For Judges:
National Business Plan
Competition Guide

The National Business Plan Competition represents an opportunity for the Virtual Enterprises International (VE) community to motivate and reward its best performing VE teams, while showcasing the sophisticated knowledge and skills that VE students acquire, which are often attributed to college students and business professionals. This guide has been developed to provide judges with event information and an introduction to VE.

Additional support for the competition is being provided by private-sector partners, institutions of higher education and many individuals who believe in VE’s mission. Thank you!

Introduction & Overview

About the National Business Plan Competition

The VEI National Business Plan Competition challenges VE students from across the country to demonstrate their global business expertise through written submissions and oral presentations. As a judge, you will use the VE Competition Manager to score the following:

  • Executive Summaries – each judge will be assigned a set of submissions to be rated prior to the day of the live competition
  • Oral Business Plan Presentations and Q&A sessions – live Video Conference meetings where students present, then respond to judges’ questions

About VE

How VE Works

Instructions for Judging Online

Judging Tutorial

Jump to: Step-by-Step Instructions  |  Troubleshooting Issues


Step-by-Step Instructions 

Click to enlarge

Troubleshooting Any Issues With the Online Scoring System

  • Try logging out and logging back in.
  • Try using a different web browser (Chrome works best, Firefox and Safari should work fine, we have encountered issues with Internet Explorer) OR updating for the latest version of your browser.
  • If possible, try on another device.
  • If none of these work, please reach out to your Competition Coordinator, if possible, attach a screen shot so we can forward to our developer to further investigate the issue.

Judges Code of Ethics

By serving as a judge for a Virtual Enterprises, International competition, I agree to evaluate student work and performance in a fair, unbiased, and impartial manner. I fully commit to:

  • make my evaluations based entirely on the teams’ or student’s presentation or deliverables,
  • give scores based solely on my own review of the team(s) or student(s) and not be influenced by other judges’ opinions, comments, or scoring, and
  • judging without discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, or sexual orientation.

The VE National Business Plan Competition guides and material were developed by Virtual Enterprises International. It is the policy of Virtual Enterprises International not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, national origin, handicapped conditions, sexual orientation or gender in its educational programs, services, activities and employment policies. Under applicable copyright laws, you are prohibited from copying, reproducing, adapting, distributing, displaying, or transmitting any of the content of this Guide, or the National Competition itself, without express written permission. Application for permission to reprint any section of this material or use the program in any way should be made in writing to Virtual Enterprises International, 122 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10023. For information, call VE at (212) 769-2710

Judging the Executive Summary

Jump to: Business Rationale  |   About the Business   |   Marketing Plan   |   Financials    |   Understanding Limitations

How well does the executive summary demonstrate an understanding of the VE marketplace? How well does it summarize the business? Is it compelling?


Business Rationale

  • Does the company summarize their customers’ needs or frustrations and how they translate into their business model approach?
  • Is it clear what problem the company is trying to solve? Are the root causes and associated emotions addressed? How well does the company describe how their product or service addresses the problem statement?
  • Are goals and objectives of the firm clearly stated?


About the Business

  • Is the description of the business and mission statement clearly articulated? Are they relevant?
  • Is the firm organized and structured to meet their stated goals and objectives?


Marketing Plan

  • Does the firm clearly define their Target Market?
  • Are business risks identified and strategies for dealing with risks provided?


Financials Highlights & Projections

  • May include the Break Even Analysis, Sales Projection Summary, Profit and Loss Summary, Balance Sheet, or Cash Budget
  • How well does the company explain relevant financial highlights and projections?


Understanding the Limitations of the Simulation

  • Firms do not have the ability to control their factors of production, e.g. they do not have the ability to decide where their factories are located or where they source their raw materials
  • No actual products are exchanged, a product will be “virtually” delivered to customers
  • Firms may enter contracts with “Non-VE” entities to subsidize employee payroll expenses. Revenues from these contracts should be broken out on the financial statements.

Judging the Oral Business Plan Presentation
– Event Day Instructions

Jump to: Before Each Presentation   |   Q&A Session   |   Score Sheet

Judges will receive a 15-minute orientation with a VE staff member to answer any questions from the materials sent through email. Judges will be sent to breakout rooms and each firm will join the room at their designated presentation time. A VE moderator will be in the breakout room to facilitate the presentations, keep time, direct the order of the questioners, and coordinate the feedback session.


Before Each Presentation

The moderator will:

  • request that all judges briefly introduce themselves to the students;
  • remind teams that they will have a maximum of 10 minutes to present;
  • inform teams that they will not be interrupted during their presentations;
  • explain that the judges’ questions will follow the team’s presentation for a maximum of 5 minutes and feedback for a maximum of 10 minutes.

Q&A Session

Maximum time of up to 5 minutes.

  • Judges will ask each team an “Anchor Question”
  • Additional questions will be provided. Judges are welcome to ask their own providing they are reasonable based on Virtual Enterprise business practices.
  • Questions should be simple and direct, confined to information contained in the team’s business plan and related topics. You are encouraged to ask follow-up questions related to the data, analyses, or other information contained in the presentation.

Completing the Score Sheet

  • Enter a number from 1 to 5 for each section.
    – Refer to the Oral Business Plan Presentation Rubric for explanations of section components
  • After each presentation, judges should award a temporary score on the Score Sheet
  • Once all presentations are completed, judges should go back and award a final score to each team on the Competitions Manager
  • Awarding a temporary score first and then, a final score, will help reduce the bias that sometimes favors teams that present last.
  • The moderator will advise you of the penalty if a team goes over the time limit.

Thank you for your valuable contribution to our program!

The feedback session is NEW this year, and was added as an opportunity for students to receive immediate, helpful input from our judges. This time is meant to help students understand their strengths and to identify areas for improvement. Effective feedback includes specific guidance and clear actionable steps the team can take back to their firm to implement improvements. Feedback will NOT count toward the firm scores.

Resource Documents for Judging

Business Plan Competition Rubrics

Download 2020-21 Business Plan Competition Rubrics

Business Plan Competition Score Sheets

Instructions: Print the competition score sheets to use as you are judging a firm’s executive summary or oral business plan presentation. Please ensure these scores and comments are also entered in the online scoring system (Competitions Manager) for firms to receive their feedback. You can enter half-star score increments like 3.5 or 4.5 if you prefer to do so. A score of five is outstanding and a score of one needs significant improvement.

Download 2020-21 Business Plan Competition Score Sheet