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General information

The Riata Business Plan Competition is the premier business plan competition hosted by The Spears School of Business and the Riata Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The competition is open to all Oklahoma State University students of any discipline with or without business experience. The goal of the competition is to promote entrepreneurship and small business development by focusing on student created, managed, and owned ventures. Students are provided with expert feedback and the opportunity to win scholarship money to help fund their ventures.


The Riata Business Plan Competition is a multiple rounds, student competition where individuals or teams present their ventures both in a 10-page written plan and a traditional slideshow format to a panel of judges. Students will enter their business into one of four competition tracks:


  1. Main Street Lifestyle: products or services available for a larger market scope.

  2. Big City High Tech: IP or technology component.

  3. Social Enterprise: implement solutions to social, cultural or environmental issues.

  4. Rising Entrepreneur: include anyone who received scholarship money from a previous business plan competition.

Scholarship money will be awarded to the top finalists at the end of the competition.

This competition is open to current Oklahoma State University students or teams only.


Rules and regulations

  • Entrants must adhere to all submission deadlines and guidelines. No late submissions will be accepted.

      • November 13, 2022 – Intent to Compete Form Due (Midnight)

      • December 11, 2022 – 10-page Business Plan Due (Midnight)

  • Individuals may be a member of only one team. Teams may be as small as one student, and there is no maximum size.

  • Teams who have raised $100,000 or more in external funding (investor, competitions, etc.) are no longer eligible to compete in the Riata Business Plan Competition.

  • Teams who have participated in the Rising Entrepreneurs track (previous competition track winners) and placed in the top three for two consecutive years are no longer eligible to compete in the Riata Business Plan Competition. (but are eligible to serve as a judge!)

  • All business venture ideas submitted must represent the original work of the team members. If a team is competing with an OSU-owned technology, all applications must be approved in advance by OSU’s Technology Development Center and all appropriate parties.

  • Submissions should be for ventures that are early stage, for-profit or not-for-profit, and could be seeking investment capital. This does not typically include buyouts, entity expansions, real estate ventures, funds, or franchise purchases. 

  • Entrants must have a fundamental, equity holding position within their companies. Meaning teams must have a combined ownership of at least 25% of the founder’s equity. 

  • Finalist's must be available during the entire February 3, 2023 competition, including the awards ceremony. (Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis for teams with extenuating circumstances.)

  • The university reserves the right to disqualify, in its sole and absolute discretion, any contestant from the competition at any time for any reason. Reasons for disqualification could include but are not limited to, plagiarism or any form of academic dishonesty, misappropriation or infringement of the intellectual property of others, and/or any failure to comply with competition rules and regulations. Disqualified contestants shall forfeit all scholarship funds awarded through the competition.

Competition format

The Riata Business Plan Competition takes place in two rounds: (1) 10-Page Business Plan Submission & Review, and (2) Top Finalists Live Presentations. For both, all documentation and presentations must be in English.

  • Round one: 10-Page Business Plan Submission & Review

    All entrants must complete and submit an Intent to Compete by Midnight on November 13, 2022. Following, participants will have until midnight December 11, 2022, to submit their full 10-page written business plans. Over the next couple of weeks, a select group of judges will review and provide feedback to all submitted plans. Top finalist will be announced on January 14, 2023.

  • Round two: Top Finalists Live Presentations

    All finalists will take part in a single-round presentation and be allotted 10-minutes for their presentations, followed directly by 10-minutes of Q&A, Judges scores will determine the top three winners from each track.


Round One:

10-Page Business Plan Submissions

All business plans must be submitted to in .PDF format by December 13, 2022. All deadlines are final out of respect for other participants and judges.

  • Business plan format
    • Business Plans may not exceed ten pages.  

    • Up to five pages of appendices may be included after the ten business plan pages have concluded. 

    • Title/Cover pages and the table of contents do not count toward the 10-page limit. 

    • Must delineate clearly between the end of business plan and beginning of appendix pages. (if applicable)  

    • All Documents should include page numbers.  

    • At least a ten point font. 

    • At least .75” margins on all four sides.  

  • Business plan outline 
    • Title/Cover Page (Does not count toward ten business plan pages)  
    • Table of Contents (Does not count toward ten business plan pages)  
    • Executive Summary* (One Page)  
    • Business Mission and Vision 
    • Description of Products & Services 
    • Market and Competitive Analysis
    • Marketing & Sales Strategy  
    • Organization & Management 
    • Operations 
    • Financials** 
    • Appendices (Up to five pages of appendices, Financial Statements should be in the Appendix

    *Executive summary should be one page long and must contain a brief summary of all segments in the business plan outline.

    **Financials must have at least a detailed five-year projected income statement


Round Two:

Top Finalists Live Presentations

  • Presentation format
    • All finalists are selected based on judges scores from submitted business plans during round one of the competition.

    • Finalists will be allotted 10-minutes for their presentations with a 10-minute judges Q&A directly following. Judges scores will determine the top three finalists from each track.

    • All presentations must be the original work of the presenting team members (see rules and regulations for more information).

    • Presentations should be done in PowerPoint or another PC-compatible format.

    • Finalists should be dressed in business professional attire.

    • No more than two minutes of video content should be included as a part of the live pitch presentation. 

    • All team members must contribute (have a speaking part) during the live presentation

Additional information

Confidentiality and intellectual property

All submitted information is deemed the property of the participating teams and any licensors that it has. All of our judges are working professionals and investors who routinely evaluate business plans and protect the property of others in the process. 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.

Scholarship payments

Scholarship payments for competitors in the Riata Business Plan Competition are only permitted to be distributed into currently enrolled OSU student's bursar accounts. If a balance is owed on a competitor's bursar account, scholarship funds awarded through the competition will be applied to said balance before any remaining funds are available to the competitor. Individuals with scholarship capped restrictions should be aware that additional scholarships received can affect all previous scholarship awards. Individuals should contact the Riata Center at their earliest convenience if they have any questions.


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