Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why is the competition virtual and not a face-to-face competition?

Virtual competition reduces the cost of participation and allows as many students as possible from each country to participate.

2. What does the eligibility requirement that the idea be based on an ‘early growth stage’ of the products or services mean?

This eligibility criterion means the business idea must be new and not associated with an existing business. It is aimed at eliminating ideas on existing businesses that have been entered in other competitions and to enhance fairness to all participants.

3. What if one of the team members cannot attend the national competition due to unforeseen reasons?

If a team member cannot attend the national competition due to good and unforeseen reasons, they can be exempted and their team members can present on their behalf. This will be considered on a case by case basis.

4. Why can a franchise business or buyout business not be included?

Since the business idea must be new and not associated with an existing business, it is not possible to present an idea for a franchise. The business must be operated for a number of years and the idea tested for its replicability before it can be converted into a franchise. Participants can however indicate in their business plans that they intend to convert the business into a franchise if it is successful and meets the criteria for franchising. Similarly, a new business cannot be a candidate for a buyout although participants can include an exit strategy in their plan.

5. Why does the competition allow alumni or staff to part take in these competition? Will it be fair to other teams that do not have such experienced team members?

Good ideas can come from anywhere and the aim here is to provide opportunity for people associated with each university to take part in the competition. Mature current students of each university with a business idea that they are thinking of implementing or a business that they have just started can also participate. Because the competition is targeted at students, experience in operating a business will not be a judging criterion.

6. What is the length of time for the presentation at the national competitions?

The length of time for presentations at the national level will be decided by the organising team of the national competition and communicated to participants before the competition. Generally, each team will have not more than 20 minutes to present key issues about their proposed business including time for questions and answers.

7. Can we show a video on the national presentation?

Yes you can show a video on the key aspects of the business.

8. How many people are allow to present the business plan at the national competition and at the international competition?

The team may select one or two members to present on their behalf or where individual business plans are submitted, there will be only one presenter. All members of the team may present, however the time limit will be strictly enforced so presenters have to be well organized to ensure they do not exceed the time limit.

9. What does the $2,000 worth of mentoring cover in the prize?

The $2,000 worth of mentoring covers coaching on how to start a business in the selected country and cultural experience through classes or site visits. The site visits will involve travelling to places and talking with people who are relevant to realizing the business idea. These will be organized by the home institution of country selected by the winner or winning team. However, travelling, accommodation, meals and personal expenses will be borne by the winner(s) out of the $2,000 prize provided to cover travelling expenses.

10. What if the winner at the international competition who receive the prize of $2,000 towards a visit to one of the ASEAN countries involved in the project cannot go abroad? Can it be cashed out?

The aim of the visit is to enable the winning participant or team to experience the culture and learn about markets in Australia or one of the participating countries. This is in keeping with the aims of the competition and requirements of the grant from the Australian government. If travel is not possible then the travel money will be forfeited.

11. What is meant by Virtual Business Competition? Is it the business itself or the competition is Virtual?

It is the competition that is virtual, although a plan can be submitted for a business conducted through the internet. The aim of the virtual competition is to make the competition accessible to as many participants as possible who cannot afford the cost of travelling to Australia to present their ideas at the international competition.

12. Should I have an actual business to qualify to participate in this competition?

No, you do not need an actual business to participate in the competition. The business plan entered in the competition can be based on an idea that you intend to implement sometime in the future or a business that you have just started.

13. Can students from three different universities form a team for this competition OR must the three students come from the same university?

Yes students from three different universities can form a team for the competition.

14. How detailed should I make the business plan?

If your idea is accepted for participation in the business plan you will be provided with the guidelines for the business plan, detailing the issues to be covered as well as format and word limit.

15. If my team is selected to be one of the finalists, are we expected to present a different business plan from the one that we have submitted earlier on?

No, on the contrary - you and your team must present the same plan that you presented at the national competition.

16. Does "virtual" refer to online business so that the competition necessitates participants to focus on such business?

Virtual refers to the competition and not the business, but of course participants can submit plans for businesses that operate online.

17. Is there a specific template that participants need to use when submitting their business plan?

Yes, the business plans have to be written according to the guidelines provided with the letters that will be sent to participants announcing their success in the first selection round and inviting them to submit a business plan.


For more information contact the following:


Associate Professor Bernice Kotey
UNE Business School
University of New England.
Tel: + 61 2 6773 2830


Assistant Professor Dr Kathy Terdpaopong
Faculty of Accountancy, Rangsit University
52/347 Paholyotin Road
Pathumthani 11110, Thailand.
Tel: +66 2 997 2200 Ext 1067


Professor Dr Normah Haji Omar
Accounting Research Institute (ARI) Level 12, SAAS Building, 40450
Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam, Malaysia.  
Tel: 603-55444924