The deadline to enter the annual Five Ventures business plan competition is rapidly approaching.

The event, which offers $5,000 in cash plus advice and support services from sponsors of the event, is put on by the University of Charlotte.

Deadline to enter is March 4.

The competition is open to entrepreneurs who have a fledgling business — or are thinking about starting one.

Entries will be judged based on a variety of criteria including business viability and opportunity, the entrant’s knowledge of his or her industry, market and competition, insight, quality of management team. Communication skills and the ability to focus.

Entrants should also have an affiliation with a university, although such a relationship does not have to be with UNC Charlotte.

A first round of competition on March 23 will be used to determine 10 semi-finalists.

The winner will be determined at the Five Ventures Event on Thursday, April 7.

Five finalists are guaranteed a package of professional services for marketing, legal, public relations, accounting, management and financing.

Second-place finisher also receives $2,000.

Those interested in competing should send an executive summary of their plans to:

Ruth Burnett, Office of Technology Transfer, 110 Cameron Center, UNC Charlotte, 9201 University City Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28223 or via email at

For questions or additional information, call the office at (704) 687-4144 or visit the website at