Abstract

Increasingly, entrepreneurship education has become a heighten area of concentration in academia. Courses in entrepreneurship are taught at a majority of AACSB accredited institutions of higher education in the United States (Katz, 2007; Levenburg, Lane, & Schwarz, 2006; Honig, 2004). Currently, a primary means of assessment in entrepreneurial education consist of having students research, develop and write a business plan for a new venture (Katz, 2007; Honig, 2004).

In fact, business plan competitions have increased over the years (Honig, 2004). Sponsors have either been universities themselves or private industry (Honig, 2004). The intent of such competitions is assumed to enhance new venture creation. For instance, formal academic courses centered on entrepreneurship have been found to increase the entrepreneurial intentions of students (Zhao, Seibert, & Hills, 2005; Honig, 2004). Further, it has been demonstrated that business plan winners receive greater venture capital funding compared to ordinary entrepreneurial firms seeking capital directly from a venture capitalist (Katz, 2007). Therefore, several motivational factors may be at play prompting a student to enter a business plan competition.

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