2017 Business Plan Challenge Overview

[email protected] will be coordinating the 6th annual Williams Business Plan Challenge during the 2016-2017 academic year.  The winning team will be offered $15,000 financial support, office space, and mentorship toward building their business during the summer months of 2017. Any business concept will be considered including, for example, new ventures in social media or technology. Concepts that offer substantial growth potential, and thereby have a significant chance of attracting investment capital, will be prioritized. Similarly, priority will be given to social enterprises (including not-for-profit organizations) deemed to have a significant potential for attracting investors, foundational support, grants, or other funding. In sum, we’re looking for new enterprises that will thrive outside the purple bubble.

The overarching goal of the competition is to help students understand the process for creating and building new ventures. The competition offers an outstanding opportunity for students to extend knowledge and skills they have acquired through Williams’ exceptional liberal arts curriculum. Participating students will work extensively with alumni mentors, all of whom are experienced entrepreneurs or new venture investors.

The Award

The College will provide $15,000 in funding to the winning team to advance the team’s business concept. The funds will be awarded and used during the summer months of 2017.

1. Each competing team will prepare a preliminary budget for the award funding. This budget will be among the factors considered by the judges when awarding the prize. The winning team will work with the Advisory Council to finalize the award budget within two weeks of the competition.
2. The Advisory Council will oversee the activities of the winning team during the summer funding period. There will be at least three meetings at which this team will report progress and plans.
3. The award funds will be administered by the Williams College Career Center.


Primary contacts for the business plan competition are:  Jeffrey Thomas ([email protected]) and Dawn Dellea ([email protected]).