iStart, a new platform to help universities and nonprofit organizations simplify and power up business plan competitions. According to the Kauffman Foundation, more than 50 U.S. universities conduct business plan competitions annually, awarding upwards of $10 million in prizes and in-kind services. This represents an enormous opportunity for students and educators alike. iStart makes it easy to manage business plan competitions through a single, integrated, web-based solution geared at addressing every part of the process, which will enable competition administrators to:
• Organize and execute every part of the competition from the ‘intent-to-compete’ to the final judging round
• Enable a single management console for all of the communications used to assist the competitors as well as the judges
• Orchestrate complete control over the customization of their competition iStart also provides users with access to both the plans that are created as a part of these competitions as well as the additional information that is created in the normal course of a competition. Meaning that universities and platform-users will be able to mine the data collected from business plan competitions across organizations, gain insight and educate entrepreneurs. A news release with additional details on iStart is available here.