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Overview & Judging

The Competition

Any team of students from any school or college at Syracuse University can enter the Panasci Business Plan Competition. Individuals can also enter; however, the team leader must be enrolled as a student in a Syracuse University program. The submissions must be the teams' own original work and ideas.

Get Help with Your Plan

Our of Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises faculty work with student teams to enhance their business plans. The Falcone Center offers special sessions with partner accounting and law firms, and occasionally hosts sessions with experts on subjects such as intellectual property and presenting financial information. The Falcone Center also is home to a video library of presentations of former business plan competition teams. 


Teams first submit entries for judging in the preliminary/Overview Phase, which takes place in early March. The independent panel of outside judges reviews all preliminary entries then narrows the field to a group of teams to proceed to the second round, the Business Plan phase.

In the Business Plan phase, the qualifying teams finish researching their new venture ideas, then write and assemble a complete business plan. These complete plans are reviewed by the judging panel, and judged on the basis of the concept, the market, the economics of the business, operations, management team, financing needed, and so forth. Click on the presentation type for judging guidelines for the oral and written plan presentations.

The completed business plans are due by early April. The judging panel reviews the plans submitted, then selects 16 teams to proceed to the semi-final round – the Presentation phase. During the semi-finals, each of the 16 teams will have 15 minutes to present their business plans. The judges will have 10 minutes to question the presenters, and at the end of day one, 16 teams are narrowed down to five. Winners are determined and awards are presented after a second round of presentations on day two.


Prize money is awarded to the top three teams whose new venture ideas represent the best potential for growth and for attracting outside financing. Cash prizes will be  given to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. In addition, any team from the semi-final round is eligible to receive the following prizes:

  • The Fetner Prize in Sustainable Enterprise recognizes the entry reaching the final round of the competition that has the greatest potential for positive impact on society and the natural environment and best recognizes the interconnectedness of economic, environmental, and social considerations. The Fetner Prize is made possible through the generosity of Hal Fetner '83 BS, president & CEO of Durst-Fetner Residential, and his wife, Nina Fetner.

All ideas must be successfully communicated and presented to the independent panel of judges. All the winners need to submit their corporate documents and request prize money by December 31st of the year in which they win. Prize money not claimed by the December 31st deadline will be forfeited. 


1st Place $20,000
2nd Place $7,500
3rd Place $2,500
Fetner Prize in Sustainable Enterprise $5,000