9th Annual China Business Model Competition

Join the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, The Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Peking University and other top Chinese universities in a global business model competition. Students from the United States, China and Israel meet virtually in a structured on-line platform, develop and validate business models in cross-national teams. During the final competition at Peking University in Beijing, China students will pitch for a chance $15,000 (100,000RMB) in prizes.


Pre-Competition Work: April-May, 2015

Final Competition: May 29, 2015


Pre-competition team development and work will occur virtually on an online platform. The final competition is held at the Guanghua School of Management at Peking University in Beijing, China.


Participating students will have the opportunity to

  • Win cash prizes
  • Network with fellow MBA students and faculty from around the world and with competition judges and sponsors
  • Work in cross-cultural teams

Participating students will learn about

  • Virtual teaming and customer discovery
  • Designing a business model using Lean Startup framework
  • Use the Business Model Canvas to identify and develop a business idea
  • Better understand Chinese culture, norms and business practices
  • Prepare written and oral presentations and work as a team member
  • Improve pitching & presentation skills

Key Points

  • Students enter as individuals, not as teams.

  • Each student submits a video pitch of their idea that is judged by fellow students and expert judges.

  • The top 25% of ideas advance, and each advancing entrepreneur forms teams with those students whose ideas did not advance.

  • Students may also pitch themselves if they do not have an idea, but wish to participate and work on a team.

  • Teams then engage in customer discovery to validate initial ideas. On line video instruction at the competition website explains how to go about the customer discovery process.

  • Teams make two update video presentations one in April and one in May.

  • Students provide feedback for other teams and receive feedback from mentors and fellow students on their presentations.

  • Top teams in this process participate in the finals at Peking University in May.


Participants must register through their campus representative. Once registered, participants will be invited to an online platform where cross-national teams will be formed and ideas will be vetted. Students will receive guidance through the online platform. The final business idea pitch will be presented in English by the entire team and must address the following:

  • Impact on the Market
  • Customer Demand via Proven Customer Discovery
  • Profit Potential
  • Compelling & Feasible Business Model
  • Use of Funds


April 1: Competition Website Opens

April 5: 90-second Business Pitch Due

April 6: Pitch Voting Ends

April 7: Winners Announced

April 13: Teams Formed

April 20: 1st Presentation Posted

April 27: 1st Presentation Feedback Complete

May 10: 2nd Presentation Posted

May 15: 2nd Presentation Feedback Complete

May 29: Final Competition at Peking University in Beijing

Prize Categories

1. Most Disruptive or Innovative Idea / Highest Profit Potential (First Place, Second Place, Third Place)

The winner of the competition will present an idea that, in the view of the judges, will have the potential to radically change industries in a positive way for consumers and users and/or has the highest potential profit potential. Ideas that combine both these elements successfully will likely appeal to the broadest group of judges. Radical, disruptive ideas must have a plausible expectation of success. For example, while a teleportation machine would radically change the transportation industry, it is not a serious idea due to the current state of technology. Successful ideas will have a high level of product/market fit.

2. Best leveraging of resources in more than one of the following countries: the United States, China, and Israel (1 winner)

Ideas that leverage resources of both the United States and China will be given higher weight. To do this successfully, cross-cultural teams will be advantageous.

3. Best use of the Lean Startup Methodology (1 winner)

Teams that best used the business model canvas to facilitate their customer and business model discovery will be given higher weight in the judging.

4. Best in Category: Using Business to Solve Environmental Challenges (1 winner)

Most promising business that addresses or attenuates an environmental problem or the consequences of an environmental problem(s).

5. Audience Choice Award

All attendees, including competition participants, can vote for the team they think should win. 

6. Best on-line Feedback

This award is given to the top three student who provide feedback throughout the process. 


Teams will present a PowerPoint presentation of their business model to a panel of U.S. and Chinese judges appointed by the University of Maryland’s Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship and Guanghua School of Management at Peking University. Judges include a mix of entrepreneurs, faculty, investors and venture capitalists. Winning teams will be determined by their ability to meet the defined criteria, present and respond to questions as well as a clear understanding of customer discovery. Cash awards will be distributed during the competition on May 29th.

If interested, contact your campus representative or email any questions to ogi@rhsmith.umd.edu.

Guanghua School of Management   Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland

Robert H. Smith School of Business
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