The competition is for new, for-profit, independent ventures in the seed, start-up or early growth stages. Ventures with a social impact focus are eligible as long as there is a revenue-generating component to the venture. Ventures that qualify for 501(c) status are not eligible.
An existing business is eligible only if, as of 11:59 p.m. on December 31, 2022, it has
- received less than $25,000 in funding
- earned less than $100,000 in gross revenue
Ventures must be wholly owned by the team (i.e., investor-funded ventures will be disqualified).
Each team must have at least one eligible Team Member (see below) who is an undergraduate woman at any accredited not-for-profit college or university located in the United States. The Team Leader serves as the main contact for the team and must complete the team's application. The application must demonstration that the Team Leader played a significant role in conceiving the venture.
The competition is open to all undergraduate students currently enrolled in two- or four-year degree granting programs at accredited not-for-profit colleges or universities located in the United States. A team member who graduates any time during the 2022–2023 academic year is eligible to compete in the 2023 competition.
Each team must provide contact information for a faculty member at their school who is familiar with the team and the venture. Faculty advisors are welcome but not required to be present at Smith College on Competition Day.
Semi-Finalist teams will be sorted into tracks based on the nature of the venture. These tracks may be:
Product - Any physical, tangible good(s) offered for sale.
Examples: medical accessories for chronically ill patients, dry personal care products for women, multi-screen laptop addition, robotic companions for Alzheimer patients
Service - Work performed for or intangible products offered that benefit a customer.
Examples: errand running, travel guide for LGBTQ friendly destinations, solar utility payment service
Web/Mobile App - Any idea, technology, product and/or service that relates to apps, informational technology, and/or internet applications.
Examples: patient-caregiver matching app, virtual student employment platform, app that uses social media to connect conference attendees
Social Impact - Any idea, technology, product and/or service that considers a double- or triple-bottom line: generates revenue and contributes to positive social change and/or helps the planet.
Examples: print shop that supports marginalized students in African countries, adopt-a-tree olive oil delivery service, solar cooking products
The executive summary provides a written narrative of a team’s Business Model Canvas (BMC).
Rules for executive summaries:
- MUST NOT include any information about a team’s school (omit reference in text, email, headers/footers)
- limited to two pages of consecutive text (no images may be included)
- may include one additional page of images/graphics/charts only
- should address all of the questions in the template (see below)
- must be submitted as a PDF document with Venture name as the file name (i.e., "VentureName.pdf")
Business Model Canvas
Teams are encouraged to become familiar with the Business Model Canvas (BMC). The BMC is a tool entrepreneurs use to track their progression from unproven concept to viable venture. The information required for a BMC forms the foundation for the executive summary required to be submitted with a team's application.