Holloway Competition Details

Subject to UNH's mode of operation, the 2021 Holloway Competition will feature two virtual components this year: the Bud Albin Challenge Round will be exclusively virtual, while the Championship Round will be face-to-face for presenters and live-streamed for a public audience. Please direct questions to holloway.prize@unh.edu.

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 cash and prizes every year!

The Holloway Competition has 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:

  • Holloway Competition Student Presenter

    Student presenting at the Holloway Competition

    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!


Entries should be innovative, feasible to implement and address an identified market need. Many successful businesses have grown out of past competition entries. Students who entered the New Hampshire Social Venture Innovation Challenge are encouraged to enter.

registration for 2022 will open in february   

*If you are a USNH student or graduate student and would like to register using an email address other than @wildcats.unh.edu, email Holloway.Prize@unh.edu for additional instruction.


During registration you can select your preferred track, however, the Holloway Competition Chair reserves the right to change track assignments.
High Technology- The distinguishing feature of your venture is a new technology
High Growth- The distinguishing feature of your venture is high growth potential (but it does not necessarily use a new technology)
Hospitality and Service Solutions- The distinguishing feature of your venture is offering a service and/or is hospitality related
Sustainability- The distinguishing feature of your venture is positive social and/or environmental impact


Questions? Email holloway.prize@unh.edu


Welcome to the 2021 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 33rd 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, PSU, GSC)
  • 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.
  • In addition to meeting the eligibility requirements, all participants must agree to the following terms and conditions:
    1. Participants must provide honest and accurate information in registration, written materials, pitches, and all other aspects of the Competition.
    2. Participants must treat staff, faculty, volunteers, judges, fellow competitors and all others involved with the Competition with respect and professionalism.
    3. Participants commit to participating in all rounds of the Competition to which they have been invited.
    4. The judges’ decisions are final
    5. Participants understand that the Competition is a public event and have adjusted their intellectual property approach accordingly.
    6. In-kind prizes will be awarded to finalists based on the discretion of the sponsor and/or the Competition Chair. Cash prizes are awarded according to the schedule on the Competition website
    ​7. The Competition Chair can remove any team that violates these rules.
2021 Date Time Description

Mon., Feb. 1


Registration Opens

  Tues., Feb. 16 4:30 p.m. Virtual Information Session #1


Wed., Feb. 24

4:30 p.m.

Virtual Information Session #2


Fri., March 5

by 11:59 p.m.

Deadline to submit 1st round entry by 11:59 p.m.


Mon., March 15


Notification of advancement to 2nd round.


Wed., March 31 

by 11:59 p.m.

Deadline to submit 2nd round entry (by invite).


Wed., April 7


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


Sat., April 17

by 11:59 p.m.

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



12-2 p.m.

Nelson Poster Competition (OPTIONAL)


Fri., April 23


Bud Albin Challenge Semi-Final and Runoff Rounds


Mon., May 3

by 11:59 p.m.

Deadline to submit revised proposal (by invite).


Thurs., May 13


Paul J. Holloway Prize Championship Round

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.

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.
  • Ian Grant
  • 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.
  • Valentini Kalargyrou, Ph.D.
  • Jun Li, Ph.D.
  • Carl Lindblade
  • 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.
  • Daniel R. Winans, M.S.
  • 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. 

Participants must prepare two components as part of their initial entry: A written summary and a video.


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. Please remember to include the name of each team member and the name of your product/service/company.

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.


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. 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.


Twenty teams will advance to the Bud Albin Challenge Round.

Teams advancing to this round are required to answer the questions below detailing aspects from start-up to production as well an executive summary, simple pro forma cash-flow and income statements, which all must be submitted as a signel PDF document. At this time, teams may revise and resubmit their 90-second video describing the problem and solution.

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.


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.

Use Questions 11 - 16 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
  • Six teams will advance to this round.
  • Feedback from your advisor and the Challenge Round judges will help you refine your presentation for this round.
  • Team presentation order will be randomly selected.
  • All team members must be present during all presentations.
  • Teams may use props during their presentation.
  • Teams are encouraged to make an appointment with a consultant at the UNH Connors Writing Center for additional help with oral presentations.
  • Presentations will be videotaped.
  • The Holloway Prize Championship Round is open to the public. The audience is comprised of business people, venture capitalists, UNH faculty, staff, administrators, students, as well as family and friends of contestants.
  • Business professional dress is required.

View these additional resources to help you prepare for the competition.