Y.E.S. for Arkansas 2.0

The founding sponsor of Y.E.S. 2.0 is the Arkansas Economic Acceleration Foundation (AEAF), created in 1999 by Arkansas Capital. The mission of AEAF is to generate future Arkansas entrepreneurs by being a catalyst in an environment that attracts, develops, and retains entrepreneurial opportunities within Arkansas.

The Y.E.S. for Arkansas 2.0 business plan competition is an exciting, project-based learning opportunity. The challenge is for students to create a business idea that identifies a current problem in the marketplace, and a new or better product/service that they believe would solve the problem and produce revenue. They then put that idea to test as they tackle real-world research and validation needed to answer questions in the business plan.

All 9th – 12th grade students enrolled in the 2016–2017 school year are eligible, and can compete individually or in teams.

There is no cost to compete, and Y.E.S. 2.0 is completely online. Competitors can be based from the classroom, clubs, or organizations (DECA, 4-H, FCCLA, FBLA, Skills USA, Boys and Girls Clubs, etc.). All teams are required to have a sponsor – either a teacher or AEAF-approved mentor from their area.

Win or lose, all competitors discover new perspectives on entrepreneurship that will serve them well into the future – whether they go to college, go to work for someone else, or start their own businesses and create jobs for others.

Teams planning to compete may submit their Intents to Compete by 5:00 p.m. Friday, February 17, 2017. Business plans are due by 5:00 p.m. Monday, March 13, 2017. Good luck!



  1. Y.E.S. 2.0 is open to all Arkansas public, private, or home-school students enrolled in grades 9-12 during the 2015-2016 school year.
  2. Students can compete individually or in teams. The maximum team size is six students.
  3. Competitors can be from classrooms, extra-curricular clubs and organizations, church groups, etc.
  4. All teams must have a sponsor. The role of the sponsor is to mentor the competitors as they create their plans, ensuring they are following the Y.E.S. 2.0 rules and guidelines. Sponsors can be teachers or other adults, but non-teachers must be pre-approved by AEAF. Please contact Marie Bruno (mbruno@arcapital.com; phone, 501-374-9247) regarding approval. Sponsors cannot be parents or close relatives of competitors on teams they advise,
  5. Team size is limited to six members. Freshman and sophomore students must compete in the 9th–10th grade division; juniors and seniors compete in the 11th–12th grade division. Team members can be in the same grade or represent a combination of grades in either division.
    If a 9th–10th grade team wants to include a student in the 11th or 12th grades, they must compete in the 11th–12th grade division.
  6. Teams can submit only one plan into the competition. There can be multiple teams from schools and organizations. Sponsors can mentor more than one team.
  7. Teams do not have to have existing businesses to compete in Y.E.S. 2.0. Their challenge is to come up with a business idea that identifies customer “pain” in the marketplace, and devise a new or better product or service that they believe would solve the problem and also make money. Nonprofit businesses are not eligible.
  8. Business plans must represent the original work of each individual and team competitors. Plans cannot contain fabricated information about (but not limited to) the following: backgrounds, experience and educational levels of team members, stage of product development, product performance claims, or market survey results.
  9. Not every circumstance can be anticipated. The Arkansas Economic Acceleration Foundation (AEAF) reserves the right to disqualify any team that violates the rules, regulations, or the spirit of the competition. All Y.E.S. 2.0 competitors and sponsors are expected to conduct themselves in an ethical manner. The Y.E.S. 2.0 competition is managed through StartupCompete.co (formerly iStart.org). To enter the competition, the sponsor or a designated team member needs to create an account on Startup Compete on behalf of the team. Click here for instructions. For teams that already have Startup Compete (or iStart) accounts, log in here.


How to Create Startup Compete 2.0 (formerly iStart) Accounts
To compete in Y.E.S. 2.0, sponsors or a designated team leader must create an account on Startup Compete (formerly iStart).

Sponsors who agree to mentor more than one team will be able to register all teams for the competition through this account, unless this responsibility has been designated to the team leader. If this is the case, team leaders must add their sponsors to the team’s profile. As you move through the setup process, be aware that ‘Account’ and ‘Profile’ mean the same thing.

To register for the 2017 competition, go to yesforarkansas2-2016.startupcompete.co.

At the upper-left side of the page, you will see an orange button with Log In / Register. Click on this button. A box with a gold strip across the top will pop up on the screen.


Submitting Intents to Compete greatly helps in preparations for the number of judges that need to be recruited for the competition. If you’re still not sure about a team’s participation by the Intent to Compete deadline, please file one anyway. Submitting intents does not obligate sponsors or teams to the competition.

Also, if all the information needed by the intent is not yet known by the Intent to Compete deadline, submit at least one team member’s name and class and the school information. All team names do not need to be finalized until the business plan is submitted.

Deadline: 5:00 p.m. Friday, February 17, 2017


  1. Go to yesforarkansas2-2017.startupcompete.co and log in.
  2. Click on the orange tab at the top left. If you had an existing Startup Compete account, it will say “Manage Ideas.” You will need to do step 3 for the 2017 competition.
  3. Click on “Register New Business / Concept.” (If you have entered teams in Y.E.S. 2.0 in previous years, you will see those registrations. Scroll through them until you see this button at the bottom.) You will be taken to a page with a box asking you to “Complete your Listing for Startup Compete’s Public Directory.”
  4. For the purposes of completing the Intent to Compete process, you only need to fill in the “Business / Concept” and “Business / Concept Summary” boxes.
  5. The “Business / Concept” is the name of the business plan. If you do not have a business plan finalized yet, it’s OK to enter a generic name.
  6. The “Business / Concept Summary” is a summary of your business plan idea. If you do not have a business plan yet, enter a few brief words.
  7. After you fill out these two boxes, that’s it. You are not required to fill out any other information on the page, including the option at the bottom to “Display Your Business on the Startup Compete Public Directory,” unless you want to do so.
  8. Click “Save” at the bottom of the page. You will then be taken to the Startup Compete Competition Participant Agreement. Feel free to read the agreement if you like, but you can go ahead and click “I Agree.”
  9. You will then be taken to an “Application Page,” where you will be prompted to complete sponsor, team member, and school information.  If you do not yet know who your team members will be, that’s OK. You can update this information anytime until November 10, when business plans are due.
  10. Be sure to click “Save” when you’re finished.

You will then be taken back to your profile page. You should see the business name you just entered in the “Business Ideas” tab.

Sponsors must submit an intent to compete for each team. Repeat steps 3–9 above.


Formatting, Cover Sheet, Table of Contents (5 points)

  • Business plans are limited to a maximum of 15 pages. The pages must be typed in 12-point Times New Roman or Arial font. Paragraphs can be single- or double-spaced.
  • All plans must begin with a Cover Page and a Table of Contents. These will not be counted as part of the plan’s total pages. The typeface on these pages can be larger than 12 point if desired. The Cover Page must include:
    • the name of the business
    • the name/s of all team members
    • the name of the team’s school, extracurricular club, or other organization
    • the sponsor’s name and title
    • contact information — sponsor’s email address, telephone number, and mailing address

Executive Summary (10 Points)
On one page or less, describe your company and the industry it represents (retail, healthcare, finance, agriculture, education, hospitality, utilities, construction, manufacturing, transportation, etc.). What inspired you to create the company? What markets will you target? How much money is needed to launch the business? How will the company make money?

Consider writing the Executive Summary after you have completed the other parts of the plan. Keep in mind this will be the judges’ first impression of the team and the plan. Make this summary confident, convincing, and exciting.

Company Overview (10 Points)
How did your team come up with the idea for the business? What need or “pain” is it addressing in the marketplace? What is your proposed product or service and how does it satisfy the need in the marketplace? Who would be your customer? How would your product or service bring value to your customers? Where would your company be located and why? What are the team’s vision and goals for the company?

Market and Competitive Analysis (15 Points)
What research and validation was done by the team to determine the need for the product or service? How large is the marketplace? How did the team target their customers? What are their demographics (gender, age, income, geography, etc.)? What are the growth trends and key driving forces of your industry? How will these influence the viability of your product or service? How will you promote your product or service to your customers? How and where will your product or service be sold or offered? Who are your competitors? Why would your customers buy from you rather than your competitors?

Product or Service Description (15 Points)
Further describe the product or service. What innovative features does it offer? Why is it new or different than what is currently in the marketplace? How will it meet the needs and expectations of your targeted customers? What facilities, equipment, and supplies are needed? How would it be delivered to the points to where you will sell it to your customers?

(If applicable, please include a drawing or photo to better illustrate the product or service. Please ensure images are compressed before placing them into the document.)

Management Team (10 Points)
What key leaders are needed for the company’s management? What are their duties? What management roles would the team members assume and what skills, talents, and interests do they bring to the table for these positions?

Critical Risks (5 Points)
What critical risks — real or potential — could threaten the business? How would the team address them?

  • For the 9th – 10th grade division:  Provide a narrative to answer the following questions: How much money does the team think is needed to start the company? Where would the money come from? How much does it cost to make or create the product or service? How much does it cost to get it into the marketplace? What are other costs (marketing, salaries, office equipment, etc.)? How much money — if any — does the team think the company would make in the first, second, and third years?
  • For the 11th – 12th grade division: How much money is needed to start the business? Where would it come from? If it is a loan or other form of credit, what are the repayment terms? Provide an Income Statement outlining projected revenue and expenses for three years. Give a brief rationale as to how the team arrived at these figures for each year.


  • Business plan submissions open Monday, February 22, at 8:00 a.m. The deadline to submit plans is 5:00 p.m. Wednesday, March 9.
  • Before you upload your plan, please make sure it is proofed for grammar, spelling, punctuation, and proper sentence construction.
  • Your plan will need to be converted to PDF in order to upload it to Startup Compete. Please give this PDF document the same name as that of your business.
  • When the PDF conversion is complete, please ensure all pages were properly converted. Plans that are missing pages cannot be judged and will be disqualified.
  • Don’t take chances on your hard work going to waste – proofread your plan carefully!

To submit:

  1. Go to yesforarkansas2-2016.startupcompete.co and log in.
  2. Click on your account name at the upper right hand corner of the page to access your profile.
  3. Click on the “Business Ideas” tab.
  4. Find the business name you entered in the Intent to Compete process. Click “Edit.”
  5. Update the name of the business if it changed it since submitting the Intent to Compete.
  6. Update your content in the “Business / Concept Summary” box. This should be a short, two- to three-sentence paragraph stating your company’s purpose.
  7. No further information is required. You do not need to check the option at the bottom that asks, “Display Your Business on the Startup Compete Public Directory?” unless you choose to do so.
  8. When finished with this page, click “Save.” You will then be taken to the Startup Compete Competition Participant Agreement. Feel free to read the agreement if you like, but you can go ahead and click “I Agree.” You will then be taken to the Application page.
  9. Update the sponsor, school, and team member information. You will then see the prompt to upload your business plan.

Congratulations and good luck!


In addition to bragging rights and a real entrepreneurial experience, there’s also cash, a school trophy, and a certificate for your portfolio or your resume to be gained by entering Y.E.S. 2.0!


See which teams — and their advisors — racked up cash and other awards in previous Y.E.S. 2.0 competitions!