The i3 Idea Challenge is an annual business idea competition hosted by the Wilson Centre for Entrepreneurial Excellence. Teams compete for cash and in-kind support to get their ideas up and running, or take their business to the next level.
$20,000 cash will be awarded amongst the top 3 teams (1st Place: $10,000, 2 runner-ups: $5,000 each)
- Open to aspiring entrepreneurs & new businesses in operation 5 years or less
- All teams must have at least one member currently enrolled at the University of Saskatchewan (either as an undergraduate, graduate or post-graduate student)
- Individual students may enter
- Teams may have a maximum of 4 members
- Startups from all industries and at all stages welcome to participate
- The business must be based in Saskatchewan
- If you have participated in any of the past years i3 Idea Challenges, you are still eligible to enter again
- If you have placed in the top 3 of any of the past i3 Idea Challenges, you are eligible to compete again, so long as it is not with the same business idea
- All submissions must include both a 3 page business plan summary and a 3 minute video pitch. Late submissions will not be accepted.
- 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. Other options include Animoto, Powtoon, and GoAnimate
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.
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.
If you're a Graduate student at the University of Saskatchewan entering the i3 Idea Challenge, you are eligible to compete for a $10,000 low interest loan from the Graduate Students' Association (GSA) to support your business. Specific repayment terms are negotiable, depending on the needs of the startup. To apply for this loan, check the corresponding box on the i3 Idea Challenge application form. The recipient will be chosen by the i3 Idea Challenge judges.