UT Tyler

UT Tyler Horizon Eligibility Competition

Take your business idea to the next level!

When: March 18, 2014
Hosted by: The University of Texas at Tyler

Student Competition Prizes

UT System Prize

Top UT Tyler team will gain access to the next level with the opportunity to win $100,000!

Important Dates & Forms

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Submission of Team Competition Entry Form

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Submission of Electronic copy of the Competition Written Business Plan

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

UT Tyler Competition

Friday, April 4, 2014

UT System Competition

Eligibility & Requirements

The UT Tyler Horizon Eligibility Competition is for student created, managed, and owned ventures. Teams will present business plans based on innovative technologies and ideas to judges who are successful business people and entrepreneurs. Teams must submit a written business plan prior to the event and are expected to participate fully in the competition.

To be eligible students must:

  1. Have played a major role in conceiving the venture.
  2. Have key management roles in the venture.
  3. Own significant equity in the venture.
  4. The maximum number of students on a Competition Team is five (5), although there is no restriction on the total size of the venture's founding team.
  5. In order to be eligible to be on the Competition Team students must have been enrolled for at least one (1) semester of the academic year in which the competition is held.
  6. At least one (1) of the members of the Competition Team must be a graduate student.
    • Non-students may be members of the venture's management team and may participate in planning the venture. However, only students may participate in the competition.
    • Team members can be from all academic disciplines.

Judging Criteria

Judges will evaluate the written plan and the oral presentation. Judges will score the materials presented in the following manner:
Judges Evaluation Form

  • Written Business Plan
  • Presentation
  • Viability of Company

Judging will focus on clarity and quality of the written plan, clarity and quality of the oral presentation, ability to address issues/concerns raised by the judges, viability of the proposed venture, perceived ability of the management team to carry out the proposed venture, and prospective financial return to investors.

Entry Forms and Written Business Plan

Each school must submit an Intent to Compete Form in order to reserve slots for their Teams in the UT Tyler Horizon Eligibility Competition. Additionally, each team must submit an Intent to Participate form detailing the names of team members and a project description. This form certifies that all work on the business plan by all team members is original.

Teams must submit an electronic copy of the written business plan. Plans should be:

  • Submitted as a single, printable PDF file.
  • Limited to no more than 10 pages (not including a single cover page and single table of contents page) and can include up to 6 additional pages of appendices.
  • Page format is 1.5 line spacing with 1 inch top, bottom, left and right margins, and 12 point font. This line spacing and font requirement applies to the textual content of the document and not to titles and descriptions accompanying pictures, graphs, tables or worksheets. All pages must be numbered excluding the cover page. The cover page must include venture name and university affiliation.
  • Financial data should include cash flow, income statement, and balance sheet details.
  • Include an explanation of the offering to investors indicating how much money is required, how it will be used and the proposed structure of the deal.
  • Delineate the exit strategies if equity is part of the offering.
  • Appendices should be included only when they support the findings, statements and observations in the plan.

Plans should be submitted to Christian Moist at cmoist@uttyler.edu.

Any questions should be directed to bbextine@uttyler.edu

Elevator Pitch

All Teams will participate in an Opening Reception. During the reception, one team member will present a 60 Second Elevator Pitch to an audience of entrepreneurs, investors, academics and their peers. The winner will receive a cash prize.

PowerPoint/Oral Presentations

Opening Round - Investor Presentation (Power Point / Oral):

Each team will be given 15 minutes to present its business plan followed by a 15 minute question and answer session between the presenting team and the judges. Teams will then participate in Feedback Rounds. Teams that are selected to go onto the final round will present the second day of competition. All teams not in the final round will present in Challenge Rounds. In these each team will be given 20 minutes to present its business plan followed by up to 25 minutes of question and answer. THESE TIME LIMITS WILL BE STRICTLY ENFORCED.

Each member of the team must participate in the formal presentation of the plan. Each team must present its business plan following these rules:

  • Each member of the team present at the competition must participate fully in the formal presentation of the plan.
  • Teams may not observe other teams' sessions in their division until after they have presented their own plan.
  • Each team needs to supply its own PC-compatible laptop computer and is responsible for assuring it works with the provided audio-visual equipment in advance of their presentation.
  • In the Final and Challenge Rounds, the presentation format is a 45 minute running clock.


IP Considerations:

  • Teams requiring non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) should not participate.
  • All sessions of the competition are open to the public and may be broadcast to interested persons through media which may include radio, television, and the Internet.
  • Any data or information discussed or divulged throughout the competition should be considered information that will enter the public domain.
  • The competition and the organizer of the competition may make photocopies, photographs, video recordings and/or audio recordings of the presentations including the business plan and other documents, charts, media or other material prepared for use in presentation.
  • PDNVC may use the materials in any book or other printed materials and any videotape or other medium that they may produce, provided that any profits earned from the sale of such items is used by these entities solely to defray the costs of future competitions. PDNVC has non-exclusive world rights in all languages, and in all media, to use or to publish the materials in any book, other printed materials, videotapes or other medium, and to use the materials in future editions thereof and derivative products.

Nature of Ventures

Companies must intend to be operating companies with corporate structures and financial statements that reflect real operating revenues and expenses. This is intended to exclude investment vehicles, partnerships, licensing and other pass-through entities where returns are measured for investment value versus operating earnings.

The competition focuses on new, independent ventures in the seed, start-up or early growth stages. In addition to what is outlined in the above paragraph, generally excluded are the following: buy-outs, expansions of existing companies, roll-ups, real estate syndications, tax shelters, franchise based outlets, licensing agreements for distribution in a different geographical area and spin-outs from existing corporations.

Licensing technologies from universities or research labs is encouraged assuming there has been no previous commercialization. Key in these types of ventures is demonstrating significant added value to the technology through the efforts of the management team.

All ventures must be seeking outside equity capital.

Prior Activity

Ventures and their base concepts may compete for only one season in the competition. Ventures that have generated revenue or raised equity capital from sources other than the members of the student team before the current academic year are excluded.

University Sponsorship and Faculty Adviser Involvement

Preferably, the business plan must be prepared under mentor supervision, and it is highly encouraged that the mentor be active faculty. The business plan must represent the original work of members of the team. All universities with participating teams are strongly encouraged to send faculty or other university advisors with the team to most, if not all, of the competitions in which their teams compete.

Bids to competition must be accepted by a team's faculty adviser. The faculty adviser must, on behalf of the sponsoring university, attest to the eligibility of team, their adherence to the rules and guidelines and acknowledge potential penalties for violations and infractions.

UT Tyler