The Michigan Business Challenge (MBC) is a campus-wide, multi-round business plan competition where student teams have the opportunity to win cash prizes totaling over $100,000, gain feedback from leaders in the business community, and expand their business network.
MBC takes participants through the entire cycle of new venture creation from creating a strong pitch to conducting a marketing and financial assessment and writing a comprehensive business plan. The competition kicks off in November with more than 100 teams competing in the qualifying round and concludes in March with four competing teams at the finals. In addition to the traditional track, MBC boasts the Seigle Impact Track.
During each round, teams will pitch to a new panel of judges comprised of entrepreneurs and investors.
Teams that advance to Round 2 will also be eligible for consideration to participate in intercollegiate business plan competitions and receive coaching and financial support from the Zell Lurie Institute to prep for and cover competition travel expenses.
In addition to hosting the competition, the Zell Lurie Institute facilitates startup workshops to help prepare student teams for the deliverables due for each round of the competition. Workshop presentations and handouts are posted on the Zell Lurie Institute Canvas site under Startup Workshops.
Qualifying Round (November 15-16) kicks off the competition where more than 100 teams from across campus are expected to compete. Any student that submits a complete application will be invited to compete in the Qualifying Round. Teams will give a three-minute pitch (no slides) to a panel of judges followed by three minutes to answer questions. Approximately 60 teams will be chosen to advance to Round 1.
Round 1 (November 30) Approximately 60 teams will give a three-minute pitch (no slides) to a new panel of judges followed by four minutes to answer questions. Sixteen to twenty teams will be chosen to advance to Round 2. Each team that participates in Round 2 will receive $250 after participating in Round 2.
Round 2 (February 8), about 16-22 teams will advance from Round 1 to compete in this round. Competing teams give a seven-minute presentation that describes their company's solution to a pressing market need or pain, an estimation of the market size, and their financial assumptions. This is followed by ten minutes of questions from the judges. Eight-ten teams will be chosen to advance to the semi-finals and will each receive $500 after participating in the semi-finals. Four teams will be chosen to compete in the Seigle Impact Finals.
Semi-Finals and Finals (March 15) teams will complete a business plan. Semi-finalists present their business plans for 15 minutes and will have 15 minutes to respond to questions from the judges. Four teams will be chosen by the judges to advance to the afternoon Finals. Finalists will discuss their businesses with the judges during a 25-minute interactive session.
Team Showcase (March 15) All Semi-finalist teams will display information about their ventures and talk with guests from the region.