B-Plan Competition

6th SJIM-Albers International B-Plan Competition

It is 2022 and it has been more almost seven years since most countries adopted the Paris Agreement. And yet, our biggest cities, with their massive populations and ever-increasing pollution levels, remain devoid of sufficient greenery to sustain a healthy life for theirinhabitants. Can we change the face of our big cities? Can we increase their “lung” capacity? How do we make them greener and thus more inhabitable?

Would you like to take part in a competition that is trying to find a scalable solution towards making our cities more green? Would you like to collaborate across continents on an impactful assignment?

St. Joseph’s Institute of Management (SJIM, India) and the Albers School of Business (Seattle University, USA) invite you to join hands with students at Albers and SJIM to create the best business plan to solve this crucial problem. You will be part of a virtual team, collaborating over the internet and harnessing different countries’ technical and social expertise towards a critical global issue.

The business plans of all participating teams will be judged by prominent and successful jury members from across the globe. The three finalist teams will get to present and debate their case in front of a distinguished panel at Albers or SJIM, either in-person or virtually.

So join us today to win this unique multi-school multi-nation b-plan competition!

Competition Topic
It is now estimated that by 2050, over 68% of the world’s population will be living in cities. Thus, with city-living being the likely state of life for most people in the future, have we stopped to think of the quality of life in cities – not just for our own lives but also that of our future generations?

Several cities across the world face the similar environmental problems such asshrinking green spaces, increasing concretization,higher levels of particulate matter in the air, urban heat island effects, and many more. Today, there is a greater awareness that many of these problems can be mitigated, or even resolved, if we only have more greenery in our cities. The difficulty with this solution is where to develop green spaces in cities that are built for people to live and work. Urban planning, especially in developing countries, focuses on maximum utilization of limited city space for human productivity and living. As a consequence, green spaces are given the lowest priority.

During his launch of the green initiative in 2021, as part of the larger Laudato Si Action Platform, Pope Francis decried "our predatory attitude, which makes us feel that we are masters of the planet and its resources, and authorises us to make irresponsible use of the goods God has given us." Instead, he urged people to make their living spaces and working spaces more environmentally sustainable.

To create more green space in our cities or make them greener, it would be difficult to reclaim land already developed for city life. Your solution must therefore fit into the existing city infrastructure without excessive disruption so that it serves as a viable solution to make cities greener; as a change that people in cities will be willing to make.

Therefore, your task as a business entrepreneur in these new and challenging times is to lead the charge on making our cities green. Can you develop a business model that will create green spaces in a manner that is scalable across the huge cities in your respective countries? Think beyond just awareness campaigns and social activism. Can you make a real difference using your business acumen and leveraging the inter-disciplinarynature of your team?

Working in virtual teams, can you develop a financially sustainable and technologically feasible and scalable business idea that will create urban green spaces in our cities?

Remember, you can tackle this problem from any angle and with whatever extent of technicality you wish. Your business idea can cater to the situation either in the United States, Mexico, Taiwan, India or any combination, or it can even be at the global level.

Competition Demands
While this competition is co-hosted by St. Joseph’s Institute of Management (SJIM, India) and the Albers School of Business and Economics (Seattle University, USA), the students of all courses/departments/programs/schools at ITESO, Fu Jen University, Seattle University and of the St. Joseph’s group of institutions are eligible to join.

The only infrastructure you need is a data connection! After registration, all students will be assigned to teams. Ideally, each team will comprise of a minimum of two students from each country. However, team sizes might vary based on the number of registrations.

Each team has about a month to formulate a 7-10 page business plan, and so the demand on each individual’s time may be 1-2 hours a week, over a four week period.

For the first round, the business plan should be submitted in a doc/docx/pdf format. All submissions will be passed through anti-plagiarism software. The document should use Times New Roman 12-point font with 1-inch margins all round. The length of the document must be a maximum of 10 pages, excluding any appendices. Judges will read, but not evaluate, any appendices. The required structure of the business plan is below.
Cover page, which includes the name of the proposed company and the names of the team members.
The Idea: one page dedicated to explaining the idea (or your solution) in brief.
The People: The men and women who will be starting and running the venture, their roles, details about any outside parties providing key services or important resources, and so on.
The Opportunity: A profile of the business itself – what it will sell and to whom, whether the business can grow and how fast, what its economics are, who and what stand in the way of success.
The Context: The bigger picture – the regulatory environment, demographic trends, technological trends and developments, and any other factor that will inevitably change but cannot be controlled by you (the entrepreneur). How will you be prepared to deal with the inevitable change in the environment?
Risk and Reward: An assessment of everything that can go wrong and right, and a discussion of how the entrepreneurial team can respond.
Appendices, if any.
The structure listed above is adapted from an article by William Sahlman, Baker Foundation Professor of Business Administration (Emeritus) at Harvard Business School. All teams are encouraged to read this short article, which is available by clicking here

For the final round, the business plan should be submitted in a ppt/pptx format. The structure of the presentation will follow the broad structure of the written plan. Each team will have 15 minutes to present their plan. After all teams have presented their plan, the judges will give each team a set of questions to answer. All teams will get 20 minutes to discuss between themselves, including with overseas team members via the internet. Thereafter, the teams will have to give their answers to the judges.

Competition Judges
For the First Round:

For the first round of this competition, we have judges from across the globe who are experts on this year’s competition topic. This multi-member panel of judges will shortlist the three best business plans for the final.

Pelle Lütken (Denmark)

Pelle is a Policy Specialist on Governance and Peacebuilding with UNDP. He supports countries in developing Responsive and Accountable Institutions at both national and local level. Pelle has worked in Copenhagen, Geneva, Damascus, Amman and New York over the past 12 years. His experience spans across sectors with a shared focus on corporate social responsibility in the private sector, international organizations such as the UNDP and ILO, and civil society projects. This mix of experiences reflects his belief in forming a platform of multistakeholder partnerships to improve living conditions in the most fragile and vulnerable areas of the world. Pelle holds a postgraduate degree in corporate social responsibility from the University of Geneva.

Steve William Azeumo (Cameroon)

Steve is a Consultant in Competitive Intelligence, Due Diligence, and Strategic Watch. He is a member of the African Center for Competitive Intelligence (ACCI) and Founder of PRESDIE, a firm specializing in Competitive Intelligence. Steve is also the managing partner at Cabinet Bridge Structure Engineering Consulting.Sarl and Country Coordinator of a business incubator, the Economy of Communion International Incubating Network (EoC-IIN), which was founded in 12 countries in the world. EoC-IIN focuses on projects with high social and environmental impact. He has authored the book “L’intelligence Economique Camerounaise” and contributed to “Les reseaux sociaux: ce qu’ils ont fait de nous, ce que nous devons en faire”. Steve graduated from the Higher School of Information and Communication Sciences and Techniques (ESSTIC) and the faculty of Economics and Management of University of Dschang (UDS), Cameroon in Business Administration.

For the Final Round:
The final round will involve finalists presenting their b-plans to a multi-member panel of judges from America or India, depending on the location of the final round. Each of these judges will bring their expertise to bear at this competition. At the end of this round, the best business plan will be chosen.

Haresh Ved

Managing Partner, Cronus Ventures

Kyle Vixie

Chief of Staff, Quixotic Labs

Randy Massengale

President, Spinoza Technology


21 Oct 2022 Registration opens (click here).
02 Dec 2022 Registration closes
05 Dec 2022 Teams will be announced
28 Feb 2023 All teams must submit a softcopy of their b-plans. Click here to submit.
27 March 2023 Announcement of the THREE finalist teams on the competition webpage.
31 March 2023 All finalists must submit their final presentation. Click here to submit.
01 April 2023 Live presentation by the finalists to a panel of judges.

Important Links
Registration (team or single): https://forms.gle/GYnsTbifqDofw9hD6
Note: maximum of 2 students from any school per team

Submission of b-plan for first round: https://forms.gle/ti7aCxs1UwBWzNuQ7
Submission of b-plan for second round: https://forms.gle/pzAqDZLftsp6DrNb7

How to Join?
Please register by filling up this form: https://forms.gle/GYnsTbifqDofw9hD6. You will then receive an email by 28th Nov 2022, informing you of your team members.
ITESO students: please contact Ms. Pilar (mplopez@iteso.mx) if you have any concerns or issues.
Fu Jen University students: please contact Mr. Allen Lee (083232@mail.fju.edu.tw) if you have any concerns or issues.
Albers/SU students: please contact Ms. Amelia Marckworth (marckwor@seattleu.edu) if you have any concerns or issues.
SJIM/SJCC/SJCL/SJU students: please contact Dr. Caren Rodrigues (caren@sjim.edu.in) or Dr. Anup Krishnamurthy (anup@sjim.edu.in) if you have any concerns or issues.

Read about past b-plan competitions here: