M West Challenge

West Michigan's regional business plan competition.

Welcome to the 2016 MWest Challenge, a student venture competition designed to create cross collaboration between students that span across several universities from West Michigan. Through MWest, entrepreneurially minded students are able to develop and grow new ventures based on their own ideas. MWest involves eight West Michigan colleges and universities, representing 75,000 students from: Grand Valley State University, Kendall College of Art and Design, Davenport University, Aquinas College, Calvin College, Cornerstone University, Grand Rapids Community College, Kuyper College, and Hope College.

Executive Summary Guidelines


  1. Executive summary should not exceed 3 pages in a Word document format 
  2. If you are submitting this in a PowerPoint format, each section can be placed on a slide (7 slides max)
  3. Each section contains a set of questions or guides that should be answered briefly in a bulleted format.  Please do not submit a narrative for each section

Company Summary

  • When did you start working on this idea?
  • Who is in your team?
  • What are their skill sets and expertise?
  • Do you have any advisors or mentors (both faculty and from the community)?
  • Is this an established business?
  • Do you have any strategic partners?

Customers and Problem

  • Who is your customer (be very specific and descriptive)?
  • Describe the customer need that you are addressing or the problem you are trying to solve.
  • What is the pain point for your customer?
  • Describe your target market in terms of age, income, gender, geographic location, etc. (any 
  • pertinent factors).   
  • How big is the opportunity?


  • Describe your idea for solving the customer’s pain or problem?  
  • How does your solution solve the problem/meet their needs? 
  • Include images, if available.

Competitive Analysis and Unique Value Proposition

  • Who is your competition? 
  • How is your proposed solution/product unique or different from the competition?
  • How is it better than the competition?

Customer Validation

  • Did you talk to customers?
  • How many?
  • What key insights did you get from talking to your customers?  Were you able to validate the significance of the pain or problem?  Were you able to validate that your idea or solution addresses their pain or problem?

Value Creation and Revenue Model

  • What are you selling?  Is it a product or a service?
  • How will you make money?
  • What are your costs?
  • What is the market willing to pay for your product/service?

Go to Market Strategy

  • How will customers buy your product/service?  What is the customer buying process?  
  • Distribution Channel:  How the product gets from manufacturer to market?  How the product is sold and who helps sell it?
  • Communication Channel:  How will you market and promote your product/service?