Turn your innovative ideas into a winning plan and earn seed money

Have an idea for a new product, service or business? Submit your business plan to CCBC’s Center for Business Innovation Annual Business Plan Competition (BPC) and you could win up to $20,000 in seed money.

A total of $62,500 in seed money will be awarded to the top 6 winners. The Annual Business Plan Competition is open to students and alumni of CCBC who are interested in turning their idea for a new product or service into a business.

Participants in the Annual Business Plan Competition get:
  • Access to invitation-only workshops designed to help develop a strategic plan, marketing plan & financial plan — the core elements of a viable business plan.
  • Guidance from other entrepreneurs and business owners who serve as mentors during the competition.
  • An opportunity to earn seed money that can be used to help launch a business.

How it works

If interested in competing in our 11th annual business plan competition, 2023-2024, participants can submit an Intent to Participate registration form that simply states that you would like to participate in the competition. Deadline: Sunday, October 8, 2023. Students and alumni may enter as individuals or as teams.

Participants are encouraged to attend 3 business plan workshops focused on developing a strategic plan, a marketing plan and a financial plan as participants work on their business plan.

A Screening Round is the initial review of plans by CCBC faculty in which the top 12 business plans are selected to advance to the final round.

The Center for Business Innovation will match the top 12 finalists with mentors who can help prepare the finalists for the final round of the competition.

The 12 finalists will make their business plan presentations to a panel of judges. The judges will choose the top 6 winning participants.

What do the Top 6 Award Winners get?

A total of $62,500 that will be awarded to the top 6 finalists to help promote their business.


Here is how the seed money is awarded:
  • First place winner receives up to $20,000.
  • Second place receives up to $15,000.
  • Third place winner receives up to $10,000.
  • Fourth place winner receives up to $7,500.
  • And two runner-ups will receive up to $5,000 each.
Plus, the top 6 award winners get:
  • Invitation to work with CBI’s incubation network in which a class of students who can help implement the business plan during the spring semester. The winners will receive support in the areas of marketing and sales, website development, technology, accounting, human resources, management and will gain access to investors and creditors.
  • Scholarships to attend a 12-week course designed to help entrepreneurs launch and grow their businesses.
  • Up to four one-hour coaching sessions with experts in the business community on such topics as accounting, legal, marketing, insurance, information technology, and project management.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to participate in the Business Plan Competition, you or your company must either reside in Maryland or plan to continue to do business from Maryland, and one of the following conditions must be met:
  • Current or former CCBC students with at least 15 credit hours successfully completed in any discipline within the last five years.
  • An alumnus of CCBC who has graduated with a credit degree or credit certificate.
  • A non-credit graduate of any program/certificate or apprenticeship program offered by CCBC. (List of programs/certificates that are eligible including Small Business Ownership program.)
  • A student in the final year of a non-credit apprenticeship program offered by CCBC.
Learn more »

How is the event judged

The judges will review and judge each business plan. 

Learn more about how the event is judged »

Terms and Conditions

By submitting your business plan, you hereby confirm that you have read and understood the terms and conditions and will adhere to them at all times. You understand that non-compliance with the terms and conditions can result in the immediate exclusion from CCBC’s Center for Business Innovation’s Business Plan Competition.

Read Terms and Conditions »

Disclosures

By submitting your business plan, you hereby confirm that you have read and understood all disclosures.

Read Disclosures »

Timeline

Intent to participate deadline
Sunday, October 8, 2023
Executive Summary Business Plan (5-7 pages) deadline
Sunday, November 12, 2023
Screening round
November 13 - November 26, 2023
12 Finalists selected
Wednesday, November 29, 2023 
Deadline to confirm commitment Friday, December 1, 2023
Match 12 finalists with mentors  Monday, December 4, 2023 
Mentor/Mentee mixer
Thursday, December 14, 2023
Practice Pitch workshop for 12 finalists Saturday, January 13, 2024
Business Plan Pitch dress rehearsal for 12 finalists
Saturday, January 20, 2024
Full Business Plan (12-15 pages) deadline
Thursday, January 25, 2024
30-second Pitch Recording  Saturday, January 27, 2024
Final round
Saturday, February 3, 2024
Center for Business Innovation Incubator March - May
Dates are subject to change.

Congratulations to our winners!

Screenshot of zoom meetingCenter for Business Innovation hosted its 10th Annual Business Plan Competition Virtual Awards Banquet on Monday, Feb. 6, 2023.

The event featured the top 10 pitches from aspiring entrepreneurs, all of whom are CCBC students or alumni. This year’s first-place prize of $20,000 was awarded to Michael Guarraia of MG Custom Lighting, LLC, a company that makes handmade industrial-style lamps using reclaimed industrial parts and machinery.

Learn more about the 2023 winners »

Previous winners of the Business Plan Competition »