Startup Challenge Competition

Registration Aug. 15 - Sept. 9, 2022

The 2022 Startup Challenge's theme this year is Support the Growth in our Community: Searching for Students with New and Creative Ideas that Solve Real-world Problems. The competition will be held throughout the fall semester with workshops happening in person or on ZOOM due to the University's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The H-E-B School of Business and Administration is committed to holding a successful challenge to highlight and reward the dedication of entrepreneurs at the University of the Incarnate Word. Review the competition schedule below.

Teams must register electronically, including a description of their startup idea, by the September 9 registration deadline. Submissions are then screened by a review committee. The teams selected will be notified and will attend a networking event on September 16. Participants are mandated to participate in three workshops.

  • Select competitors attend three workshops on Sept. 23, Oct. 7, and 14, 2022 to earn the Business Opportunity Assessment Certificate.
  • The first workshop will take place on September 23. This workshop will cover opportunity recognition/defining and validating your ideas, design thinking, business model innovation, customer discovery research, and marketing strategy.
  • The second workshop will take place on October 7. This workshop will cover financial analysis for startups, cost analysis, Margin, Burn, and Volume (MBV) for the business model, pricing, and finding funding.
  • The third and final workshop will take place on October 14. This workshop will cover preparation for becoming an entrepreneur (finding a mentor, establishing a personal/professional network setting up operations/start-up, legal issues, creating and managing a team and ethical Issues and creating a Mission Statement.
  • Participants who successfully complete the three workshops for the competition and submit the required 12-page executive summary/business plan will earn their Business Opportunity Assessment Certificate.

In Phase 1, a mentor will be assigned to every team to receive professional feedback.

By October 21, every team participating should submit the final version of their Business Model Canvas. The requirements for this submission are explained in the Judging Criteria.

Phase 1 finalizes the announcement of the teams that will advance to Phase 2 of SCC. This announcement should be done on November 1.

The teams with successful submissions of the Business Model Canvas should start working on gathering relevant data and putting together their Business Project on the Microsoft Team platform for the competition.

November 11, 2022, is the deadline for the 12-page single-space executive summary of your business plan. The 12-page executive summary should include:

  1. Company’s overall mission.
  2. Customer problem or problem that you want to solve.
  3. A detailed description of your product/service, description of your value proposition, or key differentiators of your product/service compared to competitors.
  4. Customer description – primary and secondary customer segments, identify target customer segment and provide a rationale for selection of target customer segment.
  5. Explain your revenue model – how is the company going to generate revenue (e.g., sales, subscription, etc.)
  6. Explain your company’s competitive advantage relative to your direct competitor.
  7. Explain market share or market penetration strategy for instance -> what competitive strategy is your company going to employ to capture market share from competitors?
  8. Use of funds - you have a budget of $8,000 – provide a bullet outline of budget items and explain how you plan to use this fund.
  9. Give answer to the following questions regarding your team:
    1. What credibility does your team have to start this venture?
    2. What are the qualifications of the co-founders of this venture?
    3. What challenges and risks do you anticipate that can hinder the success of your venture?
    4. What is your team going to do to tackle these challenges?
  10. Provide 3-year financial projection including pro forma financial statements and IRR analysis and cash flow estimations

The date of the final presentations is on December 2, 2022. All teams will present their final projects via face-to-face meetings to a group of judges. Each team will make a 12-minute presentation to the judges. The judges will then have 5-6 minutes to pose questions to the participants. At the end of the presentations, the judges will deliberate for 20 to 30 minutes, after the judges’ deliberations, the winners of the SCC will be announced.

Competition winners could receive $13,000.

The event is sponsored by the Beckendorf Center for Innovation and Global Entrepreneurship, The University of the Incarnate Word and the H-E-B School of Business and Administration.


Register Here

Register for the 2022 Startup Challenge Competition

Eligibility guidelines and requirements

The Startup Challenge is open to all UIW students – undergraduate and graduate – regardless of major or program of study, as well as some faculty and staff. Cross-disciplinary teams are encouraged.

Please review the following guidelines to learn more about who can participate in the challenge and the requirements for business ideas.

  • Students may only participate in teams of 2-5 people. Individual submissions are not allowed.
  • Students are restricted to participation on a single team to avoid conflicts of interest between business ideas and lack of commitment to one particular business idea.
  • A team may consist of students enrolled at UIW, as well as faculty and staff employed by UIW. Faculty and staff are eligible only in the following scenarios:
    • If the faculty or staff member is the founder or originator of the idea, and/or
    • If the intellectual property of the startup in question is owned by the faculty or staff member.
  • The list of team members registered at the start of the competition may not be modified during the competition. If a team member is dismissed from or voluntarily quits the team and the remaining team comprises less than two members, that team is no longer eligible to participate and will be dropped from the competition.
  • The proposed business idea must be wholly owned by the participating students for the duration of the competition and may not infringe upon the copyright or other intellectual property right of any third party.
  • Prior UIW Business Plan Competition or New Venture Startup Competition award winners are not eligible to enter the same business plan or a spinoff of that plan.
  • Teams or team members that have received a previous prize or funds from UIW can compete if their business idea submission to the Startup Challenge is completely different from their prior competition submissions.
  • The final determination of eligibility is made by competition administrators.

Requirements for all Participants

The following requirements must be met by all teams participating in the competition.

  • Each team can submit only one business idea.
  • Proposed ventures must be projected to be financially profitable, lawful and create jobs. The proposed venture must complement the mission of the H-E-B School of Business and Administration, as well as the University of the Incarnate Word.
  • All entries must be the original work of the students and free from any claim of copyright, patent or other restriction. The business idea should not be in violation of any intellectual property rights.
  • This competition will accept only ideas for new and independent ventures in the seed and startup stages.
  • Submission of proposals to acquire an established company to improve its management or ideas to create a hedge fund or any other type of venture capital fund will be rejected.
  • Participants who make it to Phase 2 of the challenge are required to participate in all the activities associated with the competition.
  • Participants should respect community values, such as honesty and integrity. The administrators of the Startup Challenge reserve the right to remove students who enter business plans for ventures or proposed ventures that are offensive, illegal and/or that are inconsistent with the values of UIW.
  • Plagiarism of ideas will result in disqualification.

Requirements for the Winning Team

The following requirements apply to the winning team and must be followed in order to receive the $8,000 in seed money.

  • You are required to use a portion of the seed money to register a legal entity name or register a name for your business.
  • You must use the seed money to implement the original business plan presented to the judges of the competition. If the team identifies an opportunity to pivot from the original idea, you must contact the organizers of the Startup Challenge to get approval before pivoting from the original idea.
  • The approval of any pivot idea will require the development of a complete business plan to document the pivot idea in line with the requirements of the Startup Challenge guidelines.
  • The pivot idea must align well with the mission of the original idea presented to the judges of the Startup Challenge.

Legal Considerations for Participation

Please read the terms and conditions before registering for the Startup Challenge. Participants are required to adhere to the conditions as described below.

Rights Reserved

UIW reserves the right to change the General Rules and Eligibility to Participate at any time, in its sole discretion, and to suspend or cancel the Startup Challenge or any entrant's participation in the competition should unauthorized human intervention or other causes beyond UIW’s control, affect the administration, security or proper play of the competition. No responsibility is assumed and entrants waive all claims for lost, late or misdirected entries, or for technical malfunctions or problems, the website or any combination, including any injury or damage to entrant's or any other person's computer resulting from any causes. Entrants who violate the Startup Challenge rules, tamper with the operation of the competition or engage in any conduct that is detrimental or unfair to the Startup Challenge, or any other entrant (in each case as determined in UIW’s sole discretion), are subject to disqualification from the competition. Sponsors reserve the right to remove and disqualify any entrant whose eligibility is in question.

Release and Waiver

By entering, participants, without limitation, release and hold harmless UIW, and their respective directors, officers, employees, and agents from any and all liability for any injuries, loss or damage of any kind in connection with the Startup Challenge; including intellectual property and/or lost business opportunities damages. By entering this competition, you agree to waive any right to claim ambiguity or error in the rules or in the competition itself.

Students retain the rights to the plans regarding its use prior to and following the contest. The plans may not contain any knowingly false information about the background, experience or education of the team or the performance of the venture’s proposed or existing products/services.

The winning team members may be required to submit a completed W-9 form.

This Agreement and competition shall be governed by and interpreted in accordance with the laws of the State of Texas and exclusive venue shall be in Bexar County, Texas.

Confidentiality and Intellectual Property

This Startup Challenge honors the confidentiality of all participants' business ideas and proposals. Business ideas, overviews and plans will not be copied for any purposes other than use in this competition.

All submitted information is deemed the property of the participating teams. All judges and staff are working professionals and investors who routinely evaluate business plans and understand the need for confidentiality and sensitivity of the materials being presented to them. However, they do not sign any non-disclosure agreements to participate in this competition. Teams are strongly encouraged NOT to provide any specifics or details that are considered to be intellectual property or the key to intellectual property. There will be no penalty in judging when a question or issue is not fully addressed because of concerns over confidentiality.

Student presentations are open to the public. Students are encouraged to use discretion when sharing technical information about their products and services in public venues to help protect any intellectual property rights they might have.

As a competitor, you are responsible to protect any information concerning your business that you share with mentors, team members and fellow participants of the competition. UIW takes no responsibility for unwanted disclosure in these instances. Ultimately, protection of sensitive materials is the sole responsibility of the teams participating in the competition.

Publicity Release

Participant irrevocably consents to and authorizes UIW, its officers and employees to photograph, publish, exhibit, reproduce, edit, modify, distribute, display or otherwise use or reuse the participant’s image, voice and/or likeness, with or without the product or presentation, in all markets, media or technology, as long as there is no intent to use the image, voice and/or likeness in a disparaging manner. University may exercise any of these rights itself or through any successors, licensees or other parties, commercial or nonprofit.

Participant waives any right of review or inspection and agrees and understands that UIW shall be without liability to participant for any distortion or illusionary effect resulting from the publication or dissemination of any likeness, audio recording or other image.

Participant understands that UIW exclusively owns all rights to these images and recordings irrespective of the form in which they are produced or used, and authorizes UIW to use the items, at any time in perpetuity without further compensation or permission.