoring Closes: April 24, 2015 at 11:59pm
  • Final Business Model Canvas and Pitch Video Link Due: April 24, 2015 at 11:59pm
  • Final Reviewing by Judges Starts: April 25, 2015
  • Final Reviewing by Judges Ends: April 29, 2015

  • The Big Idea awards ceremony is April 30, 2015 from 7 to 9pm in the Tom Smith Auditorium, Ketner Hall, Catawba College. All finalists are invited to attend the awards ceremony where awards will be given in each category for two honorable mentions, and for third, second and first place. Awards are $50 each for the two honorable mentions, $200 for third place, $500 for second place, and $1000 for first place in each category.

Contest Co-Chairs
Dr. Pamela Thompson, Dean, Ralph W. Ketner School of Business and Mr. Brannon Williams, CEO, Art’s Cube.



  • Maggi Braun, RCCC, Salisbury
  • Heather Teeter, Sweet Meadow Cafe, Salisbury
  • Paula Bohland, Director, Downtown Salisbury Inc. (need to check her actual title)
  • Steve Larson, TIAA-CREF, Charlotte
  • Dr. John Wear, Catawba College, Salisbury
  • Liese Sadler, Live Thread Studio, Salisbury
  • George Johnson, Carolina Aircraft, Greensboro
  • Aaron Goss, Esq., Salisbury
  • Robin Perry, Catawba College, Salisbury
  • Suzanne Bean, IBM, Charlotte
  • Jackie and Bruce Wilson, Fine Frame Gallery, Salisbury
  • Margaret and Nick Georgiou, The Palms Restaurant, Salisbury
  • Dr. Steve Hiatt, Catawba College, Salisbury

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