Competition Rules & Regulations

Competition criteria require you:

  • Be an Illinois based business
  • Have a 2013 maximum revenue of $2,500,000
  • Applicant must be at least 18 years of age and a legal resident of the U.S.

The competition reserves the right to disqualify business plans that fail to adhere to competition rules. The following guidelines were created to clarify what is and is not acceptable for the competition.

  • All work must be the original work of the applicants--proposals and plans that constitute dishonesty or fabrication of the facts will be disqualified even if discovered after the competition ends.
  • Applicants can only submit 1 business plan.
  • Applicants must submit a 60 second video presentation of their business idea. All videos longer than 60 seconds will cause the applicant to be disqualified from the competition. The presentation must be of the applicant ONLY describing their business idea. No more than two (2) presenters per video are allowed. Animation and/or PowerPoint submissions are not allowed.
  • All statements made in the video or during presentations are a part of the application process and are in the public domain.
  • Proof of 2013 federal tax filing required if selected to participate in the semi-final round.
  • Proof of City of Chicago OR State of Illinois business license.
  • All information included in the application and presentations are assumed to be accurate and the original work of the applicant.
  • All business plans must be based on a legal business enterprise
  • Only presenters selected to participate in the Final Round of the 2014 Chicago State Entrepreneurial Idol Competition are eligible to win any of the prizes
  • Confidential information, proprietary content, and protected intellectual property that is not your own will not be accepted. DO NOT attempt to present ideas that are the confidential or proprietary property of another person or entity. By submitting an application you are acknowledging that the information is not infringing on the protected rights of any person or entity.
  • Pre-recorded and/or narrated presentations will be disqualified


The Entrepreneurial Idol Competition final round, which includes oral presentations and question/answer sessions, is open to the general public. Any and all presentations may be broadcast to interested persons through media outlets, which may include radio, television and the Internet.

Any data or information discussed or divulged at the Entrepreneurial Idol Competition by entrants should be considered information that could possibly enter the public realm, and entrants should not assume any right of confidentiality in any data or information discussed, divulged, or presented in these sessions.

Due to the nature of the competition, we are not able to ask judges, reviewers, staff, or the audience to agree to or sign non-disclosure statements. However, Chicago State University, the organizer of the Entrepreneurial Idol Competition, will make every effort to limit distribution of executive summaries presented at the competition.

Chicago State University cannot guarantee that other individuals will not obtain access to electronic or hard copies of the executive summaries. All presentations are open to the general public, and some presentations may be videotaped. Attendance by the media is expected.

Copyrights & Permissions: If a small business owner uses copyrighted materials and/or images from a third-party in their submissions or presentations, they must obtain permission and authorization in advance from the owners to use this material.

Competition Judging

Round I - Application RoundRound II - Short PresentationRound III - Final Round

Completed online submissions required:

Name of all team members, or company senior level representatives (only 1 can present)

60 second video submission

1 page service or product Executive Summary

10 Semi-finalists

3-page PowerPoint presentation

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Marketing Plan
  3. Financial Plan

5 minute presentation

5 Finalists

5-page PowerPoint presentation

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Products and/or Services
  3. Industry and Competitive Analysis
  4. Marketing Plan
  5. Financial Plan

8 minute presentation

The competition is open to any type of business that meets the competition criteria. Business plans submitted for the Chicago State University Entrepreneurial Idol Business Plan Competition will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Uniqueness of the business concept/idea
  • Ability for business to be funded
  • Business product or service filling a need
  • Community impact
  • Competitiveness in the marketplace/concept viability
  • Quality of the presentation