The following guidelines are applicable for the graduate, undergraduate, and alumni B.E.T.A. (Babson Entrepreneurial Thought & Action®) Challenge.
The B.E.T.A. Challenge focuses on action: the major milestones each business has achieved to date and the credibility of future goals.
- The following individuals are eligible to apply for the 2021 competitions:
- All Babson students that were enrolled fall 2020 or spring 2021.
- Any alumni with an undergraduate and/or graduate degree from Babson.
- Olin College of Engineering or Wellesley College venture that is in the John E. and Alice L. Butler Launch Pad and has submitted a participation agreement.
- All applications must be for a seed or an early-stage startup. This is defined as having less than $1 million in revenue and less than $500,000 in investment.
- All student applicants who will be competing in the B.E.T.A. Challenge must be in good standing with Babson College and the community. The Blank Center staff reserves the right to request information from the Office of Community Standards to confirm that this is the case and may disqualify any applicant who does not meet this requirement.
- Babson alumni who have volunteered or intend to volunteer as a 2021 B.E.T.A. Challenge evaluator are not eligible to apply to the B.E.T.A. Challenge.
- All past B.E.T.A. Challenge finalists, Douglass Foundation Graduate Business Plan winners, and John H. Muller Jr. Undergraduate Business Plan winners are not eligible to apply to the 2021 competitions. Those that are applying with a different venture may be eligible. Please email the Blank Center team for more information.
- Individual students/alumni or groups are eligible to submit their application to the B.E.T.A. Challenge. The lead entrepreneur of any group must be a current Babson student, Babson alumni, or an Olin/Wellesley venture that is in the John E. and Alice L. Butler Launch Pad. If a group is comprised of both alumni and students, the status of the lead entrepreneur determines which challenge the group can apply for. A lead entrepreneur is defined as someone who is part of the founding team and/or holds an executive position in the startup. A lead entrepreneur is not an employee, contractor, and/or intern in the startup.
- Student applicants must have a faculty sponsor in order to participate. All student applicants must find a faculty member willing to sponsor them. Butler Launch Pad faculty advisors can be considered as a faculty sponsor. The faculty sponsor must be willing to review and provide input on the submission and agree to sponsor the submission. The faculty sponsor submitted will be verified for accuracy. Staff members, unless teaching a course at Babson, are not considered faculty. A faculty sponsor is optional for alumni applicants, but not required.
- Students/alumni submitting an application must commit to presenting their business during the semifinalist round on Wednesday, March 31, 2021, and the finale on Friday, April 16, 2021, if chosen.
- The application requires the following:
All applicant(s) must agree that the materials they are submitting are their original work. The applicant(s) will retain all rights to the materials regarding their use at all times prior to and following the competition.
In order to be considered for the B.E.T.A. Challenge, faculty sponsor form (if applicable) and files (executive summary, slide deck, headshot, and venture logo) must be successfully uploaded through the submission site. A confirmation from the submission site must be received in order for the submission to be considered for the B.E.T.A. Challenge.
By participating in the competition, applicant(s) give the competition organizers the right to post the executive summary and slide deck on a password protected website in order for alumni evaluators to access the business submissions, post comments, and assign a numerical value to the business. Applicant(s) also give the right to share the executive summary and slide deck with faculty sponsors, faculty judges of the semifinalist round, and finale judges. Headshots and venture logos will not be shared with evaluators or judges and they will only be used for B.E.T.A. Challenge event marketing purposes.
Applicants may be contacted via email after the alumni evaluations if more information is needed by the Blank Center or the faculty judges.
All applicants will be asked to sign a media release form.
All semifinalists will be required to submit a one page update on their ventures. The information submitted will be verified for accuracy. Guidelines will be provided by the Blank Center to semifinalists. The update document must not be more than one page. The update summary document must be emailed electronically to the Blank Center team by Sunday, March 28, 2021 at Noon EST (no exceptions will be made).
All finalists must prepare a final presentation slide deck and be prepared to share it during the finale on Friday, April 16, 2021. Guidelines will be provided by the Blank Center to finalists.
Award money to the finalists of the B.E.T.A. Challenge is seed money for the advancement of their ventures. Award money will be distributed to the business, not the individual(s). The finalist businesses must be established as a legal entity before May 1, 2021. Recipients are responsible for all taxes, if any.
The winner(s) of the B.E.T.A. Challenge will be determined by a panel of expert judges who will judge the application based on demonstrated success of the business in achieving major milestones through taking action. In the event that there is no business that demonstrates significant progress, no prize will be awarded.
The Blank Center will forward feedback to applicants at the conclusion of the B.E.T.A. Challenge. This feedback is collected from online evaluators, judges, and/or event attendees. Feedback is anonymous unless otherwise indicated by the evaluator.
2021 B.E.T.A. Challenge winners will be expected to "give back" to the Blank Center's entrepreneurial community in two ways. First, they will be expected to participate in a volunteer opportunity with the Blank Center's 2021 summer accelerator program. This volunteer opportunity will be designed in partnership with the Blank Center. Second, they will be expected to make themselves available to the Babson marketing and Blank Center marketing teams for media and marketing purposes.
- Faculty sponsor (if applicable)
- Executive Summary—two-page limit in .doc, .docx or .pdf format. Samples are available at the Blank Center for viewing. Please contact the Blank Center team for more information.
- Slide deck—maximum 10 slides in .pptx, .ppt or .pdf format. The 10-slide limit includes cover slide. The slide deck must cover the following:
Emphasis will be placed on actions taken to date; tasks completed; and the steps to move the venture forward. Samples are available at the Blank Center for viewing. Please email the Blank Center team for more information.
- Description of venture
- Industry represented
- Target market, include market analysis
- Value proposition
- Backgrounds/roles of team member(s)
- Milestones completed to date (i.e. completed feasibility study, created website, etc.)
- Timeline of future goals.
- Overall potential of opportunity (i.e. has economic and/or social growth potential, can be self-sustainable in current market, can generate revenues from potential/existing customers, etc.)
- Headshot (as .jpg or .png)
- Venture logo (if applicable, as .jpg or .png)