The 2020 Be Your Own Boss Bowl is OPEN!


The Be Your Own Boss Bowl (BYOBB) Competition started in 1997 at Temple University as the “Business Plan Competition” and has since evolved into the Be Your Own Boss Bowl, one of the nation’s most lucrative pitch competitions for aspiring entrepreneurs.


The BYOBB is open to all Temple University students, alumni, faculty, and staff. The competition offers free mentorship, workshops, funding, and service prizes to entrepreneurs launching high-potential new ventures.

Enter your business idea in the Be Your Own Boss Bowl and you could win a piece of the $200k+ prize package! The first step is to get registered for the competition—once you do, we’ll send you more information about how you can request a mentor and next steps for preparing your submission!



BYOBB is open to Temple University undergraduate and graduate students, alumni, faculty, and staff.

  • Participants are encouraged to work in teams (up to four members) but may also enter as an individual entrepreneur.
  • Teams must register a team leader, list team members, and enter all submissions through the competition website.
  • The designated team leader must be a Temple University degree candidate (undergraduate or graduate), alumni, faculty, or staff. Teams may include additional members without ties to Temple (students from other universities, etc). While participants may be on more than one team, they may only be the Team Leader on one team.
  • The Temple University designated team leader must be part of the founding team and a significant equity holder, if equity has been distributed.
  • Temple University faculty and staff can provide an advisory, mentoring role to participants as long as they do not hold a stake in the student’s company either now or in the future.
  • Each participant will compete in one of three competition tracks:
    1. Undergraduate Track
    2. Upper Track: Graduate Student/Alumni/Faculty/Staff
    3. Social Impact
  • Any team with a member who is not an undergraduate student will automatically be grouped into the Upper Track.
  • Submissions may include a new or an existing business. Company expansions will not be accepted.
  • Existing businesses must be less than two years old as of January 30, 2020, have raised less than $50,000 from institutional funding (includes any funding from angel investors, VCs, and/or accelerator/incubator programs), and have gross sales of less than $100,000 as of December 31, 2019.
  • Previous First or Grand Prize BYOBB winners are not eligible with the same business idea. If you are a former First or Grand Prize BYOBB winner, and you have a new concept to enter, please contact Accelerator Director Greg Fegley at before entering to discuss.
  • Cross-discipline teams are encouraged. Only one entry may be submitted per team.
  • For-profit and social impact businesses are all eligible. Nonprofits are not eligible.

*Submissions 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.

*Faculty and staff who advise student ideas are ineligible to participate.
The selection committee reserves the right to determine when a conflict of interest exists.

Questions? Email


Step 1: Register for the Competition

Planning to participate? Make sure you register. You’ll then receive important information about the competition and helpful resources exclusive to competition participants. Registration is ongoing, but the sooner, the better!

Step 2: Request a Mentor Match

Mentors are the most valuable resource offered by the BYOBB. Fill out the mentor match request form and you will be paired with a mentor who has the expertise and experience needed to provide you with mentorship, insight, and support in completing your submission. Mentor matching will begin in January and the deadline for requesting a mentor is February 7th, 2020. Mentor matching happens on a first come, first serve basis and is not guaranteed.

Step 3: Submit Your Application


All submissions must include the following:

  • 1-2 page Executive Summary
  • 3-year financial forecast
  •  Pitch deck (Pitch deck guidelines are available when you register.)
    • In the “Notes” section of each slide, please be sure to include an explanation of content on that slide.
    • Please note that you do not need to follow the exact order of slides found in the guidelines, but you do need to include all of the information somewhere.
    • If you need 1-2 slides to convey topic-specific information, that is okay, but you should be able to deliver the presentation in 9 minutes.

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.


All finalists will be required to participate in the 1810 Accelerator Startup Studio.

GRAND PRIZE: $40,000
1st Place Track Prizes: $20,000
2nd Place Track Prizes: $10,000
3rd Place Track Prizes: $5000
4th Place Track Prizes: $5000

Non-cash prizes include accounting, legal and marketing services, and will be awarded after participation in the 1810 Startup Studio.

Questions? Email

Follow the Roadmap to Competition Success

Important Deadlines:

Step 1: BYOBB Registration
Now open. Register here.

Step 2: BYOBB Mentor Matching 
Opens January 2020 until February 7, 2020.

Step 3: Submissions Due via Wizehive 
March 18th, 2020. Wizehive submission portal will open on March 2nd.

Live Pitch Competition
April 16th, 2019 | 1-5pm

IEI hosts information sessions, workshops, and mentoring sessions throughout the semester to help participants prepare a successful submission to the BYOBB.

Questions? Email

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 Beacon and other organizations.

Sessions with entrepreneurial strategists, who will speak with you about any questions your team has—including strategy, marketing, financials, and other challenging sections of your submission. Sessions are available in person (at the 1810 Accelerator) or virtually.  Register here. Sessions will be available beginning January 2020.

Workshops and Mentoring Sessions will be held throughout the semester to help participants develop their submissions and receive feedback.

January 22nd — How I Won the BYOBB ft. 2017 Grand Prize Winner Nick Delmonico

January 29th — Workshop: Winning Pitch Decks

February 5th — Workshop: Business Models

February 12th — Workshop: Competitive Landscape

February 19th — Workshop: Financials Made Easy

February 26th — Workshop: Finalizing Your Submission

March 11th — ESA Peer Mentoring

March 16th — Expert Mentoring Night

Materials: Upon registering, you will receive a link to sample plans, workshop materials, and videos.

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.

Questions? Email

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). Join Founder Finder to find a co-founder or team members with the skills you’re looking for.

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 + Architecture, and Beasley School of Law to name a few.


How do I get assigned a mentor? Can I request specific characteristics in my mentor?
First, request your mentor by filling out the mentor request form. In this form, tell us what areas you need help in.

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

How do I get assigned a mentor?
Register for the competition and the IEI team will follow up with you to complete your mentor request.

What if I already have a mentor?
You are allowed to utilize that mentor, but let IEI know who the mentor is.

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.

Questions? Email