Growing a successful venture starts with a creative idea and needs a strong business plan

The Bill Munday School of Business invites students from all majors with innovative concepts to participate in iChallenge on the Hilltop — a year-long series of events that encourages students to pitch their ideas to a team of judges, partner with mentors to develop a plan, and present their finalized plan for prizes.

STEP 1 – Fall Pitch Competition

Ventures begin with unique concepts. Students pitch their creative ideas to Austin business leaders at the Fall Pitch Competition in the fall. Ideas can take the form of a new for-profit or non-profit business, app, product or service – or even a solution to a problem. This 2-minute elevator pitch gets students comfortable with presenting and articulating their business ideas. The first place winner of the Pitch Competition is eligible for a seat at Capital Factory, a leading entrepreneurial hub in Austin.

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STEP 2 – iChallenge: Business Plan Competition

Ventures require time, support, and resources. Following the Fall Pitch Competition, students may sign up for the more intensive, iChallenge: Business Plan Competition in the spring. This semester-long opportunity gives students the chance to participate in several key events prior to presenting a Business Plan in April. 

  • Meet Your Mentor- Students will network with Austin Business leaders in a "speed-dating" format to identify a potential mentor, with official mentorship pairings announced at the conclusion of the event. 
  • Build-A-Business- MSB Faculty will present on key components of a business plan.
  • Business Plan Competition- Students officially present their concept and business plan to a panel of 3-4 judges, with the top 3 winners receiving a monetary prize to help cultivate their business. 


Prize money may be awarded to the top three finalists whose new venture ideas best:

  • Represent potential for success and attracting outside financing
  • Are clearly communicated and presented to the panel of judges

In addition to prize money, participants receive valuable feedback from judges and prominent members of Austin’s business community. First-place winners may be eligible to compete in additional business plan competitions, with financial assistance provided by The Bill Munday School of Business.

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