MTSU Business Plan Competition

2024 Business Plan Competition Winners slideshow


The Pam Wright Chair in Entrepreneurship Business Plan Competition is the year's main Entrepreneurship event through Jones College of Business at Middle Tennessee State University. Prominent early-stage company investors, entrepreneurs and business leaders from the Middle Tennessee area judge presentations by the final four student teams.

The Business Plan Competition was started through the Pam Wright Chair in Entrepreneurship to foster the entrepreneurial spirit within the region. It is designed to help students and alumni in launching new business ventures, including for-profit businesses, not-for-profit businesses, corporate entrepreneurship, and social enterprise. Participants enhance their Middle Tennessee State University learning experience, gain feedback on ideas, develop networks, and expose their ideas to potential investors. 

Read more about the 2023 Business Plan Competition at MTSU News

Who can participate?

Any enrolled MTSU students or MTSU alumni can participate in the competition (see Rules & Eligibility for details). A team participating in the competition can consist of one or more contestants and can include non-students. However, there must be at least one MTSU student or alumnus on each team. We encourage all participants to take advantage of all the resources provided, mentors, prep sessions, etc.

Join us in 2024!

More information here.

How is the Pam Wright Chair in Entrepreneurship Business Plan Competition Organized?

There are four major parts to the competition:

  1. The Application Process requires each contestant to create a Business Plan Competition New Venture Profile. Please use this template for your submission, and send the completed profile to
  2. The Screening Round is the initial review of business plans that determines which teams will be moving ahead to the Elevator Pitch Round. Approximately 16-24 teams are chosen to progress to the next round. You can find business plan resources on the Tennessee Small Business Development Center website at
  3. The Trade Show portion of the Business Plan Competition is held simultaneously with the Elevator Pitch Round.  Students will set up Trade Show displays in the ballroom and give their Elevator Pitches to multiple judges at their table.
  4. The official Elevator Pitch Round will begin by participants being called one-by-one out of the Trade Show to present in front of a panel of judges.  The Elevator Pitch Round consists of three-minute pitch of the team’s business plan, presented by the active MTSU student or MTSU alum, in front of a panel of judges. Six minutes will be given for a question and answer session. Each team will designate one member (student or alum) to give their three-minute Elevator Pitch. 
  5. The Final Presentation Round is where the final teams present their complete business plan to a panel of judges.
    1. Five to six teams will proceed to the Final Presentation round (exceptions to this number may be made based on the quality of business plans submitted). The Final Presentations focus on the complete business plan where teams present their plans to a group of judges and field questions. Teams will give a maximum 15-minute presentation followed by 10 minutes of questions and answers. The judges will meet after the presentations to make final award decisions. Winners will not be announced until the Awards Reception. The presenters will receive feedback from the judges after their presentations.

Business Plan Competition Rules & Eligibility

Teams must comply with the following criteria to be eligible for the competition. Please read carefully!

  1. The Pam Wright Chair in Entrepreneurship Business Plan Competition is limited to teams that include active MTSU students or alumni as defined below:
    1. MTSU students must be enrolled either full-time or part-time in any school or college at Middle Tennessee State University.
    2. Recent MTSU Alumni (graduating within 24 months of submission deadline) from any school or college within the university are eligible to participate in the competition, not just the Jones College of Business.
  2. Non-student business professionals are allowed as team members, but there must be a Middle Tennessee student or alum on the team.
  3. The business plan should be developed during the current school year and the student/alumnus must have played a major role in writing the plan. 
  4. Working with outside entrepreneurs with existing businesses/business ideas is permissible but as noted in #3 above, the student/alumnus must write the plan.
  5. Total company revenues cannot exceed $100K (for existing businesses).
  6. In the final presentation round of the competition, only students or alumni will present.
  7. The Pam Wright Chair in Entrepreneurship reserves the right to make the final determination of the appropriateness of submitted business ventures. Not all prizes may be awarded, depending on the quality of submissions.
  8. Prize money will be awarded as a result of the successful completion of the entire competition, including the final round.  In addition, participants must adhere to all submission guidelines to be eligible for prize money.
  9. Previous 1st - 3rd place businesses are not eligible to compete again. Individuals whose business placed 1st-3rd can participate only if using a different business idea. 

2024 Competition

  • Grand Prize Winner ($7,500) - Everything Locks, Raymond Clifton II
  • 2nd  Place Winner ($5,000) - Birthing Freedom, Alexis Waggoner
  • 3rd  Place Winner ($4,000) - Zyka, Shivam Patel
  • 4th  Place Winner ($2,500) - The Clean Flame, Brooklen Siler
  • Honorable Mention ($1,500) - LUNA Bodycare, Pauline Fuller
  • Honorable Mention ($1,500) - Muted Clouds Rug Workshop, Elijah Campbell
  • Best Elevator Pitch ($500) - LUNA Bodycare, Pauline Fuller
  • Best Elevator Pitch ($500) - Zyka, Shivam Patel
  • Best Written Plan ($500) - Birthing Freedom, Alexis Waggoner
  • Best Trade Show ($500) - Birthing Freedom, Alexis Waggoner
  • Wil Clouse Entrepreneurial Maverick Spirit Award ($600) - Everything Locks, Raymond Clifton II
  • Robert and Virgie Agricultural Entrepreneurial Spirit Award ($600) - LUNA Bodycare, Pauline Fuller

2023 Competition

  • Grand Prize Winner ($9,000) - Air-Aid Technology, Mervyn Thomas-Crawford  
  • 2nd Place Winner ($7,000) - Get Credentialed, Cory Sherman
  • 3rd Place Winner ($5,000) - Like a Virgin Sober Bar, Jamie George and Haley Harris
  • Honorable Mention ($2,000) - Savvy’s Sweet Pecans, Savannah Tucker
  • Honorable Mention ($2,000) - Kattih Syndications, Samer Kattih
  • Honorable Mention ($2,000) - Good Samaritan Hauling and Labor, Britton Cherry
  • Honorable Mention ($2,000) - She-Ssentials, Alexis Mahon
  • Best Elevator Pitch ($500) - Air-Aid Technology, Mervyn Thomas-Crawford
  • Best Elevator Pitch ($500) - Kattih Syndications, Samer Kattih
  • Best Written Business Plan ($500) - Get Credentialed, Cory Sherman
  • Best Trade Show ($500) - Air-Aid Technology, Mervyn Thomas-Crawford
  • The Wil Clouse Entrepreneurial Maverick Spirit Award ($600) - Savvy’s Sweet Pecans, Savannah Tucker
  • The Robert and Virgie Clouse Agricultural Entrepreneurial Spirit Award ($600) - Good Samaritan Hauling and Labor, Britton Cherry

2022 Competition

  • Grand Prize Winner ($8000)- Buntin Custom  
  • 2nd Place Winner ($6000)- 911 Tarp
  • 3rd Place Winner ($4000)- MapSchool
  • Honorable Mention ($2000)- The Social Consultant
  • Honorable Mention ($2000)- New Berlin
  • Honorable Mention ($2000) - The Us Agency
  • Best Elevator Pitch- The Us Agency
  • Best Elevator Pitch - MapSchool
  • Best Written Business Plan- 911 Tarp
  • Best Trade Show - 50 States Diner
  • The Wil Clouse Entrepreneurial Maverick Spirit Award- The Social Consultant
  • The Robert and Virgie Clouse Agricultural Entrepreneurial Spirit Award- Buntin Custom

2021 Competition

  • Grand Prize Winner ($7500)- Daisy Sue Design  
  • 2nd Place Winner ($5000)- Ayana Ife Active
  • 3rd Place Winner ($2500)- The Tea Bar
  • 4th Place Winner ($2500)- Pursuit Digital
  • 5th Place Winner ($1500)- Haven Equestrian Center
  • Best Elevator Pitch- Daisy Sue Design  
  • Best Written Business Plan- Daisy Sue Design
  • The Wil Clouse Entrepreneurial Maverick Spirit Award- Daisy Sue Design
  • The Robert and Virgie Clouse Agricultural Entrepreneurial Spirit Award- Haven Equestrian Center

2019 Competition

  • Grand Prize Winner ($5000)- Foliage 
  • 2nd Place Winner ($3000)- Bahama Braid Boutique
  • 3rd Place Winners ($1000)- Divinity LLC; ($1000)- DK's Trap Cafe
  • Best Elevator Pitch- Foliage 
  • Best Trade Show- DK's Trap Cafe
  • Best Written Plan- Foliage
  • The Wil Clouse Entrepreneurial Maverick Spirit Award- Solar Future Legacy
  • The Robert and Virgie Clouse Spirit Award- Foliage

2019 Sponsors

  • MTSU Pam Wright Chair of Entrepreneurship 
  • Small Business Development Center of Tennessee 
  • The Clouse-Elrod Foundation, Inc.

2018 Competition

  • Grand Prize Winner ($5000)- University Ready 
  • 2nd Place Winner ($3000)- Salomon's Greenhouse 
  • 3rd Place Winner ($2000)- Vendy 
  • Best Written Plan- Salomon's Greenhouse
  • Best Trade Show- Drones iVue 
  • Best Elevator Pitch- Drunken Parrot 
  • The Robert and Virgie Clouse Agricultural Entrepreneurship Spirit Award- Salomon's Greenhouse 

2017 Competition

  • Grand Prize Winner ($7500) - Protective Innovations
  • 2nd Place Winner ($5000) - Smells Don't Sell, Inc.
  • 3rd Place Winner ($1000) - AACIJ (Accoa Adhesive Concrete Isolation Joint)
  • Social Entrepreneurship Award - The First Hello
  • Special Recognition Award - Groovly
  • Elevator Pitch Judges Award - Bongo Beverage
  • Trade Show Judges Award - TriSports
  • Corporate Innovation Award - Citadel Security
  • Wil Clouse Technology Award - Drones iVue
  • Wil Clouse Agriculture Technology Award - Volunteer Roots

2017 Sponsors

  • MTSU Pam Wright Chair of Entrepreneurship
  • First Tennessee Bank
  • Small Business Development Center of Tennessee
  • The Clouse-Elrod Foundation, Inc.


The Pam Wright Chair in Entrepreneurship Business Plan Competition considers all submitted business plans as confidential and treats all team matters accordingly. But, due to the nature of the event, we cannot guarantee complete confidentiality for proprietary matters. Middle Tennessee State University, the Jones College of Business, and the organizers of the competition are not responsible for any proprietary information and/or intellectual property included in a submitted business plan.

Ultimately, protection of sensitive materials such as intellectual property, copyright, or patent confidentiality is the sole responsibility of the individual or team participating in the competition. Non-Disclosure Agreements will not be signed by judges, mentors, or any MTSU staff associated with the business plan competition, so please do not ask.

*Disclaimer: Monetary prizes from competitions are required to be included as financial aid assistance by the Financial Aid Office.   The total of all financial aid assistance (e.g., grants, scholarships, prizes, federal work-study, student loans, etc.) cannot exceed your financial aid "cost of attendance" (COA) which can be viewed on PipelineMT. If your COA is exceeded resulting from a prize award, other aid will be reduced.