Have you ever wondered?

  • What if there was a product that solved the _______problem?
  • What if there was an organization in our community that _______?
  • What if there was a quicker (easier, cheaper, more environmentally friendly) way to ______?
  • What if an existing product was modified to save space, time, energy or money?
  • What if we combine ______ with _______ to create ______?
  • What if there was a non-profit organization that helped _______? 
  • What if I could align my passion with my skills to create a product or service that something useful to others?

… and the list goes on.

Well, wonder no more. Get to work! Put your great ideas into action. Enter the PioBiz Competition to win up to $10,000.

What is PioBiz?

PioBiz is a business start-up competition consisting of three rounds: Problem/Solution, Proof of Concept and Business Plan.

Who can compete?

Any full-time, current, or recently graduated (in December 2020 or after) Marietta College (MC) student may compete in PioBiz alone or as a member of a two, three, four, or five-person team. The second, third, fourth, or fifth team members do not have to be MC students or alumni. However, all MC students or alumni members of a team must have an ownership stake in the proposed business. Each team may enter each round of the competition with up to three different ideas. Only the MC members of a team may serve as the team leader or make presentations. The Non-MC members of a team may only participate in the segment or the competition that is devoted to Q&A with judges. Only the leaders of the winning teams will directly receive the award money.

What types of ideas qualify for the competition?

Any idea that potentially results in the establishment of a new for-profit or non-profit business will work. The exceptions are:

  • Proposals to buy franchises or distribution centers of existing companies.
  • Business ideas that are not appropriate for a college-sponsored competition.
  • Proposals to establish a business that has already been in existence for more than a year with revenue of $10,000 or more.

Do we have to participate and win in the previous round of the competition in order to compete in the next round?

No. However, the experience that you gain and the feedback that you receive from participating in the previous round of the competition definitely increases your chances of winning in the next round of the competition.

What are PioBiz Workshops?

To prepare you for the competition and increase your probability of success, we encourage (but not require) you to participate in the following PioBiz workshops. 

Workshop 1: Where do worthy entrepreneurial ideas come from?
Workshop 2: How do you prove your business concept?
Workshop 3: Business Plan

Do we have to participate in PioBiz workshops in order to compete?

No, but participating in PioBiz Workshops increases your chances of winning an award by

  • assisting you to identify marketable business ideas,
  • providing you with the opportunity to meet your potential business partners,
  • familiarizing you with simple templates that guide you through your thought and planning processes,
  • briefing you on a variety of methods to test the validity and feasibility of your proposed goods or services,
  • informing you about resources that the Entrepreneurship Program makes available to you,
  • walking you through the components of the required business plan.

Also, if you are pursuing a certificate, minor, or major in Entrepreneurship, you may count the participation in the PioBiz workshops toward the required hours of out-of-class entrepreneurial activities.

Where do I go for more information?

For more information contact Dr. Jacqueline Khorassani, Director of the Entrepreneurship Program in Thomas 201. You may also email entr@marietta.edu

PioBiz Round 1: Problem/Solution

Application Deadline: TBA
Competition Day: TBA
Competition Format: TBA
Awards: Top 10 business ideas win $100 to $190 each.

Note: Only the leaders of the winning teams will directly receive the award money.

Apply for Round 1

Round 1 of the PioBiz Competition simply consists of identifying a problem that is worth solving and describing your solution. Your proposed solution must potentially lead to the establishment of a for-profit or non-profit business organization.

For more information

Visit Dr. Jacqueline Khorassani in Thomas 201 or email her at khorassj@marietta.edu.

PioBiz Round 2: Proof of Concept

Application Deadline: TBA
Competition Day: TBA
Competition Format: A 7-minute presentation followed by a 7-minute Q&A segment with judges
Awards: Top 5 ideas win $200 to $400 each

Note: Only the leaders of the winning teams will directly receive the award money.

This round of the competition consists of testing the validity, practicality, or marketability of the proposed solution by building a prototype, gauging potential customers’ and other stakeholders’ interest via primary or secondary research, and listing the sources of cost and revenue.

Key Components of the Presentations

Basic Information
  1. Name of the product or service
  2. Names, majors, and graduating class of the team members
Problem
  1. What is the problem?
  2. Who has this problem? Describe the characteristics of people with this problem.
  3. How is the problem currently solved? Describe the nature of similar products or services on the market.
Solution
  1. Describe your product or service.
  2. How does your product or service solve the problem?
  3. How is your solution better than the alternative solutions? What types of unique values does your product or service generate for your customers?
Feasibility
  1. Display your prototype, if applicable.
  2. Share the results of your secondary research on the nature and pricing of the competing products, the overall demand in the market, and the potential demand for your product. 
  3. Share the results of your primary research (customer and other stakeholders surveys and interviews.)
  4. Share the results of your experiments if applicable?
  5. Define your target market. What is your reasoning for targeting this specific market?
  6. What are the sources of the production cost?
  7. How are you planning to generate revenue?
Resources
  1. What qualifies you to produce the proposed product or service? 
  2. What are the resources that you already have?
  3. What are the resources that you need?

You may include a variety of visual aids such as tables, graphs, charts, prototypes, and pictures in your presentations.

For more information

Visit Dr. Jacqueline Khorassani in Thomas 201 or email her at khorassj@marietta.edu.

PioBiz Round 3: Business Plan

Application Deadline: November 18, 2021
Competition Day: December 2, 2021
Competition Format: A 20-minute presentation followed by a 15-minute Q&A segment with judges
Awards: Up to $10,000 will be allocated among the top 3 plans
Note: Awards exceeding $1000 will be distributed over time depending on progress the winners make implementing their business plan

APPLY FOR ROUND 3 

In this round of competition, you will develop and submit a full business plan. We will be using the Business Plan Template available at https://www.score.org/resource/business-plan-template-startup-business

Business Plan Components

Company Description Competitive Analysis Distribution/Place
Product/Services Positioning Statement Operational Plan
Market Research/SWOT Promotions Plan/Budget Management Org Chart
Customer Profile Pricing Strategy Financial Plan

The Key Parts of the Presentations

In general, your presentation must contain the main components of your business. Specifically, you must make sure that the following items are covered in your presentation. Note that many of the items below are very similar to PioBiz Round 2, but you should answer the questions in more depth. 

  1. The project (product or service) name, the names, majors, and graduating class of team members
  2. Clear description of the problem that your proposed product or service will solve and the reason this problem is worth solving. Who is this product or service for? Who is your target audience?
  3. What qualifies you to produce the proposed product or service? What are the resources/expertise that you already have, and what are the resources that you need?
  4. Describe the nature of similar products or services that are currently available on the market, and the reasons your proposed product or service is better.
  5. How do you know that your business idea is feasible? (For example, do you have a visual reference? Have you built a prototype? Have you had any customers already? What types of research and experiments have you conducted? What do the results show? How have you adjusted your plans based on what you have learned?)
  6. How did you arrive at your financial plan? Specifically, where did your cost and revenue numbers come from? When do you expect to make a profit or cover your total cost? Elaborate, by describing the type/nature of the research that you have conducted.
  7. Describe your next steps? What will happen if you don’t win the PioBiz award? What will you do if you win the award?

For more information

Contact Dr. Jacqueline Khorassani in Thomas 201 or email her at khorassj@marietta.edu.