In its third year, Chapman University’s invite-only California Dreamin’ Business Plan Competition continues to grow — both in number of participating universities and in prize money, making it the second largest university business plan competition plan in the nation. The competition purse is $250,000 of cash and equity investment in addition to in-kind products, up from $230,000 last year; and 35 schools are invited this year, up from 29 schools last year. The competition takes place over two days starting April 25th.

The California Dreamin’ competition is a nationwide entrepreneurially-focused higher education competition featuring three tracks: Full Pitch, 90-Second Fast Pitch, and Case Competition. Businesses presented vary widely in terms of product and service industry orientation. In most cases, the participating teams have already won the internal business plan competitions at their respective universities. Previous winners of California Dreamin’ have gone on to amass further success for their venture.

“The goal of California Dreamin’ is to connect students to equity, Venture Capitalists, and Angel investors,” said Richard Sudek, Ph.D., director of Chapman’s Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Ethics. “In addition, this year we added educational tracks to provide an educational component that is real world grounded. This is our 3rd year and it has been a great experience for students; and the judges represent some of the finest in the entrepreneurial venture funding ecosystem,” Sudek continued.

Something new this year is the addition of universities from the East Coast, as well as one international entrant. Newly invited to the 2014 competition are University of Chicago, Carnegie Mellon, Cornell, Syracuse, UNC-Chapel Hill, and Wharton, as well as the University of Cambridge in England.

Events include:

  • 3 competitions – Full Pitch, Fast Pitch, Case Competition
  • Educational track
  • Speed dating with investors
  • Faculty best practice roundtable
  • Award distribution

Here is a brief video of the 2013 competition:

To see a full list of participating schools, agenda, and complete panel of judges, visit:

The California Dreamin’ competition brings together students from top university entrepreneur programs around the country to prove that they have the best business plan. The event, by invitation only, takes place April 25 and 26, 2014, at Chapman University’s campus in Orange, CA, and features 35 schools competing for $250,000 in prize money and connections to venture capital firms. Between the three tracks in the competition, up to 15 schools will walk away with cash.

In addition to the monetary prizes, the finalists also receive three guaranteed screenings at Venture Capital parters: Menlo Ventures, True Ventures, DFJ, Kleiner, Pritzker Group, and March Capital, Draper University, Artiman, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Miramar Ventures and Rincon Ventures.

Angel partners include: Tech Coast Angels, Band of Angels, Sand Hill Angels and Life Science Angels.

Main Sponsors include: LegalZoom, Amazon, Microsoft, Ghost, Dunn & Bradstreet, Tarsadia Foundation, Kay Family Foundation, Microsemi, Citrix and Vizio


About the Ralph W. Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship and Ethics

Established in 1995, Chapman University’s Leatherby Center offers one of the nation’s most respected programs for entrepreneurial young men and women.  The center aims to prepare and inspire principled, dynamic entrepreneurs whose ideas improve lives and solve important problems.  Through innovative courses and real-world leadership, the center provides students with access to a range of resources, including professional mentoring, entrepreneurial internships, a multi-university network, community resources, events, speakers, research, professional groups, competitions and boot camps. Ranked as the #13 Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Program by Business Week, the Leatherby Center is unique in its approach to connecting students with inventors, investors and real-world entrepreneurs. For more information, visit

Consistently ranked among the top universities in the West, Chapman University provides a uniquely personalized and interdisciplinary educational experience to highly qualified students. Our programs encourage innovation, creativity and collaboration, and focus on developing global citizen-leaders who are distinctively prepared to improve their community and their world. Visit

Follow us on Facebook at: Chapman University Facebook

On Twitter at: @ChapmanU

On YouTube at: Chapman University YouTube Channel




Log In
Open Main Menu