Eligibility Requirements

Student Team – Competing teams should consist of at least one and no more than five degree-seeking college students who are enrolled part-time (minimum of 6 credit hours) or full-time in a semester during the competition year.  In general, a member of the student team should be CEO, COO, or President of the venture, or members of the student team should occupy 50% or more of the functional area management positions that report directly to the CEO, COO, or President.

Ownership – The student team must have a minimum of 20% ownership in the venture. Control – The student team must control a minimum of 51% of the venture’s voting rights. Revenue – Because revenue is often the best form of validation, minimal revenues gained in the process of validation are allowable for the competition.  Excessive revenues will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the TBMC organizers.  

Investment – No more than $100,000 will be allowed from friends and family, debt (any source – convertible, venture, traditional), and accelerators.  Any convertible debt must be in the form of a standard debt note with a separate agreement specifying the rules for conversion.   Conversion cannot occur for at least two years from start date of completion.  

Nature of Venture – Ventures cannot be a buyout, an expansion of an existing company, a real estate syndication, a tax shelter, a franchise, a licensing agreement for distribution in a different geographical area, or a spin-out from an existing corporation.   Licensing technologies from universities or research labs is encouraged, assuming they have not been commercialized previously.  

Prior Activity – Ventures may compete in the TBMC multiple times provided they have not been chosen as semifinalists in previous TBMC contests.  

Dropping Out of the Competition – If a team withdraws or does not compete in the competition after accepting a bid, the team and the university will be subject to disqualification from competing in the Tulane Business Model Competition for that year and the following year – a two-year ban.  

Faculty Mentor – We require that all teams have a faculty mentor from the participating institution.