The Competition

We Dare You.

Great technologies or business models start with great ideas. Turning them into successful enterprises starts with a really great Business Plan. If you think you have a great idea, and that you have what it takes to create a successful business, enter the DARE Competition. It could become your best chance to start building a great future.

The DARE Competition—Dare to Risk Entrepreneurship—awards financial prizes to student competitors with the most promising and persuasively developed business ideas.  Students may enter the DARE Competition in either the Fall Semester or the Spring Semester. All finalists will present their ideas to a panel of experienced entrepreneurs, angel investors, venture funders, and regional business leaders on June 2 and 3, 2011. The winning team(s) or individual will receive a share of the cash prize fund in order to cover start-up costs for the new venture.

During the competition, you will have access to free, professional business guidance from the Certified Business Advisors of the Stony Brook Small Business Development Center (SBDC), now located in the Stony Brook Research & Development Park.

The DARE Competition was created by Dr. Ann-Marie Scheidt, Director of Economic Development at Stony Brook University, to provide opportunity for one of the university’s greatest resources—its talented and ambitious students.

DARE sponsors now include the Brookhaven Industrial Development Agency, Suffolk County Industrial Agency, the Long Island Angel Network, and the Stony Brook SBDC.

Since 2005, the first year of the D.A.R.E. Competition, the winning student-competitors have been awarded a total of $190,000. The opportunity is enormous.

  • This is a Stony Brook student only entrepreneurship competition.
  • Students of any age, at any level of study, are eligible to enter.
  • If you win with a technology-based initiative, you will receive public recognition and—
    • An additional $5,000 toward your start-up expenses;
    • One-year’s subsidized rent in a Stony Brook incubator facility;
    • Access to business mentoring, advice, and assistance from a range of on- and off-campus resources.
  • One of last year’s winners has become a tenant of the Stony Brook Software Incubator.  
  • One of last year’s competitors who did not win attracted the attention of at least two of the venture capitalists who were intrigued by their business model, and offered to help them develop it.
Click here for the most recent press release regarding the 2011 DARE competition.


The Competition takes place in three Stages:

Stage I

Please answer these four questions in a 1-2 page document to enter the DARE Competition at Stage I. Be sure to include the names of all students on the participating team for this business and their contact emails.

1)    What is your business idea?

2)    Describe your product or service

3)    What would your market(s) be? (Who will you sell to?)

4)    What could be your sustainable competitive advantage? (How will you stay in business?)


Stage II

Create a 10 minute PowerPoint presentation for your business on the 5 topics below. Presentation times are reserved 1 week before the scheduled date and confirmed via email. You should bring at least 5 printed copies of your presentation for the judges and dress in appropriate business attire on your presentation date.

1)    Your business idea and the value of your proposition for a customer. Why is now the time for our product or service?

2)    The daily operations of your business

3)    Examine your target market

4)    Examine your competition

5)    Describe your sustainability of competitive advantage

For more help with Stage II, a presentation guideline can be found by clicking here.


Stage III

Create a comprehensive business plan and present it to the judges with your PowerPoint slide show. The presentation can be the same or different from your Stage II entry. All questions asked in Stage II should be answered in the Stage III presentation while incorporating your business plan and any feedback you may have received during previous stages.  You should come prepared with 5 printed copies of both your presentation and business plan for the judges and be dressed in business attire.

For help with your business plan, an outline can be found by clicking here.



Rules, Restrictions & Guidelines

  •  Due Dates: Student-competitors, counselors, professors, mentors and judges are all given the same due dates. Competitors who wish to enter the competition after the official start date may do so, but cannot be guaranteed assistance from the Counselors at the Small Business Development Center, or receive feedback if the deadline for a Stage has lapsed.
  • Double Dipping: Using a current class project as an entry into the D.A.R.E. Competition is discouraged, but ultimately, is up to your professor’s discretion.
  • Respect for Time: Contestants who don’t show up for a scheduled meeting with an SBDC Counselor without calling to re-schedule, will not be given another opportunity to meet with them. Counselors are setting aside this time to help contestants. If the competitor is not serious about the competition, that valuable time can better be spent on a true small business. No last-minute help will be provided by SBDC Advisors.
  • Presentation Schedules: Lists of approved competitors will be sent to Ann-Marie Scheidt one week prior to Stage III presentations. At that time, all presentations will be locked in and confirmed via email.
  • Prizes: Amounts of cash prizes,  and the dates of payment will be made available. Please see below for more information about how your cash prize should be utilized for your business.


Use of D.A.R.E. Prize Funds

1)   Distribution of funds shall be incremental.

2)   Distribution increments shall be based on business plan milestones and/or other benchmarks identified by the Committee in consultation with the competition judges, team members, faculty, and others knowledgeable about the venture—whomever the Committee decides to consult.

3)   The venture(s) supported by the prize funds shall maintain an active and ongoing client relationship with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) or an equivalent advisory resource.

4)   The following types of expenditures shall not be permitted from the prize funds, except upon presentation to the Committee of evidence that demonstrates a compelling need: such as,

  • salaries or other emoluments to the principals or others in such roles
  • loan repayments to principals or others, including reimbursement for credit card indebtedness
  • personal property for the benefit of principals or others associated with the venture
  • rental office space.








Upcoming Events 

Please click on the workshop you are interested in for more information.  For a full Google Calendar of Events, please visit www.stonybrook.edu/sbdc/events.

Selling to the Government

February 23, 2017
*Workshop Full - Please call

World-Class Branding for Small Business
March 9, 2017

Selling to the Government: An Overview
March 14, 2017

Patents, Trademarks and Copyrights
March 29, 2017

What You Need to Know About Your Credit: The Facts and the Myths
April 6, 2017

Key Elements of Success: How to Make Sure Your Business is on the Right Track
April 20, 2017

Business Basics
April 27, 2017
*please contact 631-399-1511x 240 to register 

Women's Empowerment Circle
May 4, 2017
5:30pm-8:00 pm
*workshop is full

QuickBooks Basics
May 8, 15, 22  2017
9am -11am
Call to Register
*workshop full
*taking waiting list
  for fall workshop only

Business Basics
May 10, 2017
*Please contact 631-273-7883x132 to register

How To Write A Business Plan
May 17, 2017
*Please contact 631-273-7883x132 to register

Insurance For Small Business
June 7, 2017
*please contact 631-273-7883x132 to register

Navigating the World of Small Business Loans
June 14, 2017
9:00 am - 11:00 am

Financial Management For Small Business
June 21, 2017
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
*please contact 631-273-7883x132

Would You Do Business With You?
June 22, 2017

Selling to the Government
June 21, 2017
10:30 am-12:00 noon

QuickBooks Basics
July 10,17 and 31, 2017
** call 631-632-9837 to register
**limited seating 

Selling to the Government
August 16, 2017
10:00 am-12:30 pm
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Partnership Program with the SBA, administered by the State University of New York. Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.  All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA. All SBA funded programs are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.

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