Skip to main content
Sign In

University of Colorado Denver Business School, offering Bachelor, MBA, MS, and PhD degrees

Business School, University of Colorado Denver

DEADLINE EXTENDED: Submissions Open September 1-30, 2016 

Do you have a brilliant business idea, but are not sure where to begin? Have you established a small business in the past year and are looking for an opportunity to showcase and grow your business? The Climb: Jake Jabs Center Business Plan Competition may be your next step towards entrepreneurial success.

THE CLIMB | Jake Jabs Business Plan Competition is a business development event for collegiate startups based in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, New Mexico and Arizona, as well as non-collegiate startups in Colorado. Established by the Jake Jabs Center for Entrepreneurship at University of Colorado Denver, THE CLIMB is a five-stage competition that helps entrepreneurs transform concepts into viable businesses through mentorship, education, financial support and real-world business exchanges. With more than 500 mentor hours shared and $1 million awarded to date, THE CLIMB celebrates 15 years of guiding entrepreneurial thinkers and empowering them to blaze their own trail. Submissions will be accepted Sept. 1-30, 2016.

Submission Requirements

All competitors must submit:

  • ​Online submission form
  • One-minute video pitch of business idea or existing startup
  • Executive summary (no longer than three pages)

Participation Benefits

The Climb | Jake Jabs Business Plan Competition gives aspiring entrepreneurs the opportunity to network with some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the Rocky Mountain West. From mentorship and workshops to speakers and pitch opportunities, the growth possibilities are endless for those willing to make The Climb.

  • Recognition and exposure
  • Access to exclusive mentorship opportunities
  • Workshops and pitch support events
  • Financial awards for top placers

THE CLIMB | Business Plan Competition 2016 Events

  •  THE CLIMB | Orientation & Business Plan Writing Workshop                                                                                               Thursday, Sept. 8, 5-6:30 p.m. at CU Denver Business School ​​
  • ​THE CLIMB | Starting Up & Business Plan Workshops​                                                                                                      Thursday, Sept. 22​, 6-9 p.m. at Galvanize on Platte St. 
  • THE CLIMB | Collegiate & Community Pitch Night​                                                                                                                   Thursday, Oct. 13​, 6-9 p.m. at Galvanize on Platte St. 
  • ​THE CLIMB | Collegiate Semi-Finals Pitch Day                                                                                                                         Thursday, Nov. 10, 1:30-4 p.m. at Space Gallery
  •  THE CLIMB | Collegiate & Community Pitch Finals & Awards                                                                                  Thursday, Nov. 10​, 6-9 p.m. ​at Space Gallery

Frequently Asked Questions  

  • What is the submission deadline?   All submissions must be received by September 30 at 11:59 p.m. MST.  
  • ​Who is qualified to apply?   Collegiate Applicants: Each submission must include at least one person on the management team who is a current graduate student at any Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Montana and Wyoming university. Teams with at least one undergraduate student or alumni of the University of Colorado Denver may also apply. The company/concept being submitted should not be older than two years, and cannot have received any prior seed/angel/vc funding. Non-Collegiate Applicants: The company/concept being submitted should not be older than two years, and cannot have received any prior seed/angel/vc funding.
  •  What info is required for the application?   Applicants must submit a 30-90  second video pitch about their startup idea or business and an executive summary questionnaire. Submissions  open Sept. 1, 2016.
  • Is there a fee to apply?   There is no fee for entering the competition. 
  • Can one person be an active team member on more than one team?   Yes. 

​Questions? Contact the Jake Jabs Center at 303-315-8500, or email

Read the story on the 2015 Business Plan Competition Award Winner: Living Ink Technologies

Read the whole story...


© The Regents of the University of Colorado, a body corporate. All rights reserved.

Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. All trademarks are registered property of the University. Used by permission only.