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UTSA College of Business

What's your Big Rowdy Idea?
Business Model Competition

The expressed purpose of the CITE Business Model Competition is to prepare participants to launch scalable entrepreneurial ventures while simultaneously pursuing their degree program or working at UTSA.

Eligibility Criteria


Open to all UTSA students (undergraduates, graduates, doctoral) of any major, postdocs, staff and faculty.

Team Formation

Maximum of 6 members. We encourage interdisciplinary teams.

Nature of Idea/Venture

The business submissions must be the team’s own original work and ideas.
We accept any type of project/idea as long as it is scalable.
We do not accept buyouts, expansion of existing companies, real estate syndications, tax shelters, franchises, licensing agreements for distribution in a different geographical area, or spinouts from an existing corporation.

Investment and Revenue

Team/companies who have received more than $100K of investment (of any source) prior to the current academic year are not eligible to compete.
No revenues should be received by competing teams/companies prior to the current academic year.

Key Dates and Activities

August 15

Applications open

October 2

Application deadline

October 8

Announcement of Top 15 teams advancing to the First Round – Kick off Meeting

October 9-29

1. Watch all required Lean Launchpad Videos
2. Create your first Business Model Canvas (BMC) in Launch Pad Central (LPC)*1 Platform. Minimum required sections: Value Proposition & Customer Segments
3. Conduct Customer Interviews to validate assumptions stated on your BMC. 

October 30

Mid Program Presentations*2
1. Submit a 3-minute video stating your "Business thesis": What is your product/service?, Who is your customer?, and Why would they buy it?. And provide a summary of what you learned about your Value Propositions & Customer Segments: (Hypothesis) Here is what we thought…, (Experiment) Here is what we did…, (Results) Here is what we found/learned…, (Iterate) And here is what we are going to do next.

October 31-November 18

1. Continue improving your BMC
2. Continue testing your assumptions stated on your BMC.
3. Prepare and submit presentation for Second Round Live Pitches: Lesson’s Learned and What’s Next?

November 19

1. Second Round Live Pitches*2 (5’ pitch & 2’ Q&A) –

Teams that watched all required LPC videos, completed "Value Proposition" and "Customer Segments" Sections of their BMC, and conducted & uploaded good quality customer interviews*3 to LPC will have the opportunity to pitch in this round.

2. Top 5 finalists will be announced.

November 20-28

Practice pitch sessions with mentor

November 29

Final Round Public Competition - Top 5 Teams pitching at the Tech Symposium Day – 7’ Pitch – 3’ Q&A*2

*1 UTSA CITE will reimburse subscription to LPC Platform. Instructors and mentors will be providing guidance on your BMC and Customer Discovery Process through LPC Platform.
*2 Sample presentations and pitch decks will be provided.
*3 There are several ways to conduct interviews and we will guide you on the different types of customer interviews that you can do. Your team might be able to easily conduct 5 to 10 customer interviews in one weekend depending on your project. More customer interviews = Better Business Model = Better changes of winning the competition.


1st Place

$5,000 Cash
$5,000 Investment
In-Kind Services*4

2nd Place

$1,500 Cash & In-Kind Services*4

3rd Place

$1,000 Cash & In-Kind Services*4

Note: Projects that are technology enabled will qualify for an award of up to $2,000 for prototype/proof of concept expenses related to their project. Condition for the award: watch all LLP Videos, BMC complete, uploaded a minimum of 30 (valid) customer interviews to LLP , and pitch in the Second Round on November 19. More details about the award will be provided at the Kick off Meeting.
*4 Office space at SATC or Geekdom membership, incorporation documents, possibility to protect invention through UTSA  (Valued at ~$75k).

Judging Criteria

1st Round: CITE administration will select 15 projects/ideas based on how innovative the idea is and how well the team was able to state the pain of the customer, market potential, solution and market entry strategy in their Big Idea Hypothesis.

2nd and Final Round: Each of the elements below will be scored on a 5-point scale by judges independently, and then those scores will be tallied and compiled for a total possible score of 25 points per team. The teams will then be ranked according to their aggregate score.

  1. How well did the team identify the assumptions crucial to their business?
  2. How well did they design and carry out their tests? (test with customers and/or partners)
  3. How well did the team take action based on the results of the test? (pivot, retest assumptions, etc.)
  4. Did they arrive at a viable business model?
  5. How unique is their value proposition and have they identified barriers to entry? (Who are your competitors? How are you different? What tests show that customers would prefer your solution?)

The following criteria will serve as tiebreakers:

  1. Is the team solving a significant problem (defined in terms of money or impact)?
  2. Does the team/company have a proof of concept/prototype built?
  3. Does the team have significant evidence that the solution is validated (includes letters of intent, purchase contracts, sales and partners)?


Click here to fill out the Application Form (log in using your UTSA Credentials) and download the Big Idea Canvas that will help you develop your Big Idea Hypothesis. After you submit your application, please send an electronic copy of your completed "Big Idea Canvas" (both pages) to Your submission won't be considered "complete" until we receive your canvas. You will receive a confirmation email when your canvas and application have been received by the CITE Administration Team.

Don’t have an idea but want to be part of a project? Teams are always looking for passionate entrepreneurs with any background to form a diverse and interdisciplinary team that can increase their chances of succeeding. Please fill out this form and we will connect you with teams that are looking for people like you.

If you have any questions or problems submitting your application, please contact Diego Capeletti at or at (210) 458-6559.



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