Business Plan Competition


Business Plan Applications are now closed.
The MIT GSW Business Plan Competition is for early stage startup companies from all over the world. Ideal applicants would have demonstrated some kind of traction with their idea. Finalists will be chosen from the preliminary applicants for the final round, on Day 3 (March 27th) of the MIT GSW, where an invited panel of judges will decide on the winners.




The winner of the 2015 MIT GSW Business Plan Competition Global prize will receive a $10,000 cash prize as seed money and would be guaranteed a slot in the second round of MassChallenge, a prestigious Boston based high impact startup accelerator.

The winner of the 2015 MIT GSW Business Plan Competition Chapín Prize will receive a $1,000 cash prize as seed money. This prize will be awarded to a local Guatemalan company.


  • Jan 31, 2015 – Deadline for preliminary  application
  • Mar 2, 2015 – Finalists who will present in Guatelmala announced
  • Mar 15, 2015 – Deadline for Full business plan submission for finalists teams


Competition Rules 


  • Each team will have a total of 8 minutes which includes a 5 minute pitch + 3 minutes of Q&A from judges on the day of the competition.
  • Decisions of the judges and the MIT GSW team are final and may not be appealed.
  • Contestants are expected to behave respectfully to all other contestants, sponsors, judges, volunteers, and audience members.  Any behavior that is found to violate MIT GSW’s ethical and behavioral standards will result in automatic disqualification.
  • The teams will be judged according to the criteria below, which will be weighted equally:


1.    Market


  • Is there a large, attractive market opportunity?
  • What are the pain points and are they clearly identified?
  • Who is your target market?


2.   Product/Technology


  • Is there a clear overview of product/service being offered?
  • Is the solution offered compelling?
  • Is there a strong value proposition for the end-user/consumer?


3.  Business Strategy 


  • What is the quality of the business plan and strategy?
  • Does the company have a defensible strategy against potential competitors?
  • Have the key risks/mitigations been well-identified?


4.  Competition


  • Is there a solid competitive analysis?
  • Does the company have a strong advantage over its competition?


5.   Team


  • Is there a well-rounded team that has the right skillset to be successful in this business?
  • What are the qualifications and strengths of the team?

6.  Traction


  • Any work done on the startup to date
  • paying customers, number of users, letters of intent, partnerships etc.





Feel free to email if you have any questions.




*prizes are subject to change. Note that prize payments are treated as income by MIT and the IRS, regardless of whether the payment is made to an individual or a company. Non-U.S. citizens are taxed on their prize money up front at a rate of 30%, which is withheld from their prize checks.