The Cyvia and Melvyn Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship

WCE PolarPanel Team Award

Business Plan Competitions

During the second semester in the Wolff Center, our students form Intellectual Property (IP) business plan teams to represent WCE and the Bauer College of Business in coveted business plan competitions held throughout the world. Each team chooses an IP that is either licensed from the University of Houston or from NASA. In a year long process, our students build a real-world, commercially viable business plan around this technology with the goal of getting it into market. The teams are guided through the process by WCE professors and an outside mentoring advisory group.

Since the fall of 2014, WCE has held an annual internal Business Plan Competition. All of the IP teams compete for the chance to win monetary prizes to further fund the development of their technology. In addition, the winner (or top two teams) is given the opportunity to be the traveling competition team in the spring semester for business plan competitions across the country. The selected team/s receive a high level of mentoring on the entrepreneurial process, as well as writing and presenting their business plan in a cogent fashion.

Over the last 15 years, WCE students have won more than 50 awards in national business plan competitions, with more first, second or third place awards than any other undergraduate program in North America.

2018 Business Plan Competitions

Competition Host Team(s) Placement Money Won
HCC Ideas Pitch Competition HCC Houston Zapp First $1,500
WCE Internal Business Plan Competition WCE Zapp First $2,500
Texas Business Plan Competition University of Texas-Austin PolarPanel Fourth $1,000
Rice Business Plan Competition Rice University PolarPanel Second-Wildcard Flight $700
MIT Clean Energy Prize MIT PolarPanel Second $20,000
Draper Competition for Collegiate Women Entrepreneurs Smith College Boston Zapp Top 10 $1,000
TCU Values and Ventures TCU Zapp Honorable Mention $250
Texas A&M New Ventures Competition Texas A&M University PolarPanel Third-Elevator Pitch $2,000
Department of Energy Cleantech University Prize Rice University PolarPanel Third $20,000
Total Winnings $48,950

2017 Business Plan Competitions

Competition Host Team(s) Placement Money Won
Houston Maker Faire HCC Houston Vesence First $1,500
WCE Internal Business Plan Competition WCE Vesence First $2,500
WCE Internal Business Plan Competition WCE Vesence Audience Favorite $250
Draper Competition for Collegiate Women Entrepreneurs Smith College Boston Vesence Third $2,500
FLOW (Department of Energy's Regional Competition) Cal Tech Vesence First $50,000
Total Winnings $56,750

2016 Business Plan Competitions

Competition Host Team(s) Placement Money Won
San Diego State Business Model Competition San Diego State University Sensytec First $10,000
Tulane Business Model Competition Tulane University Sensytec Second $10,000
Rice Business Plan Competition Rice University Sensytec First-Consolation Group $1,500
BYU International Business Model Competition Brigham Young University Sensytec Semi Finals $2,000
Carnegie Mellon Business Plan Competition Carnegie Mellon University Sensytec First $6,500
California Dreamin' Chapman University Sensytec Second-Elevator Pitch $1,000
WCE Internal Business Plan Competition WCE Sensytec First $2,500
Texas A&M New Ventures Competition Texas A&M University Sensytec Second $50,000
National Science Foundation Grant   REEcycle Grant $750,000
Total Winnings $833,500

2015 Business Plan Competitions

Competition Host Team(s) Placement Money Won
Houston Open University of Houston-Downtown WAVVE First $5,000
Venturewell Grant   WAVVE Grant $30,000
UH Gap Fund Grant   WAVVE Grant $50,000
California Dreamin' Chapman University WAVVE Third $15,000
Hello Tomorrow NGO in Paris, France WAVVE First $15,000
SXSW Eco   WAVVE   $2,000
SEAL   WAVVE   $5,000
Open Minds   WAVVE   $2,000
Texas A&M New Ventures Competition   WAVVE Semi Finals $2,000
Sustainable Entrepreneurship Award   WAVVE   $2,000
LES Competition   WAVVE First $15,000
Baylor New Venture Competition Baylor University Zeolytic Second $15,000
TCU Values and Ventures-Elevator Pitch TCU PuruS Second $500
TOTAL WINNINGS $158,500

2014 Business Plan Competitions

Competition Host Team(s) Placement Money Won
Tulane Business Model Competition Tulane University REEcycle Third $2,500
International Business Model Competition at BYU Brigham Young University REEcycle Second $20,000
Global New Venture Competition University of Nebraska- Lincoln Energetik First $4,000
Giants Entrepreneurship Challenge University of North Dakota CARA First $5,000
California Dreamin' Chapman University WAVVE Third $30,000
MIT Clean Energy Prize MIT REEcycle First $2,500
National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition US Department of Energy REEcycle First $70,000
FLOW (Department of Energy's Regional Competition) Cal Tech REEcycle First $100,000
Baylor New Venture Competition Baylor University REEcycle First $25,000
Rice Business Plan Competition Rice University WAVVE Third $16,500
Global Student Business Plan Competition College of the Bahamas WAVVE First $5,000
TCU Values and Ventures TCU Energetik Third $15,000
NSF I-Corps Grant   WAVVE Grant $50,000
Goradia (HTC)   WAVVE Semi Finals $5,000
TOTAL WINNINGS $350,500

 

Previous Years in Business Plan Competitions:
  • 2013: 1st place - California Dreamin’ Competition at Chapman University
  • 2012: 1st place - Nebraska Innovation Competition at UNL
  • 2012: 1st place - Richards Barrentine Values & Ventures Business Plan Competition at TCU
  • 2012: 2nd place - California Dreamin’ Competition at Chapman University
  • 2012: Top 10 - Venture Challenge t San Diego State University
  • 2011: 3rd Place - Value & Ventures Business Plan Competition
  • 2011: Best Written Plan - Values & Ventures Business Plan Competition
  • 2010: 2nd Place - Evansville New Venture Creation Competition
  • 2010: 1st Place - New Venture World Competition at UNL
  • 2007: 3rd Place - Northwest Venture Championship
  • 2005: 2nd Place - Enterprise Creation Competition
  • 2004: 1st Runner-up - Northwest Venture Competition
  • 2004: 1st Place - Division 1 Northwest Venture Competition
  • 1999: 2nd Place - Donald Duncan/Duncan Aviation Business Plan Competition
  • 1998: 2nd Place - Enterprise Creation Competition

 

 

In addition, the Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship hosts two of its own competitions:

 

 

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713-743-4752
wce@uh.edu

Physical Address:
Insperity Classroom & Business Building, Ste. 536
4742 Calhoun Rd.
Houston, TX 77204-6021

Mailing Address:
C. T. Bauer College of Business
Wolff Center For Entrepreneurship
4750 Calhoun Rd.
Houston, TX 77204-6021

Entrepreneurship Major Academic Advisor:
Asha Thomas
Melcher Hall, Room 262
713-743-8963
asha@uh.edu

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