Student Business Plan Competition

sadaAttention ADA Students—Do you have an entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to create your own destiny? Does your future include private practice ownership or audiology clinic management?

If so, it’s time to get down to business and get your business plan ready, polished and perfected for the ADA 2020 Student Business Plan Competition. Nature of Ventures: The ADA Business Plan Competition is for the development of new, independent audiology practices, which are innovative and future oriented.

This year’s event will be scenario-based. Participating student teams will all receive the same parameters/storyline, and will be asked to construct innovative, future-facing business plans using variables created by some of the most experienced practice owners and thought leaders in the country.

Please Note: The 2020 Scenario is specific to the second phase of the business planning process and will be released to participating contestants after executive summaries are received. This scenario will be related to your existing plan and executive summary.

The deadline to submit your letter of intent is June 8th. Contestants must be ADA student members in good standing and must be listed as students at some time during calendar year 2020.

Finalists will present their business plans as part of the AuDacity 2020: Forge Ahead and Forge Ahead Down Under Virtual Conference. Students who are selected as finalists will need to be prepared to record their business plan competition presentations virtually with ADA staff during the week of September 28th AND be available for live Q&A with the judges and audience on October 16th during the Business Plan Competition and Awards Session.

The Grand Prize Winner will receive a $8,000 ADA cash grant to be used to advance business objectives and enhance business and leadership skills.

Business plans will be judged based on the following criteria:

  • Creativity
  • Feasibility
  • Completeness
  • Cohesiveness
  • Professionalism


Prior to submitting your intent to participate, please review eligibility requirements and submission guidelines. The letter of intent must be completed no later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, June 8th, 2020. The system will close at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, and no submissions will be received after that deadline. Please note that the first deliverable, the Executive Summary, is due on June 15, 2020, so it is advisable to submit your letter of intent prior to the June 8th deadline.

Students may participate in the competition individually or as part of a two-person team. No more than two people may participate as a team.

Important Deadlines

  • Monday, June 8th — Deadline to submit Letter of Intent
  • Monday, June 15th — Deadline to submit Executive Summary
  • Friday, June 26th — Quarterfinalists selected, and scenario released
  • Monday, July 13th — Business Plan due
  • Wednesday, July 29th — Semifinalists selected
  • Week of August 3rd — Teams meet with judges and experts
  • Monday, August 17th — Revised Business Plan due
  • Monday, August 31st — Finalists selected
  • Tuesday, September 8th — Final polished Business Plan due
  • Tuesday, September 22nd — Poster and Presentation due
  • Week of September 23rd-28th — Finalists record their Presentations with ADA Staff
  • Friday, October 16th — AuDacity 2020: Forge Ahead and Forge Ahead Down Under Virtual Conference

Business Plan Competition & Practice Management Webinar Series

  • Although it is not required, it is highly encouraged that students who wish to participate in the competition also participate in the ongoing Business Plan Competition & Practice Management Webinar Series. This series is hosted by the Student Academy of Doctors of Audiology (SADA) and features experts in a variety of topics, including business planning, finance, marketing, and practice management. If you are unable to attend a live webinar, recordings are made available on the ADA website 3-5 business days after the live webinar date.

General Notices

  • Use of Materials: ADA reserves the right to use material prepared for the competition in publicizing and promoting the event. ADA may use these materials in any printed materials and any videotape or other medium that it may produce. ADA may videotape any portion of the competition and utilize these tapes in any way that its sees fit.
  • Entry Fees: The ADA Student Business Plan Competition does not have an entry fee.
  • Changes to Competition Rules: While not anticipated, these rules and prizes are subject to change at the discretion of ADA. ADA and its staff and volunteers have the right to interpret these rules according to their own judgment.
  • Decisions regarding the Competition and the Winners: All decisions regarding the competition rules, procedures, and processes are at the sole discretion of ADA. Changes and/or interpretations of these rules may be made by the ADA any time. The decision of the participants, semi-finalists, finalists and winner are at the sole discretion of the judges and the ADA. Best efforts will be made to make decisions in accordance with this Official Rules document.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Student Enrollment: The competition is for students enrolled in an Au.D. Program at an accredited university at any point during 2020 (recent or upcoming graduates are encouraged to participate).
  • SADA Membership: Students must be members of the Student Academy of Doctors of Audiology (SADA) in good standing.
  • Nature of Ventures: The ADA Business Plan Competition is for the development of new, independent audiology practices, which are innovative and future oriented.

General Guidelines

  • Non-confidentiality: All sessions of the competition, including but not limited to oral presentations and question/answer sessions, are open to the public at large. Any and all of these sessions may be broadcast to interested persons through media which may include radio, television and the Internet. Any data or information discussed or divulged in public sessions by entrants should be considered information that could possibly enter the public realm, and entrants should not assume any right of confidentiality in any data or information discussed, divulged, or presented in these sessions.

    Due to the nature of the competition, we are not able to ask judges, reviewers, staff, or the audience to agree to or sign non-disclosure statements. ADA cannot guarantee that other individuals will not obtain access to electronic or hard copies of the business plan. All presentations are open to attendees, and some presentations may be videotaped. Attendance by media personnel is expected.
  • Copyrights & Permissions: If a contestant uses copyrighted materials and/or images from a third-party in their submissions or presentations, they must obtain permission and authorization in advance from the owners to use this material.

Written Business Plan

  • Written Business Plan Submission: A complete written business plan from the quarterfinalists must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, July 13th (more information will be distributed to selected quarterfinalists).
  • Minimum Contents of the Written Business Plan: Your business plan should address all components of the provided scenario. Your business plan may also include:
    • Cover Page
    • Executive Summary
    • Company Description
    • Market Research
    • Product/Service Line
    • Marketing & Sales
    • Financial Projections
    • Supporting Information
  • Appendices: Should be included only when they support the findings, statements, and observations in the plan. Because of the contestants participating in the competition, judges may not be able to read all the material in the appendices. Therefore, the text portion of the plan must contain all pertinent information in a clear and concise manner.

Oral Presentations

  • Finalist Venture Presentations will be recorded with ADA staff the week of September 28th. Students must be available for live Q&A during the Business Plan Competition and Awards Session on October 16th at the AuDacity 2020 Virtual Conference.

Suggested Resource Materials for Review in Completing the Business Plan


ADA is grateful to Amplifon for its commitment to underwrite the 2020 ADA Student Business Plan Competition.