Funding

TECH Resources

There are a tremendous number of resources available both in and beyond the Harvard community. The TECH site can help you locate the ones you most need. From competitions to courses to self-assessments, legal primers and relevant news, on this page and under the 'Links' tab you'll find the key resources that will help you get your start-up going.
If you are a Harvard student pursuing an idea you are eligible for help from TECH.
> Business plan competition coaching
> NCIIA grant application support and guidance

HARVARD ALUMNI ENTREPRENEURS
Harvard Alumni Entrepreneurs is a peer-to-peer social catalyst and support network for Harvard's entrepreneurially-minded alumni and, despite its name, students, too. The organization hosts several networking events, seminars, and other gatherings throughout the year.

Business Plan Competitions

BUSINESS PLAN AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP COMPETITIONS

Entering entrepreneurship competitions can be a great way to get feedback, visibility, and, for the winners, money for your idea. Keep an eye out for competitions at every level from big-name universities to smaller, community-driven competitions.

If you do find a contest that interests you, read up on it thoroughly. Take special note of eligibility requirements and deadlines. Many contests have initial Intent to Enter deadlines that fall early each year

We have posted below the basic information for many of the big competitions. Keep in mind that things change, information can outdate, and there is always that rare chance we simply read it wrong. Be entrepreneurial and follow the links provided and take the initiative to verify the information yourself.

NOVEMBER DEADLINE

THE DUKE START-UP CHALLENGE
Deadline: Executive Summary due in November
Eligibility: At least one Duke student per team
Prize: $50,000

GLOBAL SOCIAL VENTURE COMPETITION
Eligibility: Each team must include a graduate business student
from any university or a alumnus who has graduated within the last
two years
Deadline: Not yet posted
Prizes: Up to $25,000

MEGABUCKS ENTREPRENEURSHIP COMPETITION sponsored by the Indian
Institute of Technology, Kanpur
Eligibility: At least one member of each team should be a student
enrolled in university
Deadlines: Executive Summary due November
Prize: up to Rs 2,000,000

MIT 100k Competition
Eligibility: One full-time MIT student per team
Deadlines: Executive Summaries due November (Phase 1), March (Phase
2).
Teams do not have to participate in both phases of the
competition

Prize: $30,000 grand prize

NYU
STERN BUSINESS PLAN COMPETITION

Eligibility: At least one Stern student or alumnus per team
Deadlines: Venture concept due in November
Prize: Up to $100,000 in seed money
Nb. Now has a Social Entrepreneurship competition as
well

WHARTON
BUSINESS PLAN COMPETITION

Phase One Deadline (business plan concept): November
Eligibility: Team Leader must be degree-candidate at UPenn
Prize: $20,000 cash plus in-kind prizes

JANUARY

HARVARD
BUSINESS SCHOOL BUSINESS PLAN CONTEST

Eligibility: At least one HBS second-year student per team
Deadline: Entry form due in January Prizes: Up to $10,000 cash and
$10,000 in-kind services

UC BERKELEY BUSINESS
PLAN COMPETITION

Eligibility: At least one team member a student/staff/fclty/alumnus
of Berkeley or UCSF
Deadline: Executive Summary due in January

QUEENS ENTREPRENEURS
COMPETITION

Eligibility: Open to students across the world; undergraduates
only
Entry Deadline: January
Prize: $25,000

FEBRUARY

THE BIGBANG UC
DAVIS BUSINESS PLAN COMPETITION

Eligibility: At least one UC Davis affiliate
Deadline: Executive Summaries due February
Prize: Up to $10,000

MCGINNIS
VENTURE COMPETITION
sponsored by Carnegie-Mellon
University
Eligibility: At least one graduate student per team (see UT Moot
Corp rules)
Plan Submission: February
Prizes: Up to $30,000 and automatic berth in Moot Corp
Competition

NEW VENTURE
CHALLENGE
sponsored by the University of Chicago
Eligibility: At least one graduate student from UChicago School of
Business
Kick-off: November
Phase One Plans due: February
Prize: varies

RICE
UNIVERSITY BUSINESS PLAN COMPETITION

Eligibility: Open to all graduate students from all
universities
Business Plans Due: February
Prizes: Grand prize over $125,000 in cash and in-kind prizes

STANFORD
E-CHALLENGE

Eligibility: At least 50% of team members must be Stanford
affiliated
Deadline: Executive Summary due in February
Prizes: Up to $25,000

YALE YES
Y$50K

Registration: February
Business Plan Deadline: March
Eligibility: One team member must be a Yale student or
affiliate

APRIL

GREAT LAKES ENTREPRENEURS
QUEST

Eligibility: At least one team member who resides, works, or
attends school in Michigan
Deadlines: Registration April, submissions May
Prizes: Up to $25,000 cash and in-kind prizes

IDEA2PRODUCT (I2P)
UT AUSTIN COMPETITION

Eligibility: all team members must be students at some point in the
given year; one member from UT Austin; at least one team member a
member of UT?s Technology and Entrepreneurship Society
Deadline: mid-spring
Prizes: $8500 in prizes, winner advances to I2P international

THE MOOT CORP
CHALLENGE
sponsored by University of Texas at Austin
Eligibility: Participation by invitation or by winning one of the
participating competitions (see website for details)
Prizes: Total worth over $100,000 cash and in-kind prizes

STANFORD
I-CHALLENGE

Eligibility: At least 50% of team members must be Stanford
affiliated
Deadline: First round abstracts due in April
Prizes: Ranging from $1000-$6000

MAY

 

GSAS
HARVARD BIOTECH CLUB BUSINESS PLAN COMPETITION

Deadlines: Summary and business plan due in May
Eligibility: No requirements
Prizes: $5,000 cash and up to one year free lab/office space
lease

WORCESTER
POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE BUSINESS PLAN COMPETITION

JUNE

VENETO
NANOCHALLENGE

Eligibility: Anyone with nano-related business idea
Executive Summary: June
Business Plan Deadline: October
Prize: Euro200,000 investment from Veneto Nanotech plus other
prizes

JULY

NATIONAL BRAILLE PRESS TOUCH OF GENIUS PRIZE FOR INNOVATION Eligibility: Anyone innovating in tactile literacy or in blind education.  Deadline: July 20 
Prize: $20,000

 

How to Write a Business Plan

HOW TO WRITE A BUSINESS PLAN
Countless books, websites, and software makers can advise you on
how to write a business plan. The following sites can help you get
started.


Creating an Effective Business Plan [AmEx Small Business]

Basic, solid, and quick primer on buffing the basics – even offers
advice via email – and includes a small self-test to see how well
you have retained the lesson.

Business
Plan Building, Section by Section [inc.com]

From strategizing marketing to perfecting your executive summary,
inc.com gives valuable section-by-section pointers

Small Business
Administration Business Plan Workshops[sba.gov]

Very basic, but also very free, training webinars to help you shape
a successful business plan

BUSINESS PLAN SOFTWARE
If you want the help, and do not mind the price tag, you may be
interested in checking such products out. Below are a few of the
more popular programs. Note that TECH does not endorse any of the
following sites and/or products.

Business Plan Pro
Software

$100 Business Plan Pro software; the site also offers FREE access
to 60 sample business plans and financial planning
articles/advice


Jian Software

PC World gives it a best buy rating – $100 gives you access to
their well-reputed Business Plan software (among other
products)

Further Financing Links and Info

Financing our startup does not always need big letters (MBAs, VCs)
or big money. In fact, most startups get up and running by the
bootstrap. The links below offer more encouragement, info, and
advice – plus a few templates – on how to get financing started.

A BASIC OVERVIEW
How to Fund
A Startup

Paul Graham, an essayist, programmer, and Harvard PhD, neatly
summarizes funding options for startup founders.

BEST OVERVIEW
INC.COM
guide to finance

One of the most thorough guides out there on financing a startup,
this guide from inc.com offers articles, advice, links, and some
inspiring case studies of bookstrappers who made it.

ALTERNATIVE FINANCE

CREATIVE FUNDING from startupnation.com

Downloadable audio, tools, and links on creative funding, along
with some advice from angel investors

StartupJournal
articles on funding, financing, and finding cheap money

Browse through the linked articles to see how (and where) some
founders found – or lost – money for their startup.

VC AND ANGEL NETWORK LINKS
If you do want to pursue venture capital, angel investors, or the
like, you may find the following links useful. Again, TECH cannot
and does not endorse these sites, but offers them as possible
starts to your search.

Angel
Investors from inc.com
All about angels – with plenty of links – if you want to learn
more about angel investment

Garage.com
Proven track-record with high-tech startups, Garage.com
filters applicants before linking them with possible VC

National
Venture Capital Association
Offers an industry overview and links to regional and young
venture capital organizations

VentureOne
The gold standard for VCs tracks venture capital deals and the
industry – high-wheeling and high-rollers and not for every
start-up. Also offers members access to the VentureSource database
which tracks capital-backed ventures

VFinance.com
This top-ranked search engine locates venture capital and
angel investors by state, industry, and investment size