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Princeton Class of 1976

Class of '76 Green Business Plan Competition

Entry Guidelines

The competition is open to Princeton undergraduate and graduate students only. The submitted plans must focus on a business that brings environmental benefits. These plans will be evaluated on the benefit as well as business viability.

Submission Requirements

  • Cover Page: Please submit in a separate file labeled with your business plan name (e.g. revino.doc) which contains the following information:
    • Business Name
    • Names of all proponents and the name of the faculty adviser or instructor, if any.
    • Business Plan Key Contact information – name, email address, mobile number.
  • Business Plan: Please submit in a PDF file format labeled with your business plan name (e.g. revinoplan.pdf). The business plan should be no more than 10 pages, including appendices. Graphs and charts may be used. The plan should include a one page executive summary, plan details and financials.

  • Student Names: No student names should appear within the business plan document. You may use a generic title for the specific management team member. For example, CEO has experience in…. 

  • Student Agreement. We require your approval to allow us to publish your name on our website and program and any other marketing materials as a semi-finalist and finalist participant. Please fill in the information in the form and save the document with your last name and first initial (e.g. millerj.doc).

Submission Date

The deadline for business plan submission is Friday, January 14, 2011, no later than 5 p.m. 

Business Plan Evaluation Process

Judges for this competition are Class of '76 alumni, who come with a diverse background and experience. Their expertise includes environmental business ventures, financial, legal, venture start-ups, non-profit, and community development. Student business plan competitors will benefit from the range of diversity of the alumni feedback on their plans.

Stage 1: Selection of Semi-Finalists

  • Judges will screen proposals and select semi-finalists without information regarding student identities and will abide by the confidentiality requirements for this competition.
  • Each plan will be evaluated by a panel of three judges.
  • Plans will be evaluated against the criteria set forth in the Judging Criteria section.
  • Based on its evaluations, judges will determine the semi-finalists. The judges will select as many semi-finalists as time and numbers permit for presentations and number of judging panels.
  • All plan proponents will be notified of the status of their selection
    on February 4, 2011.
  • All plan proponents will receive an overview of the judges' evaluation, including strengths and areas for improvement.
  • If a plan is not selected for presentation, the judges will not be able to provide further feedback but will, if possible, suggest a Class of '76 member or other resource for mentoring.
  • All plan proponents, whether selected or not, will have the opportunity to showcase their green business plan for viewing in the competition area on Alumni Day, Saturday, February 26, 2011. This is a great opportunity to interact with Class of '76 alumni during the competition and at the reception.

Stage 2: Semi-Finalist Presentations and Finalist Selection

  • Semi-finalists will be notified about the details of the location and timing of their presentation. Presentations will be held in the morning of Alumni Day, Saturday, February 26.
  • Each semi-finalist is to make a 15 minute oral presentation. 10 minutes will then be available to the student presenter for Q&A from the judges. Presentations may include slides or videos.
  • Each presentation will be evaluated by a panel of judges, with a blend of expertise against the same criteria used in the screening process. Judges may request comments or assistance from faculty members or other experts if necessary.
  • After the semi-finalist presentations are complete, judges will select the two finalists.

Stage 3: Finalist Presentation and Winner Awards

  • At the beginning of the Class of '76 reception later in the afternoon on February 26, the two finalists will present their business plans before the entire group of judges, members of the Class of '76 and any other interested University community members.
  • After the presentations, the judges will evaluate the two business plan concepts against the general criteria to select the first and second place winners.
  • The winners of the competition will be announced at the reception on Alumni Day, Saturday, February 26, 2011.
  • All participants in the Class of '76 Green Business Plan Competition are invited to attend the afternoon reception.

Judging Criteria

Criteria Value
A clear strategy and well-defined, measurable objectives for environmental benefit. 30%
Financial sustainability of project. 30%
Capacity to meet operational and organizational requirements of project. 30%
Effective and convincing presentation. 10%

The percentage awarded in each category serves as a guideline and the judges will apply their knowledge and experience to evaluate each set of criteria. Some of the factors to be considered are in Appendix 1. No particular weight will be applied to any of the examples in Appendix 1.


Only Princeton undergraduate and graduate students are eligible for these awards. Princeton University Class of '76 members generously donated their time, talents and money for this green business plan competition through the Spirit of Service '76 initiative.

Confidentiality and Outside Interests

Class of '76 reviewers and judges will hold all non-public information received from plan proponents in confidence and will only use it for the purposes of the competition unless the proponents consent otherwise. No reviewer or judge will consider any plan that is competitive with, or that otherwise affects, his or her business interests or those of an organization for which he or she is an employee, director, member, manager or associate. If:

  • An existing for-profit or non-profit organization other than Princeton University or Princeton-related organizations has an interest (financial, supporting or intellectual property) in the proposal, or
  • A proponent is associated with such an organization that reasonably might have such an interest,
  • a memo must be attached to the cover of the business plan, containing the following:

    • Name of organization.
    • A brief explanation of organization's interest.
    • Name of any proponents associated with the organization and a brief explanation of the relationship.

    The disclosure is intended to prevent conflicts between the organization and the University or the judges.

More Information

For more information or questions regarding the competition, contact

Princeton Environmental Institute
Pace Center
Princeton Entrepreneurship Club
Princeton Class of 1976