2022 "Servin' the South" Business Model Competition

Application opens late August

On Nov. 10, 2022, the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Mississippi will host the Mid-South Business Model Competition that is open to every university student in the country. This in-person competition will take place at the Jackson Avenue Center.

Colleges and universities from around the mid-south are invited to have their best student teams to compete for the top prize of $10,000. Each team will have an opportunity to present their business model in front of a panel of diverse judges.

All student teams, anywhere in the country, who meet the eligibility requirements nationwide are invited to submit their application, Ole Miss has specifically invited 60 higher-education institutions in Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Alabama.

Submission Process

Step 1: Enter your 1 minute video presentation by Oct. 17, 2022.

  • Describe your idea. You (and one other teammate if appropriate) are the only things allowed in frames. Props, dressing up, gizmos are welcome but NO POWERPOINTS.
  • Upload your video to YouTube (if you want to keep your video hidden mark it as “unlisted” NOT “private,” only someone logged into your account can watch your videos marked private).
  • Submit your video link before the deadline.
  • UM students may enter the Landshark Tank Pitch with the same video for a chance of winning up to $1,000!

Step 2: You will be invited to submit a 5 minute video presentation by Nov. 1, 2022, if your initial submission is accepted.

  • Describe the customer discovery and validation you have been through with your idea and business model. You may use PowerPoint, Keynote, Prezi or any other presentation software. The presentation needs to be narrated and saved as a video file.
  • Upload your video to YouTube (if you want to keep your video hidden mark it as “unlisted” NOT “private,” only someone logged into your account can watch your videos marked private).
  • Submit your video link before the deadline.

Competition Format

There will be two rounds of presentation.

Preliminary Round: You will be randomly assigned to a group of five or six teams and will present to a panel of judges at your scheduled time. Judges will watch your 5-min video pitch and ask follow-up questions in the 5-min Q&A session.

Final Round: Six teams will advance to the final round, where the same video pitch/Q&A process will be followed for the final judges to determine the winner. Winners will be announced on the day of the event.

Prizes and Travel Stipends

  • The top prize winner in the Mid-South BMC will receive $10,000. Prizes will be distributed either to their LLC or their university’s foundation.
  • All students who earn a spot in the final round will get $500 in prize money distributed to their university’s foundation as a scholarship for the student.
  • UM top student prize winners get an automatic slot as finalists for the Gillespie Business Plan Competition in the spring. UM students can contact the Center’s mentor network for individualized help and coaching.
  • Travel stipends for regional schools are available to apply. First come. first served.

What Your 5-min Submission Should Contain

The judges are looking for examples of meaningful and continued communication with customers. They’d like to hear that you’ve thought about your business in a way that is hypothesis-driven and focused on the customer, rather than focusing on building out a business plan. Here are the criteria from BMC Global that the judges are using to evaluate your submission. Below, is an example of a submission to the International competition from 2016. The video is reasonably polished and makes good use of colors and the business model canvas. This kind of video can be made pretty easily by recording voice over a PowerPoint presentation or make it directly on your phone using something like Spark Video on your phone.

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