PULLMAN, Wash.—High-tech devices to monitor soil, lentils for snacking and revolutionary ways to cook food are just a few of the innovative ideas that will be detailed in business plans presented by student entrepreneurs March 25 and 26 at Washington State University.

On Friday, 32 students on 10 teams will pitch their ideas and answer judges’ questions during preliminary rounds from 2-5 p.m. at Lewis Alumni Centre. The top three teams will advance to the Saturday finals and face a new panel of judges from 9-11 a.m., also at the center.

“A top prize of $5,000 will go to the first-place team, $3,000 to the second place team, and $1,000 to the third place team,” says Joe Harris, business development specialist in the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. The center, part of the College of Business and Economics, is hosting the business plan competition.

“Some of the teams say they will use their winnings as seed money to turn their ideas into real businesses,” Harris said.

“Some very innovative products and services will be presented in the teams’ business plans. I believe we’ll see some new companies come out of this exercise.”

Participants from business, engineering and science disciplines formed teams and signed up for the competition in January. Some took Harris’ senior-level entrepreneurship course this semester to learn how to develop a viable business plan.

Judges for both days will carefully review the business plans and allow 15 minutes for each team’s presentation, followed by 20 minutes of questions and answers. Area bankers, entrepreneurs, alumni, faculty and graduate students will be judges.

The competition is open to the public both days. It is held in conjunction with this year’s Showcase and Junior Preview weekend at WSU.

For more information, contact Harris at (509) 335-6415 or through e-mail at harrisj@wsu.edu.