General Guidelines


All sessions of the competition, including but not limited to oral presentations and question/answer sessions, are open to the public at large. Any and all of these sessions may be broadcast to interested persons through media which may include radio, television and the Internet. Any data or information discussed or divulged in public sessions by entrants should be considered information that could possibly enter the public realm, and entrants should not assume any right of confidentiality in any data or information discussed, divulged, or presented in these sessions.

Due to the nature of the competition, we are not able to ask judges, reviewers, staff, or the audience to agree to or sign non-disclosure statements. However, The Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship, the organizer of The InNOLEvation Challenge, will make every effort to limit distribution of business plans presented at the competition. The Jim Moran Institute cannot guarantee that other individuals will not obtain access to electronic or hard copies of the business plan. All presentations are open to the general public, and some presentations may be videotaped. Attendance by media personnel is expected.

Copyrights & Permissions

If a team uses copyrighted materials and/or images from a third-party in their submissions or presentations, they must obtain permission and authorization in advance from the owners to use this material.

1-2 Page Business Abstract

The InNOLEvation Challenge uses the iStart platform to manage applications. To enter, one individual from the team should complete the online enrollment form by clicking into iStart. There are three steps to complete your application:

  1. Create an individual account
  2. Submit your business
  3. Apply to the InNOLEvation Challenge by answering the questions listed, and uploading your Business Abstract

All three steps must be completed no later than 11:59 p.m. EST Friday, October 18, 2013. Teams may make changes to the application until the deadline.

Written Business Plan Submission

A complete written business plan from the invited and confirmed teams will be due to The Jim Moran Institute online on or before noon EDT on Friday, March 7, 2014. Please submit an electronic version via email in Adobe Acrobat PDF. No other format will be accepted. Files should be named according to the following format: BP_CompanyName.pdf and should be uploaded to the team’s iStart application.

General Guidelines

Written business plans are limited to 20 pages of text (typed, double-spaced, minimum 12 point font, and 1″ margins on all sides), and includes the executive summary and summary financial data. Detailed spreadsheets and appropriate appendices should follow the text portion of the plan but will be limited to 10 pages. Plans with fewer than 10 pages of appendices may not use the remaining pages to increase the size of their business plan beyond 20 pages. In total, the maximum number of pages is 30.

Contents of the Written Business Plan
(Max 20 pages) Your business plan should include:
» Executive Summary
» Product or service description (incl. current status of development – beta, prototype, etc.)
» Customer/Market analysis (market size and potential market share)
» Sales and Marketing Plan (how you will go-to-market)
» Intellectual property status (e.g., patents, licenses, etc.)
» Competitor Analysis (competitors and your competitive differentiation)
» Management team and/or advisors, including relevant experience
» Financial highlights (cash flow, income statement, & balance sheet)
» Offering of the company (how much investment you are seeking, uses of funding, possible exits)

Business Plan Financial Data

Financial data should include a cash flow statement, income statement, and balance sheet. This data should be included in a summarized fashion in the main section of the business plan. Include an explanation of the offering to investors indicating how much money is required, how it will be used, and the proposed structure of the deal, (i.e., stock, debentures, etc.) and possible exit strategies. Detailed financial data and tables should be included in the appendix.

Please note: The team is not required to reveal the exact desired terms of the deal (i.e., proposed company valuation and percentage of company being offered). However, teams should expect to be asked about these terms and should be prepared to answer these questions in some fashion (if this information is not already provided in the written plan.) It is up to the team to assess the best way to address this question; however, past experience indicates that some judges will want to know a team’s estimated company valuation.

Appendices: Should be included only when they support the findings, statements, and observations in the plan. Because of the number of teams in the competition, judges may not be able to read all the material in the appendices. Therefore, the text portion of the plan (20 pages) must contain all pertinent information in a clear and concise manner. All appendices must fall within the 10 page limit; any pages over this limit will not be posted or otherwise provided to the judges.

Changes to Your Business Plan: Once your written business plan is submitted on March 7, 2014 it will be provided for review by the judges. You will not have a chance to modify your written business plan after March 7. However, if you feel the need to modify your plan, when you make your oral presentations on campus, you can incorporate these changes into your presentation.

Special Awards: For certain competition awards, you must state how your business plan is applicable for these specific prizes. You will enter this information when you submit your business plan online via your team’s iStart application.

Oral Presentations

Oral presentations will take place at the Starry Conference Room # 214 in the Rovetta Business Building on the Florida State University campus in Tallahassee on Friday, April 11, 2014. Teams should check-in at the Starry Conference Room no later than 8:15 a.m. on Friday, April 11, 2014.

Final Round, Friday, April 11: The teams in the Finals will have 15 minutes to present, followed by a 10 minute question-and-answer session. There will only be 5 minutes between each presentation for teams to set-up in the Final Round. For the Final Round, each team should be in position at least 15 minutes prior to their designated presentation times. Teams will start early if the team before them finishes ahead of schedule.

Note: Teams may not observe other presentations. The same observation guidelines apply to Team Faculty Advisors and Team Special Guests.

Equipment: Teams should plan to bring a copy of their presentation on a zip drive or CD. The presentation room is equipped with a large-screen projector and a room PC to run your presentation. You may also connect your laptop directly to the projector to present.

Please let us know if you have any questions or have any special equipment needs. If you have questions about audio/video equipment, please contact The Jim Moran Institute as soon as possible at 850-644-3372 or Please note that if your presentation contains video, graphics, and/or sound, you should let us know in advance, and we will try to help ensure that your presentation works properly at the Competition. However, based on past experience, we cannot guarantee that video, graphics, and sound will work 100% of the time.


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