FORTUNE SMALL BUSINESS today announced the finalists that will compete in the fourth annual FSB Student Showdown, FORTUNE Small Business's national business plan competition for students. To compete in FSB's All-Star competition, teams must win the business plan contest at their respective university. The winners will be revealed in the November issue of fortune small business magazine.
The finalists are:
Precision Surveying Solutions [headquartered in Provo, Utah] a team from Brigham Young University's Marriott School of Management will sell a wireless handheld device that allows land surveyors to download information from surveying instruments.
Minimally Invasive Devices [Columbus, OH] a team from The Ohio State University's Fisher College of Business is developing disposable tools such as Clear-Vu, a device that will defog surgeons' laparoscopes during minimally invasive surgery.
MuscleMorph [Philadelphia, PA] a team from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania has designed a muscle-like, lightweight device that will replace the traditional motors that move prosthetic and robotic limbs, using electrostatic forces.
Thirty-eight teams competed in this year's contest. "Many of the plans we received are for practical businesses that address real needs that their founders discovered through their professional careers," said Elaine Pofeldt, FORTUNE Small Business senior editor and Student Showdown organizer. "The teams behind them are made up of experienced business people with the know-how to bring them to market quickly-if they're not already doing business."
Entering teams submitted their business plans to FSB in June. The magazine's staff then chose 12 semifinalists based on the strength of each management team (30% of score), the viability of each business plan (30%), the thoroughness of each plan (20%) and the newsworthiness of each business concept (20%). The FSB staff then submitted the semifinalists' plans to nine judges, who evaluated the plans on the strength of the management teams (40%) and on the viability (40%) and thoroughness (20%) of the plans.
In the final round of the contest on September 7 in New York City, each team will have to answer two challenging, surprise questions on its plan from an opposing team. The judges will evaluate each team based on the credibility (40% of score), clarity (30%) and presence (30%) of the student who represents the team in the final round. The judges will then choose the first, second and third place winners based on the teams' scores in the previous rounds, the overall quality of the plans and the teams' ability to execute them.
Go to FSB.com to view a photo gallery of the 12 semi-finalists featuring their schools, team members and brief descriptions of their business ideas. Users can vote for what they think is the best idea.