The i.d.e.a.WF Process

STEP 1 – ATTEND AN i.d.e.a.WF ORIENTATION SESSION:
Seven identical orientation sessions, lasting about 90 minutes each, will familiarize potential entrants with the contest. Attendees will also learn what makes an attractive start-up opportunity, how to write an effective executive summary, and how to enter the competition.

Even though you aren’t technically required to attend an orientation to enter the competition, we believe that you will benefit by attending. First, you’ll meet the administrators of the program face-to-face; they’ll also meet you in person, allowing them to put a face with a name! Second, you’ll learn about the incredible resources available to those who take part in i.d.e.a.WF. These resources are intended to help you not just through the entry process, but also throughout the life cycle of your business. Finally, you’ll learn the “rules of the game.” It’s not just enough to read the rules; you need to understand the rules, and also what is expected and when.

The orientations sessions are offered free of charge, and will be held at Midwestern State University’s Dillard College of Business:

Orientation – Session 1 Thursday, February 28, 2019 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM Dillard Room 189
Orientation – Session 2 Friday, March 1, 2019 7:30 – 9:00 AM Dillard Room 189
Orientation – Session 3 Tuesday, March 5, 2019 5:30 – 7:00 PM Dillard Room 189
Orientation – Session 4 Monday, March 11, 2019 5:30 – 7:00 PM Dillard Room 189
Orientation – Session 5 Thursday, March 14, 2019 7:30 – 9:00 AM Dillard Room 131
Orientation – Session 6 Tuesday, March 26, 2019 5:30 – 7:00 PM Dillard Room 175
Orientation – Session 7 Thursday, March 28, 2019 12:30 – 2:00 PM Dillard Room 177

Again, the sessions are identical, so you only need to attend one session. While the orientation sessions are optional, it is strongly recommended that you attend.

STEP 2 – SUBMIT YOUR DRAFT EXECUTIVE SUMMARY TO THE SBDC FOR FEEDBACK AND ASSISTANCE:

America’s Small Business Development Center at MSU Texas (the SBDC) works with willing entrants to help them craft a great executive summary. The SBDC offers several services that entrepreneurs find invaluable to building a great business plan. In particular, the SBDC will review the executive summary and provide feedback to the entrepreneurs before the official turn-in to the judges. Learn how to work with the SBDC and the deadlines involved at the orientation session. There is no charge for using the services of the SBDC, but you must submit the draft of your executive summary no later than Monday, April 1, 2019.

Working with the SBDC is optional, but strongly recommended.

STEP 3 – OFFICIALLY ENTER THE CONTEST:

Entrepreneurs officially enter i.d.e.a.WF by submitting six printed copies of their executive summary, a signed application form, and paying the $100 entry fee. The submissions and payment must be turned in at the Lalani Center for Entrepreneurship & Free Enterprise in Room 272 at Midwestern State University’s Dillard College of Business prior to the deadline: 5:00 PM on Wednesday, April 17, 2019.

STEP 4 – JUDGES PROVIDE FEEDBACK AND SELECT 15 SEMI-FINALISTS:

The judges begin their review of the executive summaries immediately. They review and comment on the summaries. They then meet to select the 15 semi-finalists who are invited to move to the next step in the competition and prepare full business plans. Entrepreneurs can retrieve their executive summaries and feedback from the Lalani Center after the judges’ decision is published. We’ll announce the finalists on the i.d.e.a.WF website on or before Friday, April 26, 2019.

STEP 5 – ATTEND A “HOW TO WRITE A BUSINESS PLAN” TRAINING SESSION:

How do you write a business plan?

Three identical training sessions will be held in Room 189 at Midwestern State University’s Dillard College of Business:

How to Write a Business Plan – Session 1 Tuesday, April 30, 2019 5:30 – 7:00 PM
How to Write a Business Plan – Session 2 Thursday, May 2, 2019 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
How to Write a Business Plan – Session 3 Monday, May 6, 2019 7:30 – 9:00 AM

Again, the sessions are identical, so you only need to attend one session. As with the orientations, the training sessions are optional but strongly recommended.

STEP 6 – WORK WITH THE SBDC TO REVISE AND FULLY DEVELOP YOUR PLAN:

Help is available before you submit your full business plan for the judging process. Consultants at the SBDC are trained to help you with research, developing your pro-forma financial statements, and can review and provide feedback on the readability and feasibility of your business plan. Again, there is no charge for using the services of the SBDC, but you must submit the draft of your business plan no later than Monday, July 8, 2019.

Working with the SBDC is optional, but strongly recommended.

STEP 7 – SEMI-FINALISTS SUBMIT BUSINESS PLAN FOR JUDGING:

Entrepreneurs must submit six copies of the full business plan to the Lalani Center for Entrepreneurship & Free Enterprise in Room 272 at Midwestern State University’s Dillard College of Business prior to the deadline: 5:00 PM on Wednesday, August 14, 2019.

STEP 8 – JUDGES PROVIDE FEEDBACK AND PICK 6 FINALISTS:

The judges begin their review of the business plans immediately. After their review, they again meet to select the 6 finalists who will make oral presentations to the judges. We will publish the judges’ decision on the website on or before Friday, August 23, 2019.

STEP 9 – ATTEND A “HOW TO PITCH” TRAINING SESSION:

How do you turn a business plan into an effective 15-minute oral presentation, more commonly called a “pitch”?

Two identical training sessions will be held in Room 248 at Midwestern State University’s Dillard College of Business:

How to Pitch a Plan to Investors – Session 1 Monday, August 26, 2019 5:30 – 7:00 PM
How to Pitch a Plan to Investors – Session 2 Tuesday, August 27, 2019 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM

The sessions are identical, so you only need to attend one session. The training sessions are optional, but strongly recommended.

STEP 10 – MAKE AN ORAL PRESENTATION TO THE JUDGES:

It all comes together on Friday, September 27, 2019 with our finalists making oral presentations to the judges. Our finalists don’t have to wait long to know how they did. The winners will be announced on Wednesday, October 2, 2019. Save the date, and make plans to attend!

STEP 11- LAUNCH AND GROW THE BUSINESS:

This is the most important step of all and is the mission of i.d.e.a.WF:
Creating jobs and economic opportunities for the citizens and businesses of Wichita Falls and our surrounding communities.

We want all entrants – regardless of how far they progressed in the contest – to become successful entrepreneurs!