What Is USASBE Launch!
What Is This?
The mission of the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship® (USASBE) is to provide the network to advance knowledge and foster business development through entrepreneurship education and research.
USASBE Launch! is an exciting global student startup competition designed to provoke and reward undergraduate students from any discipline who can
- design an impactful idea,
- identify, test and validate business model hypotheses using customer development tools and
- show traction which measures how well a startup is delivering its business model and how well the target demographic is accepting that business model
There is no required application process, but students can sign up to receive updates. There are no required fees or purchases, there is no required format or procedures. We will recommend a process and tools, and students can engage as much or as little as they desire. The ultimate goal of student participants should be to start a sustainable business and tell an engaging story . . . plain and simple.
This competition brings together the network of over 1,000 collegiate educator members of USASBE, the thousands of stakeholders of the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA), the student membership of the 750 chapters of the Collegiate Entrepreneurship Organization (CEO), the 1,200 members of the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE), the international entrepreneurship educator reach of ICSB, and the hundreds of arts educators from Self-Employment in the Arts (SEA), among others, in an annual competition that seeks to foster business development through entrepreneurship and to create a global mentor network to assist student entrepreneur teams.
All participants benefit from the mentor network, and USASBE Launch! competition finalists, in addition to receiving cash and service prize packages, may opt to engage in a yearlong continuing education and acceleration program with their mentor teams. Competition Sponsors, Mentors, Judges and Angels are being courted for their time, resources, council, and money.
HOW USASBE LAUNCH! WORKS
It’s time to highlight students who have taken a chance!
Here is our process to motivate students to pursue their passion.
The Official Beginning
This is a competition. This competition is for undergraduate students – they can be business students, arts students, technology students, science students. It doesn’t matter – as long as they are students who want to create their future. This competition is about action. We will empower students to take entrepreneurial action – to begin with an idea and build that into a scalable business model. Further details and specific guidelines and suggestions will be released soon.
Idea Pitch Submission
Students will submit a 2 minute video pitch of their business concept. These pitches will only be used by organizers to develop focused content, and to more efficiently expose students to potential mentors. This is purely a developmental opportunity. Details and specific guidelines will be released soon.
Virtual Ideation Boot Camp
Late August 2013
Students can participate in a virtual boot camp where they will learn details about a tools that will help them progress through the ideation process to deliberately develop their idea into something impactful and feasible. Details and specific guidelines will be released soon.
Virtual Business Model Boot Camp I
Late August / Early September 2013
Michael Issa, CEO and Co-Founder of QuipuApps, and Doan Winkel will conduct a virtual boot camp to introduce students to the customer development and business modelling process. Not all students will be ready for this step at this point, but it is important to introduce them to the toolkit as early as possible.
Details and specific guidelines will be released soon.
Full Pitch Submission
Students will submit a 2 minute video pitch. These pitches will not be used to eliminate any students or in any way screen them. The point is for students who are interested to submit a video pitch and receive feedback from mentors, industry experts, faculty, entrepreneurs, and investors. This is purely a developmental opportunity. Details and specific guidelines will be released soon.
Opportunity Design Boot Camp
Late November 2013
Organizers will lead an intensive boot camp to further develop ideas into opportunities worth pursuing by using the business model. This boot camp will be recorded and distributed virtually. Details and specific guidelines will be released soon.
Virtual Business Model Boot Camp II
Early December 2013
Michael Issa, CEO and Co-Founder of QuipuApps, and Doan Winkel will conduct a follow-up virtual boot camp to support students’ progression through the customer development and business modelling process. Details and specific guidelines will be released soon.
Students selected as finalists will engage in The Showcase at USASBE in Fort Worth, Texas January 9-12, 2014. On January 9th, students will have 3 minutes to present their progress in developing their idea into a sustainable and/or scalable business model. A panel of experienced entrepreneurs and investors will provide feedback. Student will then work on further developing their business model while in Fort Worth. On January 12th, students will have 2 minutes to present their progress since their January 9th presentation. A panel of experienced entrepreneurs and investors will rank the finalists and prize packages will be awarded.
Your USASBE Launch! Toolkit
Step 1: Design Thinking
“Design thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.” —Tim Brown, president and CEO
For any product or service, you should start with a human-centered design process using a tool such as this. This design thinking process will transform how you develop your product and service because it combines empathy, creativity, and rationality. But don’t forget that it doesn’t stop with the “thinking” – you must quickly move to implement and “do” after solving problems through this process. Get going!!! But don’t linger too long; think, design, interview, experiment, but ultimately, get to the action quickly.
USASBE Launch! Sponsors
Our friends who make it all possible
Mission: Proven tools for complete innovation event management
If you have an idea, PitchBurner is YOUR solution. We equip our clients with robust web based tools and marketing processes catered to support your needs. PitchBurner provides an innovative way to get people excited about entrepreneurship. Flexibility is our strong-suit and we’ve developed a platform without boundaries to handle a variety of events that will help you accomplish your goals. Big or small, PitchBurner has a solution that will take your event to the next level.
Lean Startup Circle
Mission: Applying Lean Startup Thinking and Building Lean Startup Leadership.
The Lean Startup Circle is a grassroots, decentralized group of lean startup practitioners dedicated to building lean startup leadership in their communities and applying lean thinking. We closely follow the ideas espoused by Eric Ries and Steve Blank (among others).
Mission: Enable Entrepreneurial Success
We manage business model canvas collaboration, iteration and validation tracking either strictly adhering to Lean Startup methods or integrated as a part of customized pedagogy. We provide collaborative documents, plans of all types that include full financials and strategic planning tools for students and entrepreneurs to collaborate on and complete.
We give entrepreneurs and educators all over the world the tools necessary to develop, test, iterate, plan and pivot business models rapidly. Through ubiquitous mobility and web integration for both iPhone and Android phones, iPad and Droid Tablets all tightly integrated with the online Quipu web platform.
Mission: Make Commerce Better
At Shopify, we help emerging small businesses get off the ground and grow into successful companies. We do this by creating great technology and by making it accessible to people that previously wouldn’t be able to afford it. We built Shopify to take the hassle out of running an online store, so our merchants can focus on what they do best: building and selling their products.
Business Innovation Factory
Mission: Connect. Inspire. Transform.
The Business Innovation Factory (BIF) creates real world laboratories where organizations can design, prototype, and test new models for delivering value. BIF’s mission is to enable business model and system level innovation in areas of high social impact, including health care, education, energy, and entrepreneurship. We are a platform for transforming these areas, these most intractable systems, where players — both private and public — can design and test new solutions in a real-world environment.
Mission: Delivering Practical Tools to Entrepreneurs Around the World.
Every company has the ability to build products that customers love. We believe that great products are a result of an unrelenting focus on the end-user experience and effective product development practices and principles.
Mission: Grow successful small businesses across America, one business at a time.
SCORE is a nonprofit association, supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship. We have been doing this for nearly fifty years. We provide volunteer mentors across 62 industries, free confidential business counseling and tools and templates, and inexpensive workshops and webinars.
Mission: Making Learning Real
Yellow Sequoia was founded with the goal to popularize the use of simulations within business education. Simulations are defined as “case studies with participants on the inside” so they are just perfect for teaching business. We love simulations and think that in today’s academic environment they offer the best alternative for teaching business.
USASBE Launch! Partners
It takes a community . . .
International Council for Small Business
Mission: Advance Entrepreneurship Worldwide
The International Council for Small Business is devoted to the advancement of management development practices for potential entrepreneurs and existing small business owner/managers through education, research, and the free exchange of ideas.
Mission: Exposing and Celebrating Entrepreneurship
Our work focuses on facilitating a culture of entrepreneurship in communities across the world through exposure, celebration and early stage startup support. We are extreme entrepreneurship education.
National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance
Mission: Funding and Training Faculty and Student Technology Innovators
The National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance supports technology innovation and entrepreneurship in higher education to create experiential learning opportunities and successful, socially beneficial innovations and businesses.
Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization
Mission: Inform, Support & Inspire College Students To Be Entrepreneurial
We are the premier entrepreneurship network with chapters on university campuses across North America and beyond. CEO currently supports entrepreneurship on over 240 chapters in over 43 states.
The Young Entrepreneur Council
Mission: Provide Entrepreneurs Access to Everything They Need to Succeed — Today, and In The Future
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only membership organization comprised of hundreds of the world’s most elite and successful young entrepreneurs. We connect the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs — so they can grow their businesses faster, while giving back to aspiring entrepreneurs through #StartupLab, our virtual mentorship program.
National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship
Mission: To Create a Community College Culture that Fosters Economic Vitality Through Entrepreneurship
National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) is a non-profit organization for educators, entrepreneurs, and distinguished business development professionals to provide quality programs and services in entrepreneurship education and serve as advocates for “entrepreneurship movement. As a membership association, NACCE helps community colleges nationwide link their traditional role of workforce development with entrepreneurial development.
Epicenter: National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation
Mission: To Unleash the Entrepreneurial Potential of Undergraduate Engineering Students Across the United States to Create Bold Innovators with the Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes to Contribute to Economic and Societal Prosperity
Young engineers have the ability to change the world. We believe that teaching engineering students entrepreneurial skills and attitudes as part of their education will help them make a real impact. Epicenter offers programs and support for faculty, students and academic leaders; conducts research on higher education models; and forms communities around entrepreneurship and engineering education.
Mission: Align Individual’s Passions with their Profession at a Startup
The Garage Group
Mission: Building entrepreneurial processes and capabilities for innovation.
We work with teams to crystallize their innovation strategy, uncover insights and convert them, along with trends and cross-industry analogs, to generate ideas. We facilitate turning ideas into holistic business model prototypes that can be piloted and scaled. In addition, we create and lead training programs and modules on the skills and behaviors that ensure innovation can happen sustainability throughout an organization. Across everything we do, we leverage principles and practices from the world’s most innovative companies and successful entrepreneurs — we combine focus, planning and measurement with relentless customer focus, smart risk taking and experimentation.
Mission: Live It, Work It, Launch It.
We are a fully immersive startup ecosystem. At our core, we are a cutting edge incubator searching for innovative and dynamic entrepreneurs to live and work, all expenses paid, in one of our luxurious estates worldwide to develop and launch successful new businesses in only 8 weeks.
Spark Global Business
Mission: Designing and Building Complete Entrepreneur Ecosystems.
We work with public and private sector customers to create the right kind of environment for businesses – this includes enterprise education, start-ups, entrepreneur / intrapreneur culture, access to tools resources and mentors. We are the only organization in the world that delivers academically-certified funding programs – whether you operate within the public or private sector, we bridge the gap between your business idea and the right kind of finance to deliver it.
Mission: End-to-End Services Supporting Crowdfunding Campaign Orientation, Planning, Management, and Execution
Boutique creative agency providing crowdfunding campaign development and delivery to small business in San Francisco. IndieFund.It assists companies in all facets of campaign definition, planning, prelaunch, launch and post-launch activities. IndieFund.It brings together a best in class team providing social media strategy, media production, campaigner production, business planning, strategic marketing and crowdfunding expertise.
Self-Employment in the Arts
Mission: Helping Artists Establish Careers
We focus on the business of art; our founding idea is that more artists will succeed if they have business skills, knowledge, resources, and contacts. SEA helps artists turn their passions into a living through collaboration between college students, serious high school students, artists, and educators.
Sigma Eta Pi
Mission: Arm Students With the Necessary Tools, Resources and Networks to Realize Your Maximum Potential and Your Ability to Change the World.
We promote the individual as well as the group. We promote ideas, ingenuity, innovation and the incalculable satisfaction of doing something new. It doesn’t matter what your major is, where you’re going after graduation, or what your career will be. We’re here to teach and to learn, so that we can all grow together and keep the world spinning, even if it’s in an entirely new direction.
Mission: Using Business as an Agent for Social Change
Compass Partners provides resources, training and a vibrant support network to students with innovative ideas to change the world through business. We offer campus-based Fellowship programs that employ creative methods of education and make a deep investment in each student. Our main program, the Compass Fellowship exposes 15 college freshmen at each university to the world of social entrepreneurship through an intensive personal development and social business training program. The Compass Fellowship currently runs at twelve universities worldwide.
The George R. and Martha Means Center for Entrepreneurial Studies
Mission: Connect and Create!
We make a significant impact in our regional economy by using an entrepreneurial model to infuse the entrepreneurial spirit to the students and residents of Central Illinois in an effort to collaboratively develop tomorrow’s entrepreneurial leaders. We accomplished this by building bridges between Central Illinois’ business and educational communities through high-impact entrepreneurial outreach programs and strategic partnerships, and by creating distinctive experiential learning opportunities for students of all ages.
Mission: A Visionary and Workable Model for Student Driven Entrepreneurial Success
Venture College will provide self-paced, on demand access to knowledge, intensive mentoring and an opportunity to compete for resources needed to start a business. Venture College is a unique university-wide initiative independent of any academic college and structured as a concurrent, non-credit program for degree seeking students. This independence from traditional course, credit and accreditation requirements frees Venture College to deliver an innovative and rigorous non-traditional experience for those students, regardless of discipline, who have a passion for starting their own businesses or working in new ventures.
Behind the USASBE Launch! Curtain
The Great Connector
I can do it all, but I would never say that. Wait, did I just say that? Whatever you need, I know someone who can make it happen. Teaching and practicing entrepreneurship at California State University – Fresno. Advocating for youth entrepreneurship anytime, anywhere.
I move mountains. Honest, I do. Put something between me and my passion and it’s on. I love nothing more than making things happen. Well, OK, maybe my wife and 4 beautiful children, but …
Anything you need. Let’s talk.
Thoughts and Tools For a Successful Startup
Random thoughts. Lots of resources.
Eligibility, Rules and Regulations
The boring stuff. But necessary.
Eligibility and Rules
All participants in USASBE Launch! must comply with the following eligibility rules, which have been developed to ensure compliance with the mission of this competition. The organizers of USASBE Launch! reserve the right to determine eligibility of any individual or to disqualify any individual or team they determine to be in violation of any eligibility rule.
- Individuals may enter as individuals; forming a team is not necessary.
- All team members must be full-time or part-time undergraduate students who are currently enrolled in a degree program at an academic institution of higher education (i.e., community college, college, university or equivalent).
- At least half (1/2) of the members of each team must be students who will graduate after the semester/quarter/trimester after the USASBE Launch! finals. More simply, at least half (1/2) of the members of each team cannot be graduating seniors.
- Non-students may be members of the venture’s management and/or advisory team, but the team competing and presenting must be comprised only of students who fit these eligibility requirements.
- Students must hold a significant stake in the venture being entered in the competition. Specifically:
- the student entrants must be founders on the entity’s founding documents,
- each student entrant must own at least 5% of the total outstanding equity in the venture being entered in the competition,
- all student entrants, in aggregate, must own at least 75% of the total outstanding equity in the venture being entered in the competition, and
- each student entrant must have an executive-level (C-suite) position in the venture, as illustrated in official documents (i.e., by-laws).
- All team members must be 18 years of age or older.
- Individuals can only be members of one team.
- Students may form teams of up to 5 student members.
VENTURE AND GENERAL RULES:
- Teams may only make one submission.
- The new venture being entered cannot have received more than $10,000 in outside investment from all sources.
- Existing companies that have booked revenue prior to April 2013 may not enter USASBE Launch!
- The following venture types are prohibited from entering USASBE Launch!: franchises, licensing agreements, spin-offs from existing firms, buy-outs, expansions of existing companies, or any other form of organization deemed by USASBE Launch! organizers to not fall into the general category of a new, independent venture in a seed position.
Withdrawal Penalty. If a confirmed team drops out of the competition after November 20th FOR ANY REASON, the members of that team will be ineligible to compete in future competitions.
Disqualification. USASBE Launch! organizers and/or USASBE reserves the right to disqualify, in its sole and absolute discretion, any team from the competition at any time 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 the competition rules, regulations, and submission guidelines. Disqualified teams shall forfeit any and all prizes awarded to them.
Entry Fees. There is no entry fee to compete in USASBE Launch!
Confidentiality. Submitted ideas and plans are protected in the spirit of non-disclosure, and all entry materials will be treated as confidential. The only individuals who will have access to ideas and submission materials are the Judging Coordinator and the judges who are assigned to the specific submission. No materials will be distributed to any other party unless requested by the respective team. No individual affiliated with the competition (including judges) will sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) in connection with performing their duties for the competition. It is the applicants’ responsibility to protect their intellectual property, and seek legal counsel to aid in such protection if they have further questions regarding the legal protection of their ideas. No other provisions are made to protect intellectual property.
Guarantees. Participation in this competition gives entrants no guarantees, expressed or implied, to any prizes or to any potential or future funding. Copies of submission materials will not be returned to the entrants. Participants agree that the organizers of the competition are not liable for any direct or indirect damages, including any loss of revenue that may or may not be related to business advice received in conjunction with the competition.
Use of Competition Materials. The organizers reserve the right to use any submitted material to facilitate the event and/or publicize future events and DO NOT guarantee the confidentiality of any submitted materials.
Copyrights and Permissions. If an individual or team uses copyrighted materials and/or images from a third-party in their submissions or presentations, they must obtain permission and authorization in advance from the owners to use this material.
Submission. Entrants must adhere to all submission deadlines and guidelines and submit all materials by 11.59pm CST on the appropriate date. No late submissions will be accepted and any submissions exceeding the maximum length will not be considered.
Offers and Solicitations. This competition does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase securities. This competition is merely a forum for students to present their projects. No person or organization connected with the competition in any way makes any representation as to the reliability of the information provided by contestants or their representatives.
Rule Changes. Any changes to these rules shall be communicated by e-mail, within 24 hours of such change, to all registered participants. Registered contestants shall then have a further 48 hours to decide whether to remain in, or withdraw from the competition. Should the competition administrator not receive e-mail notification of withdrawal within that 48-hour period, it shall be assumed that contestants have consented to the rule change.