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Draper Competition for Collegiate Women Entrepreneurs

146 Elm Street
Smith College
Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: 413-585-3653
Fax: 413-585-3655
Students checking in at the Draper Competition

The application portal for the 2020 Draper Competition is currently closed.



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, 2019, 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).

Team Leader

Each team must have at least one eligible Team Member (see below) who is a female undergraduate at any accredited not-for-profit college or university located in the United States. The Team Leader must have played a significant role in conceiving the venture. The Team Leader must serve as the main contact for the team.

Team Member

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 2018–2019 academic year is eligible to compete in the 2019 competition.

Faculty Adviser

Each team must provide contact information for a faculty adviser at their school. Faculty advisers are welcome but not required to be present at Smith College on Competition Day.

Application Tracks

Eligible team leaders are invited to submit an application for their venture for one of the following five tracks:


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


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-bottom line: generates revenue and contributes to positive social change. Ventures that would qualify for 501(c) status are not eligible.
Examples: print shop that supports marginalized students in African countries, adopt-a-tree olive oil delivery service, solar cooking products


Any venture that does not fit into one of the above categories may select the general category.

The Planning Committee reserves the right to reassign ventures to a more appropriate track.

Executive Summary

The executive summary provides a written narrative of a team’s Business Model Canvas (BMC). Executive summaries are

  • limited to two pages (with one additional page for images/graphics only),
  • should not include any information about a team’s school,
  • and must address all of the questions in the template (see below). 


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.