Required Business Plan?

Are ALL teams being REQUIRED to submit a business plan at competition or just those that want to be considered for the Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Entrepreneurship Award? As much as I hate to admit it our team has never put much effort into this award since it is for teams that “since its inception has developed …”. Our team is 10 years old. Since we didn’t develop a “comprehensive business plan” in the beginning we really never put forth effort for this award since because we didn’t feel we qualify. If we had only known then what we know now… After rereading the awards section of the manual tonight I am now wondering exactly what this means:

5.18.1 Business Plan Submission
A formal business plan must be completed and given to the judges during the Pit interview process. Teams should be prepared to talk about their plan at that time. A template has been provided below. Teams are free to create their own version. Refer to the FIRST website at for further details.

When we first read this back in January we noted that it was a new requirement this year but sort of ignored it thinking it was only needed if we were trying for the Entrepreneurship Award and since we haven’t had a “business plan” “since our inception” we had no chance so we didn’t worry about it. After rereading section 5.18.1 I am now wondering if we need to worry about it because it reads like it is a requirement of ALL teams not just those that want to be considered for the Entrepreneurship Award.

What does 5.18.1 mean exactly? Different teams run their teams differently and so not all teams run their team like a business. Yes, I know we SHOULD have a business plan but we don’t. Sometimes I wish we did run our team as a business but we don’t. Most of the time we are somewhere between chaos and anarchy. :smiley: We can’t go back in time so there isn’t much we can do about it now. What do we do/say when the judges stop by our pit and request our “business plan”. What is the penalty if we don’t have one for them?

I’m pretty sure that you need to have the formal business plan executive summary only if your teams wants to be eligible for that award. We just completed the Finger Lakes Regional and the judges came around on Friday morning and collected the executive summaries. If you don’t have one they would just move on to the next team. In a way that makes it in the same style as the Chairman’s, or like one of the Autodesk awards. The submission is just due at the regional instead of ahead of time.

I also think it is never too late to start running your team like a business. Determine your mission, set some goals to meet your mission and then start tracking your progress toward meeting those goals!

The award is always presented on Friday, the 1st day of the awards ceremony.
Judges come by the pits by lunch time the same day. I was told that the decisions are usually made during lunch time.

This year, hint hint we noticed that the winning team would not get their plan back, as it is forwarded to FIRST by the head judge. If your team gets it back after lunch, chances are another team has won.

My only question now is? Do only the winning teams at regionals get a shot at it at CMP? Do they review the documents for judging prior to the CMP event?