Manage Your B-plan Compt….istart.org

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In the present scenario B-Plan competition is very hot today. But due to lack of proper mentoring and platform most of the B-Plan Competition fails. i-start is a solution to maintain your b-plan competition online at an international level.

The iStart Web site is the leading online community for business plan competitions. iStart began as studentbusiness.com – the big idea of three Harvard University students, who have since graduated and gone on to launch even bigger ideas. In 2009, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation bought the site and renamed it iStart. We added more functionality and the public side to increase transparency. Our goal is for iStart to become the go-to site for entering business plan competitions from around the world, browsing pages of plan abstracts and networking with hundreds of innovative, energized entrepreneurs.

The iStart Web site is:

The catalyst for new businesses. We are dedicated to increasing the number of new firms formed – that’s our big idea.

Accessible. Applicants can make their plan abstracts – and their companies – searchable to anyone on iStart. If you want your big idea to get noticed, this is the place.

Easy to use. Whether you are a competition administrator, a judge or an applicant, iStart helps you work at maximum efficiency and speed.

Standardized. We offer one simple platform for everything you need – from the call for entries to the final judging round. More functionality. Less time. Sweet!

About kauffman foundation:

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private nonpartisan foundation that works to harness the power of entrepreneurship and innovation to grow economies and improve human welfare.

Through its research and other initiatives, the Kauffman Foundation aims to open young people’s eyes to the possibility of entrepreneurship, promote entrepreneurship education, raise awareness of entrepreneurship-friendly policies, and find alternative pathways for the commercialization of new knowledge and technologies.

In addition, the Foundation focuses on initiatives in the Kansas City region to advance students’ math and science skills, and improve the educational achievement of urban students, including the Ewing Marion Kauffman School, a college preparatory charter school for middle and high school students set to open in 2011. Founded by late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman, the Foundation is based in Kansas City, Mo., and has approximately $2 billion in assets. For more information, visit kauffman.org. Follow the Foundation on twitter and facebook.

Lets explore istart in the form of questions

Who uses iStart? One of their biggest clients is Rice University’s annual intercollegiate business plan competition, which has the largest judging panel and distributes the most prize money of any such competition in the world. Powerful iStart tools automatically managed communications with more than 500 initial applicants and 300 judges, allowed administrators to customize the competition’s look and feel, and it created efficiencies that streamlined project management requirements.

Does the Kauffman Foundation use iStart for research? Yes. The Kauffman Foundation will use information from submitted business plans as data points in its ongoing research on entrepreneurship.

What if my business plan contains proprietary information I don’t want the public to see? No problem. they only post your abstract for that very reason – and only with your permission.

Does it cost anything to post an abstract on iStart? No, not a penny. In this economy, everyone deserves a break. This is yours.

What happened to studentbusiness.com? The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation bought it in 2009. They renamed it iStart and created more functionality, including an easier-to-use user interface.They also added the public side of the site to increase transparency – and your chances of getting noticed.

How much does it cost to host a competition on iStart? It varies. Here are some general guidelines to help you budget:

Nonprofit partners pay $500 per competition.
For-profit partners pay $5,000 per competition; $15,000 for unlimited competitions for one year; or $25,000 for unlimited competitions and the ability to keep submissions from being displayed on the public portal for up to six months.
TIP: Recruit a sponsor, such as a patent attorney, to cover the cost. He or she will get targeted exposure for as long as your competition is active, and you will have your site paid for. It’s a win-win!

iStart provides you and your staff with efficiencies and consistency that will save hours of work and enhance your competition’s overall reputation. It’s worth the investment.

Where do notification e-mails come from? They are sent from notification@iStart.org.

What if e-mails from iStart get caught in my spam filter? istart can’t guarantee that won’t happen, but their tech people are working continually to avoid these types of issues. You also can add @iStart.org to your Safe Senders list and mark messages you have received from iStart as “not spam.”

Where does my reply to the notification e-mail go? It goes directly to competition administrators. There is no middleman.

What types of files does iStart accept? Anything – PDFs, JPEGs, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets. You name it. But, don’t expect iStart to accommodate thousands of 10 megabyte downloads.

What should I do if I want to host a competition on iStart?
It’s easy! Just follow these steps:

Contact Katie Petersen, director, at Katie@iStart.org with the following information:
Your institution’s name.
Your subdomain. (This is the Web address that uniquely identifies your competition. For example, a subdomain of “Rice2010” results in a competition Web address of http://Rice2010.iStart.org. Also, the shorter the subdomain, the better. And, remember to include a date, such as 2010.)
Your competition administrator’s e-mail address.

Is iStart only for business plan competitions? No, you can have idea competitions, pitch competitions, etc. Our minimum requirement is that participants submit an abstract. The length of that abstract is up to you. It can be a paragraph or it can be five pages.

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Mohit Bansal(23) is B.Tech in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, India. He has interest in business and entrepreneurship and has published couple of research articles. He is also associated with various NGOs. He is with Techaloo when it was just in concept stage. The Techaloo site was not existing even then. Currently Mohit is working with Mu Sigma as a Business Analyst Profile.

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