Rules & Guidelines

  1. The ODU Lion’s Lair Innovation Competition has two main tracks: 1) social entrepreneurship and 2) traditional entrepreneurship. You will enter your idea into one of these two tracks. The social entrepreneurship track is seeking new innovative solutions to social, cultural, or environmental problems. The traditional entrepreneurship track is seeking new innovative business or product ideas.
  2. In order to enter, the team leader must show their connection to the Hampton Roads community (i.e. resident, student, employee, etc.)
  3. Individuals may be a member of only one team. Teams may be as small as one person, and as large as seven (7) people.
  4. The team leader must identify all team members on the submission documents.
  5. Only one submission of a business venture per team is permitted. Attached documents/PowerPoint Presentations should not exceed 5 pages plus up to 5 pages of appendices (total of 10 pages). 
  6. Ideas submitted as part of a team’s business venture must represent the original work of the team members.
  7. If the venture has already received funding from any outside sources (angel investors, other competitions, etc.), amounts, investors and dates of funding must be disclosed in the initial entry. This competition is intended for businesses/ideas that have not received any formal outside investment from venture capital firms or other certified investors and that have received less than a total of $50,000 in outside funds by the start of 2018. It is expected that most businesses/ideas have yet to raise any monies.
  8. Submitted ideas are protected in the spirit of non-disclosure, and all entry materials will be treated as company confidential. The only people with access to the entry materials will be judges and select members of the organizing committee. Materials will not be distributed to any other party unless requested by an entrant team. No other provisions are made to protect intellectual property.
  9. Entrants must adhere to all submission deadlines and guidelines. Materials must be submitted on the appropriate due date, no later than 5:00 p.m. EST online at the ODU Lion’s Lair website ( No late submissions will be accepted and any submissions that exceed the maximum length will not be considered.
  10. Entries will be judged by a panel of independent professionals involved in entrepreneurship. Any entry is subject to minimum criteria in terms of market potential, viability and other factors, as determined by the judging panel’s experience. If no entries meet the minimum criteria, one or more prizes might not be awarded. Throughout any and all phases of the business plan competition, all decisions of the judges are final.
  11. Initial submissions will undergo a preliminary round of judging by a panel of judges. After the preliminary round of judging each team will be notified if they have been selected to move forward to the first round of the pitch competition. 
  12. The finalists will present their “Pitch Deck” (PowerPoint Presentations) to a panel of judges on March 23. Each finalist team will be given a maximum of five (5) minutes to present their plan followed by a maximum of (3) three minutes for a question-and-answer session between the presenting team and the panel of judges. Each presenting team will have three (3) minutes prior to its presentation for setup/preparation and three (3) minutes after the presentation for equipment dismantling.
  13. There is no requirement for a minimum number of finalists; reviewers and judges may determine that no plans are worthy of either finalist consideration or of prize awards.
  14. The top scores from each track (social entrepreneurship and traditional entrepreneurship) will move on to the final pitch competition round on March 30.
  15. Prize money is granted only to the participants of the winning team(s). Teams and their resultant business entities are responsible for any tax consequences of the prize.
  16. Prize money will be awarded by check or other methods to the winning team(s) members.
  17. The university reserves the right to disqualify, in its sole and absolute discretion, any team from the competition at any time for any reason. Reasons for disqualification may include but are not limited to, plagiarism and any other form of academic dishonesty, misappropriation or infringement of the intellectual property of others, and any failure to comply with these rules and regulations. Disqualified teams shall forfeit any and all prizes awarded to them.

Rev. 02-22-2018