Writing the Business Case
* Registration for the 2011/2012 Student Technology Innovation Challenge is now closed. Look for more information on the 2012/2013 challenge coming this Fall *
Guidelines: Writing the Business Case
Teams participating in the 2011-12 Student Technology Innovation
Challenge are encouraged to e-mail their Business Cases in the format of
their choice provided that the printed version not exceed the specified
3-page limit. Participants are strongly encouraged to follow the format described here for their submissions.
Writing a Successful Business Case - Some Practical Hints
Teams participating in the initial round of the Student Technology
Innovation Challenge should submit Business Proposals which follow the
format shown below. Judges will accord the highest ratings to those
Business Cases which are:
- Clearly written
- Provide a logical analysis of
- Provide a compelling story as to why the proposed
technology venture will succeed
Principal Elements for the 3-Page Business Proposal
A carefully written statement describing the single most essential idea
or thing you wish the judges to retain about your proposed technology
venture. Consider the statement similar to that where you are verbally
describing your proposal to someone in 30 seconds or less. Strive to
make a lasting impression. This section must not exceed 100 words.
Technology Opportunity and Application:
This section addresses the innovation that your team has conceived which
underpins a potential commercial opportunity. Your description of the
technology must be written in a fashion accessible to people not
necessarily experts in the subject matter. It would be equally
advantageous for your team to briefly describe how your innovation
compares with competitive technologies and other advances in the field.
Does the innovation represent a truly breakthrough advance or is it an
improvement over existing solutions? Student teams must ensure that they
provide supporting evidence for their assertions.
After providing a general background on the innovation itself, teams
must describe the specific application(s) which the technology may be
translated into (i.e., product or service). Teams must also report on
the overall technical feasibility of transforming the innovation into a
commercial grade application.
Teams must further inform the judges on the likeliest users of the
commercial application of the technology. One simple approach in
considering the nature of potential customers is to determine what
problems the proposed product or service address (i.e., where is the
pain relief?). Once identified, a brief description of the potential
customers should be presented.
In addition to profiling the likeliest users, this section must
summarize the unique value that the potential customers would obtain
from the proposed commercial application of the technology.
Validation and Execution:
A great idea, a compelling technology opportunity and a well-considered
market analysis is a good start but you need to further demonstrate to
the judges your understanding of the business model and why investors
should fund you. In this section, you should describe how you intend to
finance your venture from your current stage to commercial launch. It is
strongly recommended that you demonstrate that the level of upfront
capital investment required will lead to desired results for your
venture and the investors alike.
You must further demonstrate your ability to execute on your plan.
Investors will be acutely aware of the risks in financing early-stage
ventures. Describing important development milestones will reveal both
your market and technical assumptions -- clear indicators of the risks
investors need to know.
Sample 3-Page Business Case