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about the ibmc

The International Business Model Competition is the first and largest lean startup competition in the world. The competition's primary aim is to educate and inspire smarter entrepreneurs who in turn launch more successful ventures.

The IBMC is a unique student startup competition focused on the inputs, not the outputs, of the entrepreneurial process. The competition requires active identification and validation of crucial business model hypotheses rather than the writing of a static business plan, talking to customers outside the building rather than gathering secondary data inside the building, applying customer development rather than relying on product development, and “pivoting” or changing course rather than executing on the plan.


Specifically, the IBMC rewards student entrepreneurs for:


1) Identifying and tracking key business model hypotheses (use a canvas)

2) Testing and validating those hypotheses with customers (get outside the building)

3) Pivoting and iterating their business model based on customer interactions and feedback


Submissions for the competition focus on the process entrepreneurs undertake as they test their most crucial hypotheses with customers and develop validated business models. The goal is validated learning about the key business model hypotheses and failing early is a success compared to failing late.


Ultimately we believe this new approach will improve the success rate of new ventures, allowing entrepreneurs to save both time and money in the process. The IBMC is open to all students enrolled at an accredited institution of higher education anywhere in Peru.



Here are the universities that are currently participating in the competition:



Differences between a Business Model and a Business Plan

The International Business Model Competition is about recognizing that any new venture is just a guess at a problem / solution and the only valid way to test whether those guesses are right is to “get outside the building” and start working with customers. So what exactly is the difference between a business model and a business plan?


  • Outside versus Inside the Building: Most business plans are written using library research. Successful business models are achieved through talking to customers and making changes based on feedback from those conversations.


  • Input versus Output Focus: Most business plan competitions are focused on compelling write-ups and slide presentations that check all the right boxes. In the IBMC, sleek presentations are not going to cut it.  And the boxes that do need to be checked are completely new and impossible to fake.   The goal is to identify your assumptions and turn them into facts by getting outside the building. And when a startup has done this, the story is compelling and it is an awesome one to tell because it is based on facts.   Validated learning about what customers really want is the stuff a business model is made of and music to the ears of potential investors.


  • Lean Development versus Product Development: Most business plans imply a careful development process to optimize the final outcome. Forget it. Apply Lean Startup principles to radically compress your development cycle and take a prototype (even if it is just a picture drawn in the late hours of the night) to jump start the learning process. Find the most creative but minimally viable product and start learning.


  • Change versus Fortify: Most business plans attempt to fortify/prove the core idea with evidence. Judges of the IBMC will be looking for instances where teams learned they were wrong and made a pivot in a new and right direction. Your application should focus on the lessons learned and “pivots” made—the more the better.


  • Chasing Customers versus Chasing Funding: Let’s face it, many business plans are written to raise money. Unfortunately the business plan formula doesn’t capture the answers VCs most want to see: real validation you can make a product customers want. Instead of chasing the money, chase customers. Getting into the field you will validate the model and raising money will be easy (see appendix for more).


  • Launching versus Talking: Business plans often talk about what will happen in the future. The IBMC is about what you learned by applying a Customer Development / Lean Startup / Nail It then Scale It process.


Each university manages their own prize pool which includes cash prizes and non-cash prizes. The amount of the prize will depend on the position obtained from the team and the participating university.



Only the teams that won first place in their University internal competition are be able to compete in the national final to find the champion of IBMC Peru.


The winning team of the national competition will take with them a check of USD 15,000.00. All expenses related to the trip for the international final must be covered with US$ 2,000.00 of this amount.


Additionally, this year we are including a potential investment of the seed capital fund Kickstart Peru of up to US$15,000


The Final Competition will be held December 20th 2016 in COFIDE and the winner will represent Peru in the international competition held in the United States. They will go directly to quarter finals in which they will compete worldwide with more than 40 teams from different countries.






2015 - EZPlate (Presentation)


2016 – To be defined


If you wish to host the competition in your university, contact us at: ibmc@altaglobal.com.




1. - The contest is open to all types of businesses in any field of knowledge. Ventures cannot be a buyout, an expansion of an existing company, a real estate syndication, a tax shelter, a franchise, a licensing agreement for distribution in a different geographical area, or a spin-out from an existing corporation. Licensing technologies from universities or research labs is encouraged, assuming they have not been commercialized previously.


2. Because revenue is often the best form of validation, minimal revenues gained in the process of validation are allowable for the competition. Excessive revenues will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the IBMC organizers.


3. - No more than $100,000 will be allowed from friends and family, debt (any source -- convertible, venture, traditional), and accelerators. Any convertible debt must be in the form of a standard debt note with a separate agreement specifying the rules for conversion. Conversion cannot occur for at least 2 years from the date of the competition.


NOTE: We do not encourage investment prior to the start of the competition because investment encourages scaling. Premature scaling is a leading cause of startup failure.


4. - Yes, as long as you maintain continuity with the activities carried out during the competition.


5. - No, since it is indispensable that all the members of the team stay focused in their efforts to validate and develop an idea.


6. - The IBMC is open to all students enrolled in an accredited higher education institution worldwide. In these can compete undergraduate and graduate students of one or different universities that carry out the program.


7. - Competing teams should consist of at least 2 and no more than 5 degree-seeking students enrolled part-time (6 credit hours or more) or full-time at an accredited institution of higher education during the competition year. Non-students may be part of the venture but cannot participate in the competition (e.g., video submission, pitching, Q&A, etc.).


8. - The only way to compete in the IBMC Peru is through the competing universities. Remember that you can always participate as part of the student team of a university that is already registered in the contest (See Participating Universities).


9. - Yes, you can participate directly to the BMC contest in the United States through HERE. Please note that you’ll be competing with every team applying worldwide.


Any other questions? Write to us at: ibmc@altaglobal.com


Brigham Young











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