The Boeing Company is teaming with the College of Business Administration at UAH to give undergraduate students an opportunity to plan the launch of a new business.  Teams will compete for $10,000 in scholarships winnings that can be used for undergraduate or graduate study at UAH.


“The ability to transform product, service and technology ideas into viable business concepts is essential in today’s aerospace and defense marketplace.  We are pleased with the innovative approach UAH is taking with this new program and look forward to a strong competition.” 

Daniel Olberding, Director of Engineering for The Boeing Company’s Huntsville Operation.


The Boeing New Business Challenge has been launched with an official announcement to all students.  Interested students will form teams, develop a new business concept, and present it at a poster session in November.  Judges and mentors will critique the ideas, provide feedback, and extend invitations to teams for the second phase of competition in the spring.  Student teams will continue to work on their business ideas with coaching and assistance from faculty and mentors.  In April, students will pitch their business plans and compete for the scholarship winnings. 


There are entrepreneurship classes and senior design courses taking place on campus during the fall and spring, but all undergraduate students are eligible to compete.   Students outside of the business school may take a spring course titled Entrepreneurship for Non Business Majors and focus their project efforts on their new venture idea.  


“This business plan competition will be great for our students.  There is a lot of entrepreneurial energy on campus and students enjoy a competition.”   

Quote from Caron St. John, Dean, College of Business Administration.

Here's How to Get Started 

Poster Presentation is November 30th at 3:00 p.m. in the Business Administration Atrium

PDF of Poster Instructions and Template Example


Stage One: CONCEPT Feasibility (Screening) Criteria
Students from across campus are invited to prepare a two-page (poster) executive summary of their business concept that provides the basic reasoning about their new business opportunity.

Is there a market opportunity?

  • An unmet or poorly served need?
  • A customer group that is willing to pay?
  • Of sufficient size to warrant entry?
  • With limited or weak competition?
  • And reasonable profit prospects?

Is the invention, design, product or business concept able to serve this need and market?

  • Is it unique or different from competition?
  • Is it technologically feasible (e.g., not purely imaginative)?
  • Is it economically feasible? (e.g., no prohibitive start-up costs)?
  • Is entry feasible (e.g., not blocked by regulation or need for unique credentials)?

Those proposals that meet the screening thresholds are invited to make a full business plan submission. Students are encouraged but not required to register for the New Venture Challenge class.


Business Plan Presentation (Date to be announced)

Stage Two: Boeing New Business Award (Selection) Criteria

Student will be encouraged to get assistance with the preparation of these new venture plan documents – through a class or any other mechanism. In using these categories as selection criteria, we will focus on the quality and completeness of the analysis and conclusions.

I. Opportunity

  • Customer: Who is the customer?
  • Value Proposition: Why will the customer buy? What is the need served for customers?
  • Market: What is the size of the market? Is it growing? What is driving growth (why is it expected to grow)? Is the market accessible?
  • Product or Service: What is the specific product or service to be offered? How does the product/service compare to the products/services offered by competing firms?
  • Competition: Who are the competitors? (Consider companies that produce a similar product/service and those that produce a different product or service that fulfills the same customer need). What are the size, market shares, capabilities, and strategies of competitors? How do companies compete with each other? Is competition intense or complacent? What is the likely response of competitors to a new entrant?
  • Growth and Profit Potential: What are the conclusions about the attractiveness of the opportunity? The growth prospects? The profit potential? The ability to enter without capitalizing all profits?

II. Strategy and Advantage

  • Mission/Vision: What will your company do, how, for whom, and why will they buy? What do you want your company to be in five years?
  • Product/Service Difference: Will customers seek out your product/service preferentially? Why?
  • Competitive Advantage: Is it possible to attain and hold a strong position in the marketplace? To block imitators? (Intellectual property, etc.)
  • Entry Strategy: What is your approach for initially entering the market? How will you secure your first customer? What relationships must be in place for that to happen?
  • Risks: What are the risks? What are the assumptions that must be realized for this to work?

III. Plan Execution

  • Execution is the most detailed section of the New Venture Plan and translates a business concept into actions needed to be successful. To accomplish market entry, what is needed? Students should explain what needs to be done, by whom, at what cost, over the first month, first year, then second year. They should illustrate the tasks, staffing needs, and financial commitments in a timeline.
  • Product Development (design, prototype test, pilot test)
  • Marketing (market research, sales, marketing, channel management)
  • Operations (method by which product or service will be created/delivered to customer, make or contract, supplier arrangements, quality standards, etc.)
  • Human capital (the essential people needed, how you will bring them onboard, how you will reward them for their efforts)
  • Regulatory requirements
  • Financial requirements (start-up costs, working capital, cash flow issues, profit projections.

IV. Final Evaluation (for score)
Venture Concept (50%)

  • Creativity/uniqueness of the product/service concept
  • Probability of technical success
  • Probability of market success
  • Probability of financial success

Venture Plan (50%)

  • Thorough coverage of all important topics
  • High level of analysis and insight throughout
  • Professionally delivered presentation
  • Well-structured and written documents