Be Your Own Boss Bowl


Grown to one of the largest in the country, the Be Your Own Boss Bowl Competition started in 1997 at Temple University as the “Business Plan Competition.” The name changed to “Be Your Own Boss Bowl” in 2007, the year of the 10th Anniversary of the competition.

Developed by the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute, this innovative business plan competition encourages Temple students, alumni, faculty and staff to discover all aspects of entrepreneurship, networking and how to write strategic business plans.

 2018 BYOBB Guidelines Coming Soon!

Click here to sign up for the BYOBB email list and stay up-to-date.

Check out the full list of 2017 Be Your Own Boss Bowl Winners


BYOBB is open to ALL Temple University affiliates: undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Participants are encouraged to work in teams (up to four members) but may also enter as an individual entrepreneur.

  • Each participant will compete in one of four competition tracks:
    1. Undergraduate Track
    2. Upper Track: Graduate Student / Faculty / Staff / Alumni
    3. Social Innovation Venture Track
    4. Urban Health Track
  • Any team with a member who is not an undergraduate student will automatically be grouped into the Upper Track.
  • Teams may include members without ties to Temple (students from other universities, etc.), but the team leader must be affiliated with Temple University.
  • Submissions may include a new or an existing business.
  • Company expansions will not be accepted.
  • Existing businesses must be less than two years old and have raised less than $50,000 from external funding.
  • For-profit and social impact businesses are all eligible. Nonprofits are not eligible.

*Plans that are written by others and submitted under false pretenses into the Be Your Own Boss Bowl® are expressly prohibited and subject to Temple University disciplinary policies regarding code of conduct and cheating.


Step 1: Register

Complete the registration form and submit an Opportunity Description.

Deadline March 6

After registering, you will be assigned a mentor and begin to receive updates about resources supporting the BYOBB competition. You will also receive a link to sample winning business plans and an e-book about creating high-quality pitch decks.

Step 2: Apply

Deadline March 22, 11:59 pm

Download the 2017 Business Plan Template
Please use spell check, proper grammar and complete sentences. Do not use slang, curse words or overly casual English. Consider having your business plan reviewed by a professor, professional colleague, the Temple Writing Center or your assigned mentor prior to submission.


GRAND PRIZE: $40,000

1st Place $20K $20K $20K $20K
2nd Place $10K $10K $10K
Runner Up $5K $5K $5K
Runner Up $5K $5K $5K

Non-cash prizes include accounting, legal and marketing services, as well as entry into the IEI Summer Studio.

Follow the Roadmap to Competition Success

Idea Competition 2016 Process

Action Date / Time / Location Details
Starting Registering and Receive a Mentor HERE By March 6th
How I Won the BYOBB & Information Session December 5 5:30 – 7:00 pm IEI Lab Alter Hall, 503D Hear from previous BYOBB winners on how they found success and learn more about this year’s competition. RSVP here.
Information Session Webinar January 20 12pm
RSVP here
Presented by Ellen Weber
Submissions Due March 22 Submissions due by 11:59 pm
Presentations and Awards Reception April 20 1:00 pm Auditorium 5:00 pm Undergraduate Commons  

How Do I Get Help?

IEI Resources

BYOBB One-on-one mentoring with an experienced entrepreneur that you are matched to based on your needs and industry.  Mentors come through the Greater Philadelphia Senior Executive Group (GPSEG) and other organizations.

BYOBB On-demand mentoring sessions with senior executives on the financials, strategy, marketing, and other challenging sections of your business plan.  Sessions take place in the Alter Hall, IEI Lab (503d).  The two dates are:

  • Wednesday, March 8 @12:00 pm
  • Monday, March 20 @ 4:00 pm

Sessions with entrepreneurial strategists, who will speak with you over the phone about any questions your team has.  Please come prepared, as you are limited to 30 minutes and one session per company. Sign up here.

IEI information and mentoring sessions held in the IEI Lab, 503D – Alter Hall and led by Temple faculty and experienced industry professionals. See the calendar for upcoming dates. The Info Session PowerPoint Presentation is also available for download.

Fireside Chat series: Gain real-world information and speak with successful entrepreneurs, some of whom have won prizes in the BYOBB.

Workshops: Attend an upcoming workshop or browse the archive.

Materials: Upon registering, you will receive a link to sample plans and an e-book on creating high-quality pitch decks.

Temple University Resources

Blackstone Launchpad: Get help in creating your business plan.

Temple University Writing Center: Stop by or make an appointment.

ESA Workshops: Attend a workshop and receive peer mentoring.

Develop a pro forma: Download Dave Ziler’s presentation here.

Frequently Asked Questions


Are you required to have a Temple student on your team?
The team leader must have a Temple affiliation (undergraduate, graduate, faculty, staff or alumni). The team leader must be a founder of the company and actively involved.

I need some help building my team. Where can I go?
You can try the Entrepreneurial Student Association (ESA), Blackstone Launchpad, or the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute (IEI). Our co-founder matching service is coming soon.

I am not a Fox School of Business student. Can I participate?
You can do it, and we can help – You do not have to be a Fox School of Business student or alum to participate, place or win in this competition. In fact, BYOBB® winners have come from the College of Engineering, College of Liberal Arts, School of Tourism and Hospitality Management, Tyler School of Art, and Beasley School of Law to name a few.


Can you request specific characteristics in your mentor?
Yes. In the Opportunity Description, make your request in the “What are you looking for in a mentor?” section. We suggest that a mentor fills a gap in your team’s skill set.

What happens if my mentor isn’t helpful?
Contact Ellen Weber at This rarely happens, but if it does, we will match you with someone else.

How do I get assigned a mentor?
Go to the BYOBB Registration page of this website, complete the form with the proper attachment and we will match you with a mentor. You must complete this by January 31st.

What if I already have a mentor?
You are allowed to utilize that mentor, but let IEI know who the mentor is. (Include in your Opportunity Description.)

Do you ask mentors to sign Nondisclosure Agreements (NDAs)?
We do not ask mentors to sign NDAs. Investors will not sign them either. Investors and mentors pride themselves on the practice of highest respect and care of the confidentiality of all information received. If you have any questions about the level of information to share with them, you should ask. For example, you can share that you have a patent and how it differentiates you, but you should not share the code or contents of the patent without an NDA.

Can I ask everyone who comes into contact with my business plan sign an NDA?
BYOBB reviewers, judges, mentors and team will not sign non-disclosure (NDAs) or confidentiality agreements. Although we respect how unique your idea or innovation may be, it is highly likely that we’ve seen similar ideas due to the number of plans we see and the number of projects we work on.  We pride ourselves on our practice of the highest respect and care of the confidentiality of all information received, aiming to treat you as we ourselves wish to be treated. Reputation concerns (never mind time constraints) eliminates the risk that someone would steal your idea.  However, you should not forward patent or trademark information to us; just letting us know that patent work is underway is sufficient at this stage.


Does the Fox School of Business or Temple University take an equity stake in companies who win BYOBB?

The Plan

Do the financials count as part of the 10 pages?
No. That is a separate section of the plan. Financials should include your assumptions and a 3 year income statement.

Where should I put information about a potential Exit plan?
It should go in the Road Map section of the plan. Note that investors care about an exit, but not every company has an exit.

Should the format of my plan include 10 pages double-spaced or 10 pages single-spaced?
the plan should be 10 pages single-spaced.

How many years out should my pro-forma income statement be?
A-Your pro forma income statement should be for 3 years out.  While it is very difficult to predict what your income and expenses will be that far out, it helps you understand the growth potential of your company, and helps the judges understand what type of company you are creating. If you have actual revenues and expenses already, please include those years as well.

Do I need to include assumptions in my pro-forma income statement?
Yes. You will be judged on your assumptions as much as the actual statement itself.