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Rules and Guidelines

  1. In order to enter, the team leader must be a full-time or part-time matriculated student, undergraduate, or graduate level, who is currently enrolled in and pursuing a degree program, and who is registered at Syracuse University or SUNY ESF. Other team members can be non-SU/ESF students or community members.
  2. Only one submission of a new business venture per team is permitted. For the Panasci Business Plan Competition, plans may not exceed 25 pages in length based on a document that is double spaced, 12 point font with one inch margin (including cover and text), the appendices may not exceed 10 pages in length.
  3. Individuals may be a member of only one team. Teams may be as small as one student, and there is no maximum size; however, there are practical limits to the size of any working group. One person teams are not recommended.
  4. Ideas submitted as part of a team's new business venture must represent the original work of the team members. Team members will sign a certification to this effect as part of the initial entry process in the Overview phase. The Grand Prize Winner of the final round in the past Panasci Business Plan Competition cannot enter the competition again.
  5. If the new venture has already received funding from any outside sources (angel investors, other competitions, etc.), amounts, investors, and dates of funding must be disclosed in the initial entry (overview phase). This competition is intended only for student teams which have not received any outside investment from venture capital firms, and which have received less than a total of $100,000 in outside investment funding as of December 31 of the previous year.
  6. Submitted ideas are protected in the spirit of non-disclosure, where all entry materials will be treated as company confidential. The only persons with access to the entry materials will be judges and select members of the organizing committee. Materials will not be distributed to any other party, unless requested by entrant team. No other or special provisions are made to protect intellectual property.
  7. All deadlines and guidelines for submissions must be adhered to. Materials must be submitted on the appropriate due date, and at the specified drop point in the Whitman School of Management. No late submissions will be accepted, and any submissions that are greater in length than specified will not be considered.
  8. Judging of entries will be performed by an outside panel of independent judges, consisting of professionals involved in entrepreneurship. Judges may be successful entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, angel investors, or professional service providers working with the venture community. Any entry is subject to minimum criteria in terms of market potential, viability, and other factors, as determined by the judging panel's experience. If no entries meet the minimum criteria, one or both prizes might not be awarded. Throughout any and all phases of the Panasci Business Plan Competition, all decisions of the judges are final.
  9. Prize money is granted only to the business entity that the winning team forms, e.g. a corporation or LLC. Winning teams will have until December 31st of the competition year to form their business entities; however, many market factors typically require shorter-term actions. If the winning teams fail to form the business entity and request the prize money from the Falcone Center within the specified period of time following the competition, the money remains in the competition fund and is not disbursed. Award money will be granted only to seed the start-up of the winning idea (e.g. no substitutions may be made, without the approval of the Falcone Center and EEE department). Teams and their resultant business entities are responsible for any tax consequences of the prize.
  10. The Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship reserves the right to disqualify, in its sole and absolute discretion, any team from the competition at any time (before or after a judging round or the award of any prize) for any reason. Reasons for disqualification may include, but are not limited to, plagiarism and any other form of academic dishonesty, misappropriation or infringement of the intellectual property of others, and any failure to comply with these rules and regulations. Disqualified teams shall forfeit any and all prizes awarded to them.
  11. First prize is $20,000; the second prize is $7,500; the third prize is $2,500.  Additional prizes will be awarded including: Fetner Prize in Sustainable Enterprise is $5,000 (which will be awarded to the most green and sustainable business idea), the Student CNY Business Start-Up Award ($3,000), Carol Nulman Social Enterprise Award ($1,000), and the Gilded Social Rising Entrepreneur Award ($5,000). Note: These awards are subject to change without notice.
  12. If you have any questions about Panasci Business Plan Competition please contact Agnes Magnarelli at