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Saturday, April 27, 2019

INNOVATEChina 2019 International Business Proposal Competition

Date: April 27, 2019
Venue: China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), Shanghai, China
Theme: Transcending Entrepreneurship

INNOVATEChina was started in 2008 by CEIBS, the #1 business school in Asia and #5 MBA in the world. It is one of the largest and most influential business innovation contests in the world. The theme of each event is closely linked to current global business issues and although the competition is called INNOVATEChina, it is not limited only to China-related topics. Approximately 60 teams from over 30 of the world’s top business schools participate every year with their proposals for business innovation. Our mission is to support outstanding future entrepreneurs who will play an important role in tomorrow's business world. As a participant, you will have access to CEOs and partners from investment institutions as well as senior professors from around the world.

More than just a competition, INNOVATEChina aims to establish a platform to connect the innovative minds of global business schools with the vast experience of industry experts and venture capitalists in China, in order to introduce innovative ideas to the world.

In 2019, INNOVATEChina’s central theme is Transcending Entrepreneurship. Projects do not need to be focused on or related to China; instead, we want to gather the most innovative ideas from around the globe.

We welcome all kinds of innovation. You are encouraged, but not restricted, to align with one of the following industry trends:

  • Remodelling Traditional Industries

Autonomous driving and electrification are disrupting the automotive industry. Newspapers sales are plunging, while social media use is skyrocketing. Debit cards are being replaced by mobile payment. How can these and other traditional industries respond to these kinds of challenges? And, how can they leverage their core strengths to develop new businesses?

  • Tackling Current Problems

The big questions of our time – like an aging population or the growing inequality between urban and rural populations – are huge challenges, but also huge opportunities for entrepreneurs. What opportunities might arise from these and other current challenges? How can we come up with new business models that contribute to solving these problems?

  • Shaping the Future

New technologies such as artificial intelligence and virtual reality will find new use cases across all industries – from finance and insurance to the public sector and healthcare. Which of these new applications and applications of other technologies will disrupt the world? Which business models will benefit from these disruptions?

Team Formation

A team may be comprised of 3 to 5 students from your business school (all members must be enrolled in an MBA programme on the date of registration, but do not necessarily need to be enrolled on the date of the final competition). Multiple teams from the same school can participate. At least 3 members of your team must be present for the final competition in China, if you are selected.


Participating teams must register and submit their business plans online before March 8, 2019. Concise and clear business plans are required. 

  • Early registration fee (until February 22, 2019): $150 (USD) per team 
  • Registration fee (until March 8, 2019): $200 (USD) per team

Register Now!

Business Plan Requirements

The key components of your business plan should allow judges to understand the business opportunity presented, including the industry context, service or product offered, business model, competitive advantages of the business, and financial requirements.

Your plan should be submitted in the format of a PowerPoint Presentation (maximum 10 slides, plus a 1-slide executive summary) and may also include an additional demo or video (a video is not mandatory, but we encourage you to include it for clarification purposes).

Judging Criteria

The judging panel will consist of leading industry professionals, including entrepreneurs, senior managers from financial institutions, investors, and CEIBS professors. Business proposals will be judged according to the following weighting:

Executive Summary (10 points):

An overview of the business plan that is clear, concise, and engaging. Does your executive summary capture the main idea and show the potential of your business proposal?

Product/ Service Description (30 points):

A description of your innovative idea, including its features and benefits for your target consumers. Is the idea itself attractive? Is the idea described in a way that allows investors to quickly understand and assess it?

Market Strategy (30 points):

A brief description of the market, stating your competitive analysis and unique capabilities (e.g. your ability address customer pain points, improve efficiency, reduce costs, etc.).

Financials (20 points):

Does the proposal include enough information about the financial potential of the business (e.g. expected revenues, profits, and investment requirements)?

Originality (10 points):

Disruptive impact of the idea. Is the idea creative and original?

Final Competition (April 27, 2019)

Each finalist team will be allowed to revise and submit their final business plan five days before the Final Competition.

Teams will be given 30 minutes to present their business plans. This time will also include a Q&A session, where judges will ask for more details or clarify open points. Teams are encouraged to include innovative materials in their presentation (e.g. a video, product sample display, etc.), especially if it helps to clarify the business idea.

Final Competition Agenda

During the event, several speakers will also be invited to share their views about the innovations and emerging trends that will define the future of entrepreneurship. The event will be held in English. A draft version of final day agenda is as follows: 

  • 12:30-13:00  Registration
  • 13:00-13:10  Opening Speech
  • 13:10-14:10  Pitching Stage
  • 14:10-14:40  Keynote Speech
  • 14:40-15:00  Tea Break and Networking
  • 15:00-16:00  Pitching Stage
  • 16:00-16:30  Panel Talk
  • 16:30-16:50  Tea Break and Networking
  • 16:50-17:10  Product Showcase
  • 17:10-18:10  Pitching Stage
  • 18:10-18:30  Tea Break and Networking
  • 18:30-18:40  Awards Ceremony
  • 18:40-18:50  Closing Speech


INNOVATEChina will cover some of the travel expenses for each team in the finals. The total amount covered will be based on the location each team is travelling from to Shanghai, as follows:

  • From North America or Europe – Up to $2000 (USD) per team
  • From Asia Pacific – Up to $1000 (USD) per team
  • From within China – Up to $300 (USD) per team

Teams should contact and confirm detailed budget information with organisers via email prior to travelling to Shanghai. Invoices must be provided in order to receive reimbursement.

Key Dates

  • Registration Deadline: March 8, 2019
  • Finalist Announcement: March 29, 2019
  • Final Event Date: April 27, 2019

Teamwork is very important! Your capacity to work together will be challenged during the competition. Be ready to learn, meet new people and enjoy! 

Contact Information

Email: innovatechina@ceibs.edu
LinkedIn: INNOVATEChina