Details & Timeline
The i3 Idea Challenge is a business idea competition hosted by the Wilson Centre at the University of Saskatchewan.
Prizes: First: $15,000, Second: $10,000, Third: $5,000. Winners will also recieve in-kind support (such as a strategic planning session, mentorship, and legal services) to get their ideas up and running.
To enter, submit your intent to apply by March 15, 2013 and submit a 3 page summary of your business idea along with a 3 minute video pitch by April 30th, 2013.
1) Jan 30: The i3 Idea Challenge officially launches with i3 Social Circle. Use this as an opportunity to meet potential business partners and brainstorm ideas.
2) Feb 13-April 10: Optional workshops on different topics relating to startup will be held. Highly recommended for those planning to enter the i3 Idea Challenge. Free to all students. An RSVP is required.
3) March 15: Deadline to submit your intent to apply. If you are planning to submit an idea in the i3 Idea Challenge, please let us know. The i3 Idea Challenge has a capacity for 50 submissions. This form will reserve your spot in the competition.
4) April 30 (by midnight): Final submissions are due. They must include both a 3 minute video pitch and a 3 page summary of your business idea. Please use this form for submitting your files
4) May 9: Announcement of the top 11 finalists, as determined by the panel of judges.
5) May 13: Closed Pitches- Each of the top 11 teams will present their pitch to the panel of judges (with no audience) and receive feedback on their idea.
6) May 14: The top 5 finalists will be announced at a Press Conference.
7) May 16: The i3 Idea Challenge Finale- the top 5 finalists will each present their pitches and the winners will be announced. Get Your Ticket
Download a PDF of the i3 Submission Rules & Guidelines.
- You must submit your intent to apply by March 15, 2013 at midnight
- You must submit your 3 page summary & video pitch by April 30, 3012 at midnight
- Late submissions will not be accepted
- All submissions must include both a written summary and a video pitch
- Must be 11pt font, single space, standard margins
- Must not exceed 3 pages (excluding cover page, references & appendices)
- Appendices are limited to 10 pages
- Must not exceed 3 minutes in length
Part One: Business Idea Summary
Think of your 3 page Business Idea Summary like the Executive Summary to a Business Plan. It should clearly and concisely explain what your business idea is and why it's a feasible and profitable idea.
More specifically, guidelines for the 3 page Business Idea Summary are as follows:
- Title page: All team members & contact info (including email addresses for all team members)
- Summary of the Business Idea: Provide a clear & concise explanation of what your business idea is, including products and services as well as any proprietary technology or other unique features. If applicable, include information on the company's history so far, or how you came up with the idea.
- Industry Analysis: What is the demand for your product/service? Discuss the size of your market and who your competitors are.
- Organizational Structure & Management: Explain your organizational structure, including the roles and skills/expertise of each individual on your team. What makes you uniquely suited to make this business a success?
- Marketing Plan: Prove that you know how to generate revenue for your business. Discuss the 4 P’s: Product, Place, Price, and Promotion.
- Financing: Provide a realistic overview of initial start-up costs and how you plan to cover them. How much will you be personally investing in yourself (financially- not sweat equity). It would be helpful to also offer a realistic estimate of when you will break even and start generating profits.
- Risk Analysis: Show that you are aware of the potential risks and have thought about how to deal with or eliminate them.
- Next Steps: What are the next steps that your business will be taking? Do certain projects need to be completed before you can generate revenue? List them here along with a plan for getting them done.
- Appendices (optional) - Appendices are limited to a maximum of 10 pages.
Part Two: Video Pitch
The video pitch is a great way to stand out and showcase your product/service. There are no strict rules as to what should/should not be included. Keep in mind that the content of the video pitch carries much more weight than any special effects. However it is important to ensure good sound volume and clarity.
Creating your video:
There are several ways to go about creating your video pitch. These include a video camera, phone, webcam, or text & pictures with voice-over.
- Video examples from the 2012 i3 Idea Challenge can be found here
- Video examples from the 2012 College Entrepreneur of the Year can be found here
Potential Editing Software:
- Windows Movie Maker
- Apple iMovie
- Other free video editing software can be found online
Submitting your video:
- Please submit your video in one of the following formats: mpg, mp4, or Quicktime movie
- If your video was created in a format other than the ones listed, there are several free format converters available, such as Any Video Converter.
For more tips on preparing your submission, attend the i3 workshop on Wednesday, April 10th.
Acceptable Business Ideas
Conventional and non-conventional ideas are eligible for the competition, including, but not limited to:
- New venture/new business
- Merger or acquisition, including leveraged buyouts, which will lead to a turnaround, roll-up, or some other significant change that adds value to the current business
- Joint venture, alliance or network-based business (e.g., create new entity from current enterprises)
- Licensing arrangements
Note that all businesses are judged based on the same criteria.
The Wilson Centre for Entrepreneurial Excellence reserves the right to reject any submission for reasons including, but not limited to:
- Deemed to be in violation of the University of Saskatchewan Code of Ethics
- Violates any local, provincial or national law
- Appears to be pornographic in nature
- Does not present sufficient content or material appropriate to send to judges for evaluation and feedback
- A team is not eligible to submit a business idea that was previously awarded a prize in the I3 Idea Challenge Competition
I3 Idea Challenge honors the confidentiality of all participants' business concepts and plans. Business concepts, overviews and submissions will not be copied for any purposes other than use in I3 Idea Challenge. The judges also recognize the sensitivity of the materials being presented.
University Claims on Student-developed Technology
Students at the University of Saskatchewan who develop new technologies and/or new ventures while enrolled at the University should be aware that the University does not have a claim on the intellectual property of the student's technology or venture unless one of the following applies:
- The student has worked with compensation under the direct supervision of a faculty member or researcher whose costs are being borne at least in part by the University
- The student has worked under a research grant or other research sponsorship
- The student is commercializing a technology or discovery that was made by a faculty member or other University researcher
- The student has engaged services of a University department and has agreed otherwise as a condition of receiving such services
Any advice from faculty members and other resources at the University does not result in an intellectual property claim.
All submissions will be judged by a panel that includes seasoned entrepreneurs, industry experts and University of Saskatchewan faculty. The Wilson Centre for Entrepreneurial Excellence will not provide contact information for the i3 Idea Challenge judges prior to the announcement of the winners.