About the Competition

Do you have an idea for a new business or innovative solution to a pressing problem?  If so, the Holloway Competition is your chance to transform this idea into reality with the expert guidance of faculty mentors and members of the business community. Beyond this incredible opportunity for learning, networking, and résumé building, the Holloway Competition awards students approximately $100,000 of cash and prizes every year!

The Holloway Competition does have a strong track record of launching successful businesses, but this is certainly not the only valuable outcome of participating. Regardless of whether or not you ultimately start a business based on your Holloway entry all students have the opportunity to:

  • Practice “real world” skills building a business case for a new product or service
  • Build their portfolio of professional work to help jumpstart their careers
  • Network with business leaders from throughout New Hampshire and beyond
  • Have a memorable experience with their teammates and fellow Holloway participants
  • Win substantial prizes
  • Gain confidence and have fun!

Please explore the links below for details on how to enter, important dates, support resources, etc. and remember your first entry is only 2 written pages and a 90 second video! 

Registration Closed ResourcesFAQPrizes


Welcome to the 2017 Holloway Prize Competition!

These guidelines will help you navigate your way through the Holloway Competition. As you start the competition, we fully understand that some of these questions will be challenging. With that in mind, please do your best to present thoughtful and professional answers to each question as you progress in the competition. If you feel stuck, don’t be shy about accessing the support resource  we have available and remember, in general, strong answers are:

  • Specific – Offer a direct answer to the question
  • Well Reasoned – Make clear why you arrived at this answer over others
  • Empirically Supported – Replace assumptions and anecdotes with research
  • Mutually Exclusive and Collectively Exhaustive – Eliminate redundancy while not leaving gaps

Judges will evaluate each answer on a 7-point scale and assign 30 points for the overall quality of your written and video submissions.   

Thank you for participating in the 29th annual Holloway Prize Competition and we look forward to your first round entries.

Good luck, work hard, and have fun!

Dr. Andrew G. Earle
Holloway Prize Competition Chair


First, determine if you are eligible:

  • The Holloway Competition is open to all undergraduate and graduate students from any discipline within the University System of New Hampshire (i.e. UNH Durham, Manchester, and Law School; KSU and PSU)
  • Teams may have a maximum of four active members.
  • Teams may have outside members but they are not allowed to directly participate in the Competition.
  • All team members must be enrolled in an USNH institution during the fall or spring semester of the academic current year.

If you are eligible, enter the Holloway Competition simply by:

  • Finding a faculty advisor (non-business majors are encouraged to contact a business faculty advisor as well as a faculty advisor in their specific discipline). Visit the “advisors” tab for additional information.
  • Completing the online registration.
  • Submitting answers to the First Round Questions and a short video introducing your product or service by the deadline.
  • Agree to terms of the Competition.

Please note the following deadlines for the 2017 Holloway Prize Competition.

  Date Time Description

Wed. Feb. 15

6:00 p.m.

Information Session #1 - UNH E-Center, Madbury Commons


Thu. Feb. 16 

5:00 p.m.

Information Session #2 - Paul College, G45


Wed. Feb. 22 

6:00 p.m.

Hands-on Help Session #3 - UNH E-Center, Madbury Commons


Sun. Feb. 26 

by 11:59 p.m.

Deadline to submit first round entry by 11:59pm.


Mon. March 6


Notification of advancement to 2nd round.


Sun. March 26 

by 11:59 p.m.

Deadline to submit second round entry (by invite).


Mon. April 3


Notification of advancement to Albin Challenge (semi-final) round.


Fri. April 14

by 11:59 p.m.

Deadline to submit semi-final entry (by invite).


Thu. April 20 


Nelson Poster Award (OPTIONAL)

At least one team member is required to check in.


Fri. April 21

12noon - 9 p.m. 

Bud Albin Challenge (semi-final) Round

Some teams may need to present twice depending on ranking.


Fri. April 28

by 11:59 p.m.

Deadline to submit revised proposal (by invite).


Tue. May 9

1 p.m. - 6 p.m.

Paul J. Holloway Prize Championship Round

Teams must check in.


For your first round entry, simply answer the following 10 questions to the best of your ability. Entries are limited to 2 pages (single-spaced) and no smaller that 11 pt. font. You do not need to include copies of the questions in your entry, but please number your answers 1 through 10 in correspondence with the questions.


1.) Entrepreneurship is commonly thought of as an exercise in problem solving, so to start things off, tell us about the problem you are interested in solving.

2.) Next, tell us about your solution. At this point, your solution can simply be an idea or vision for a product or service, it does NOT need to be a prototype, working app, etc. [Examples: Uber offered a new solution to the problem of taxis being hard to find]

3.) Describe how your solution is better than current solutions?  Think about how your solution is more valuable from the perspective of potential customers than current solutions (this will form the core of your “customer value proposition”). [Hint: Common value propositions include being easier to use, less expensive, more reliable, safer, more accurate etc.] 

4.) Next, tell us about how your solution works and how you plan to protect it? Is it built on an underlying technology? Is it a different approach to offering a service? Is it a new kind of process? etc. Is there any intellectual propriety (Patents, Copyrights, Trademarks) associated with your solution? If not, how do you plan to protect it from competitors?

5.) One option for entering the Holloway Competition is to present someone else’s idea. If you are presenting your own idea, please go to Question 6. If you are presenting someone else’s idea, please specify the owners and provide written permission to the Chair to present this idea at the Holloway Competition.

6.) Now, tell us about the market for your solution. Who will be your first customers (i.e. early adopters) and how many are there? How about other groups of customers? Add these together to estimate the overall market size for your solution and share how this overall market changing (i.e. is it growing, etc.)

7.) Describe your revenue model and pricing models. How did you decide on these? Offer as much detail and support as possible. [Hint: A revenue model shows how you will be paid for providing your solution. Common revenue models include subscription (e.g. Netflix), ad-supported (e.g. Google), “Freemium” (e.g. LinkedIn), and direct-sales (e.g. Tesla)]

8.) Describe your sales and distribution plans. How will you reach your customers to let them know about your solution? If they decide to purchase your solution, how will you deliver it to them?

9.) Tell us about your team. Cover your backgrounds, skills, connections to this problem/solution etc. Do you have any business, technical, or industry experts that have agreed to advise you in developing your venture?

10.) Help us understand how you arrived at your answers to questions 1-9. Did you conduct interviews with customers, industry experts, key partners etc.? Did you administer any surveys?  Did you analyze reputable secondary data sources? Please offer as much detail as possible.

II. Presentation Quality and Professionalism (Write-up and Video)

Success in the entrepreneurship depends, in part, on how effectively you communicate your elements of venture. Strong presentation skills (written, spoken, and video) make your “pitch” more effective and can gain support from key stakeholders. You job is to tell the story of your venture that connects emotionally, as well as rationally, and present it with energy and conviction.

For the first round video submission adhere to a strict maximum length of 90 seconds.

Your stand-alone original (no off the shelf) video pitch should highlight the following:

  • The problem that your product or service is intended to address.
  • Your proposed solution – that is, how your product or service addresses the market need. How it will attract customer and sales (your value proposition) and investors’ interests.
  • Technical Specifications:

→  .mov or .mp4 file

→  Resolution of 720p or 1280x720 progressive (Note: these mean the same thing - some video programs use one label, while other programs use the other label.)

→  Codec: H.264 set to a minimum of "medium high" quality (Note: most programs ask you to specify quality on a range from Lowest to Highest - somewhere around medium high to high works well, or if it's a numerical scale, about three-quarters of the way up.)

→  Challenge entrants in both tracks are encouraged to contact UNH’s Parker Media Lab with questions about video formatting. PML is located in the Dimond Library on UNH’s Durham Campus. It is staffed and open Sunday-Thursday 10-10 and Fridays 10-5. You can contact them for advice by phone at (603) 862-1747 to speak with any of the staff team, or by email to reach PML’s manager, michael.mcintire@unh.edu.


Session #1
Wednesday - February 15, 2017
6:00 PM
UNH ECenter
Madbury Commons
21 Madbury Rd., Ste. 101
Durham, NH 03824

Session #2
Thursday - February 16, 2017
5:00 PM
G45 Paul College

Session #3
Wednesday - February 22, 2017
UNH 6:00 PM
Madbury Commons
21 Madbury Rd., Ste. 101
Durham, NH 03824​

A session begins with a review of the competition rules, commitments, objectives, recommendations for success, and a discussion of the criteria judges will evaluate.


Students have an opportunity to meet and recruit prospective partners. Information sessions are designed to offer students enrolled in non-business programs the opportunity to recruit a business student to help them develop their business plan from a financial and marketing perspective. It can also provide business students with the opportunity to recruit engineering or other students to help them develop their product/service concept.

Students unable to find partners should contact Holloway.Prize@unh.edu for help.


2017 Holloway Competition Faculty Advisors

Any USNH (i.e. UNH-Durham, UNH-Manchester, UNH Law, Keene State, Plymouth State) faculty member, from any department, and serving in any capacity can serve as your advisor for the Holloway competition. We encourage you to seek an advisor that has expertise in the area of your entry and (ideally) you already know from classes, project work, etc. If applicable, participants may have two faculty advisors with one serving as a subject–matter expert (e.g. a science faculty member) and the other as a business expert (e.g. business faculty member). If you do not have an advisor (or need an additional business-oriented advisor), the faculty members listed below have advised Holloway entries in the past:*

  • Hachemi Aliouche, Ph.D.
  • Audrey Ashton-Savage, M.B.A.
  • Shane R. Baker
  • Nelson Barber, Ph.D.
  • Ludwig Bstieler, Ph.D.
  • Jianhong Chen, Ph.D.
  • Michael R. Collins, Ph.D.
  • Caitlin DeSoye, J.D.
  • Diane Devine, M.B.A.
  • Devkamal Dutta, Ph.D.
  • John D. Ela, M.A.
  • Diane L. Foster, Ph.D.
  • Robert A. Gough Jr., Ph.D.
  • Roger Grinde, Ph.D.
  • Todd C. Guerdat, Ph.D.
  • Kholekile L. Gwebu, Ph.D.
  • William Hassey, Ed.D.
  • Meghan Heckman
  • Daniel E. Innis, Ph.D.
  • Jun Li, Ph.D.
  • Jerry E. Marceau
  • Michael Merenda, Ph.D.
  • Lee Mizusawa
  • Ivaylo Petrov Nedyalkov, Ph.D.
  • Neil Niman, Ph.D.
  • Matthew S. O'Hern, Ph.D.
  • Bruce E. Pfeiffer, Ph.D.
  • George Roth, Ph.D. 
  • Jeffrey E. Sohl, Ph.D.
  • May-Win Thein, Ph.D.
  • Elizabeth Varki, Ph.D                    
  • Fiona Wilson, Ph.D.
  • Goksel Yalcinkaya, Ph.D.

* Advising Holloway participants is strictly voluntary for faculty members and faculty members are free to advise as many or as few participants as they choose. 

Return to Holloway Prize Home


Paul College, in cooperation with Alpha Loft, will offer workshops and seminars to help students advance through the competition.  New events will be added throughout the semester.

Paul College in cooperation with Alpha Loft will offer workshops and seminars to help students advance through the competition.

*Individual Team Practice Sessions or Other Advice*
Schedule by email mark@alphaloft.org or joshua@alphaloft.org

Alpha Loft, at the UNH ECenter at Madbury Commons, provides workshops and expert one-on-one advice. Alpha Loft staff can help you refine your business model, solidify your plan, create a compelling story and fine-tune your pitch. In addition to workshops, Alpha Loft welcomes participants to schedule private consultations. To schedule time, please email Mark Kaplan mark@alphaloft.org or Joshua Cyr joshua@alphaloft.org


Teams advancing to this round are required to submit a 5-page response to the questions below detailing aspects from start-up to production. An executive summary, cash flow and proforma statements and 90-second video describing the problem and solution are required. Teams may revise and resubmit their original 90-second video. Twenty teams will advance to the Bud Albin Challenge Round.

Please expand or modify your answers to questions 1 through 10 with more detail, and answer questions 11 through 16 in detail.  Include the question number with your response.


Support your written submission with a one-page (cover) executive summary and simple pro forma cash-flow and income statements which all must be submitted as a single PDF document. At this time you may revise and resubmit your maximum 90-second video.

Maximum length of submission is:

  • One-page executive summary as your cover.
  • Five pages to answer ALL questions.
  • Three more pages (max) with financial statements and other information you may want to submit such as marketing materials, product schematics, timeline or survey data. Some of these materials could be also inserted as part of your answers to the questions.
  • Your entire submission (maximum of 9 pages) must be uploaded as one document.

Use Questions 11 - 15 to describe the assumptions, highlights, support, reasoning etc. of your financial model, please use appendices for required financial statements.  

11. One of the early challenges entrepreneurs face is transitioning from idea to their “first sale.” Describe in detail your “go-to-market” plan to address this challenge and the costs your venture will incur prior to earning significant revenue.

12. After entering the market, entrepreneurs need to grow their ventures to become financially sustainable. Describe in detail your plan for “scaling” your ventures. As part of this plan show, how your cost of goods sold, gross margins, geographic footprint and other key metrics change as your venture grows. 

13. Sales forecasting is difficult even for established companies in relatively stable markets, but it is even more challenging for new ventures. Despite this, the potential size and growth rate of your business is a critical thing to estimate. Provide a credible estimate of the potential scale of your venture.  

14. To generate a more holistic financial picture of your venture describe in detail the fixed expenses your ventures will incur as it launches and grows.

15. Entrepreneurs usually need to marshal resources beyond what they personally control and financial resources often pose a particularly challenging hurdle for new entrepreneurs. Please describe how you will assemble the financial resources needed to launch, scale, and operate your venture and what you will offer these resource provider as return

16. Launching, scaling, and operating a new venture never goes according to plan. Please list the top 3-5 risks your venture faces and how you plan to mitigate these?

In the three pages of allowed appendices please include a minimum of: 

  • Monthly cash flow for Year 1
  • Annual Cash flow for Years 2-5
  • Income Statement Years 1-5 

All USNH students are eligible to compete for cash awards in the Charles and Miriam Nelson Poster Award. Students are not required to enter the Holloway Prize Innovation-to-Market Competition in order to compete in the poster session, though it is highly encouraged. All teams entered in the Holloway Prize Innovation-to-Market Competition will receive valuable feedback on their business concept during this round. 

The Nelson Poster Award gives students an opportunity to showcase their research into entrepreneurship. Students present a poster and a three minute oral presentation to two separate teams of judges comprised of representatives from business and industry. Judges have up to three minutes to ask follow-up questions.

Judges will evaluate the posters based on the following criteria: a.) ability to generate enough interest in the concept through a stand-alone poster without verbal explanation of the concept; and b.) ability to generate enough interest from a hypothetical venture capitalist for them to consider asking for a formal business plan for the concept. See guidelines for additional information below. Teams must register by the deadline.

Students must fill out the URC registration form by the URC deadline in order to enter.


Judging Criteria

  • Either through your poster or in answering the judges’ questions you should be able to communicate the following information (this is only a guide for judges, they may or may not ask you these questions):*
  1. Who are you? (company or team)
  2. Need – Explain the problem your customers face.
  3. Solution – How do you solve this problem?  Don’t describe any technical details.
  4. Market – Tell the judges how many people need your product or service.  If you know the market dollar value, tell the judges that, too.
  5. Business Model – Explain how you make money.  Do you sell the product to wholesalers for a flat fee?  Do you charge a subscription?  Do you split revenues with a partner?
  6. Financials – How much money do you need?  What makes this an attractive investment?  Some teams will still be working out the specifics.
  • Judges will score your poster and oral presentation on the following factors using a seven point scale:
  1. Poster Quality – Clarity of message, attractiveness, professionally prepared.  Does the poster generate interest in the concept without verbal explanation?
  2. Presentation Quality – Is the team/poster informing or persuading?  Were they convincing, knowledgeable, in command of the situation and on top of the information? Have they presented enough information and explanation to justify their ideas?
  3. Professional Presence - Was the team dressed in business attire?  Did they conduct themselves in a professional manner?
  4. Judges Impressions – Why should a judge (potential business investor) care about this proposal?  Did the poster and presentation convey enough important insights into the business proposition that a potential investor would want to see more and/or ask the team to come back to present a complete business plan?
  5. Intangible or WOW factor – Did the team and poster leave a lasting impression?
  6. Overall

*Adapted from Duke Start-Up Challenge 2008 Elevator Pitch

Creating your Poster

  • Posters must measure between 32” X 40” and 40” X 60”. Click here to view posters created by students.
  • Posters MUST BE professionally mounted on foam core.
  • Easels will be provided.
  • Visit URC Poster Presentation Help for tips on creating a poster.
  • Consider making an appointment with a consultant at the UNH Connors Writing Center for additional help with poster and oral presentations.
  • UNH Printing Services offers tips and printing discounts to students who reference “Student Project Discount”.  The discount does not apply to mounting posters. You may use off-campus companies to print and mount your poster.
  • Paul College will reimburse student teams up to $50 (maximum) for the cost of printing and mounting their poster if they participate in the Nelson competition and follow all Nelson competition published guidelines. Students must complete a reimbursement form and include their receipt.
  • At least one team member must be present during the entire competition to answer the judges’ questions. All team members are encouraged to attend.
  • Send a PowerPoint copy of your poster to Holloway.Prize@unh.edu prior to the competition to be displayed on the college video screen after the competition.
  • Judging teams comprised of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, alumni, and representatives from business and industry will evaluate your poster based on the following criteria.
  • UNH Printing Services tips for creating successful posters can be accessed at Part 1 and Part 2


First place poster in each group - $300

Second place poster in each group - $200


Twenty teams will advance to the Bud Albin Challenge Round where they will present their case before a panel of industry judges who have reviewed their 5-page submissions and videos. Contenders have 10 minutes to present their ideas through their video and PowerPoint presentation, followed by 15 minutes of Q&A. All Albin Challenge Round teams may have a professionally prepared poster available for viewing by judges and others. Student posters can be included, but are not required, as part of the formal presentation.  At the conclusion of this round, all teams will receive detailed feedback from the judges. Six teams will advance to the Holloway Prize Championship Round. All teams, including those not advancing to the challenge or championship round are invited to compete in the Charles and Miriam Nelson Poster Competition.

Cash prizes will be awarded to teams not advancing to the Holloway Prize Championship Round in each track:

  • 2nd Place Team $600 (not advancing to the Holloway Prize Championship Round)
  • 3rd Place Team  $500
  • Runner-up Teams  $300

Presentations made by the 2014 advancing teams are viewable below.  The videos are intended to help teams improve their concept and presentation.




The Holloway Prize Championship Round is the final stage of the Holloway Prize Innovation-to-Market Competition. Only six teams advance to this round. Like the Challenge Round, teams have 10 minutes to present their ideas through a 90-second video and PowerPoint presentation, followed by 15 minutes of Q&A with the judges. Teams are strongly encouraged, but not required, to have a professionally prepared poster available for viewing by judges, guests and others. Teams may display their poster during their presentation and stand with their poster during the reception to encourage interaction with guests.

The championship round is videotaped and posted on the competition website. Students are encouraged to view prior years' presentations to help prepare them for this round.  (Note: Competitions prior to 2014 did not require a 90-second video.)




The following is a sampling of businesses that have been started or expanded as a result of Holloway Prize competition entries:


Please check back 


Andrew Earle
Competition Director