Searching For The Next Big Thing: FAU Hosts Business Plan Competition

Outback founder Tim Gannon will speak at FAU's business plan competition. He was Inc. magazine's Entrepreneur of the Year in 1994

Outback founder Tim Gannon will speak at FAU’s business plan competition. He was Inc. magazine’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 1994

We live in the age of entrepreneurship and FAU will showcase hundreds of aspiring minds this week.

Florida Atlantic University’s 2014 Business Plan Competition will take place from Wednesday, April 9 through Friday, April 11 at the College of Business, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton campus.  The competition provides participants the opportunity to vet their business idea before a panel of successful entrepreneurs, early stage investors and venture capital principals.  More than 250 teams have registered to compete with 16 teams advancing to the final round. 

Final round teams in the FAU student track and entrepreneur track will compete for a share of more than $225,000 in cash and prizes to launch their business.  The Research Park at Florida Atlantic University is the event’s presenting sponsor.

The event commences with the Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce’s Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) Investor Panel on Wednesday, April 9, from 4 to 8 p.m. in FAU’s Student Union, Live Oak Pavilion.  The Investor Panel is the culmination of a 30-week program where students’ grades seven to 12 develop legitimate businesses and pitch to investors for seed-funding.

The Kick Off Reception and Elevator Pitch Event takes place on Thursday, April 10 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. in FAU Stadium.  The 16 final round teams each will present their 90-second elevator pitch.  Reception guests have the opportunity to cast their vote for their favorite pitch.  The winner will receive the $5,000 People’s Choice award sponsored by Office Depot.

Day three of the competition is Friday, April 11, and features business plan presentations from the FAU student and entrepreneur tracks from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in room BU 120 in the College of Business and room OD 101 in FAU’s Office Depot Center for Executive Education.

The three-day event culminates with keynote speaker Tim Gannon, co-founder of Outback Steakhouse, Inc. and chief executive officer of Palm Beach PDQ, on April 11 from 2 to 3 p.m. in room BU 120 in FAU’s College of Business.  Gannon is the creator of the popular Bloomin’ Onion and owner of the Outback Polo team, the only team to win three consecutive U.S. Open championships and five championships overall.  The competition awards ceremony will immediately follow Gannon’s keynote address.  All events are open to FAU students, alumni, faculty, staff and the community.


  1. Why not to sponsor people who already are in biz, and get incentives and sponsorships to expand if they are 5 years or over in biz.?
    Students are great to experiment and get incentives with young brains.
    The gen before need help too.

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