To participate in the competition, all teams must apply within the submission window from November 6, 2023, to January 26, 2024. Any application submitted after this period will NOT be accepted.

The University of Texas at San Antonio reserves the right to postpone, reschedule, or cancel the Draper Data Science Business Plan Competition for any circumstance under their discretion. In the event of cancellation, all materials submitted for the competition will be destroyed and will remain the intellectual property of the submitter.

Venture Teams interested in competing in the Draper Competition must meet the following criteria: 

  • Be currently enrolled at an undergraduate level (two- or four-year institution) or be a current graduate student (Master’s or Ph.D. program) at an accredited, not-for-profit college, in the US, Canada, or Mexico. Recent graduates, having been awarded their degrees in December 2023, are eligible to participate.

  • All ventures must have at least two and no more than six members.

  • The competition is for new, for-profit, independent ventures in the seed, start-up or early growth stages. Ventures with a social impact focus are eligible as long as there is a revenue- generating component to the venture. Ventures that qualify for 501(c) status are not eligible.

  • The team leader serves as the main contact for the team and must complete the team's application. The application must demonstrate that the team leader played a significant role in conceiving the venture.

  • Ventures must be student-created and student-managed. All participants must verify student status at the time of application. Current students can provide an unofficial copy of their transcript or a current class schedule showing the enrollment term. Recent graduates can provide a copy of their diploma, original transcript, or other document proving their eligibility as of December 31, 2023.

  • Team members must:
    • demonstrate commitment in moving venture forward.
    • play a primary role in developing the business strategy.
    • have key management roles in the startup venture.
  • Each team must provide contact information for a faculty advisor/mentor at their school who is familiar with the team and the venture. Any faculty advisor/mentor is welcome, but not required to be present at the in-person finals.

  • Ventures must be wholly owned by the team.

  • An existing business is eligible only if, as of 11:59 p.m. on December 31, 2023, it has
    • received less than $25,000 in funding, and 
    • earned less than $100,000 in gross revenue. 


  • The competition organizers reserve the right to disqualify any entry/team at any time, that in their judgment, violates the letter or spirit of the competition.
  • UTSA School of Data Science and the Draper Competition Planning Committee assumes no responsibility to ensure the confidentiality of any information disclosed by teams before, during, or after the competition.
  • Applications submitted to the competition are considered public. The documents may be shared with judges, advisors, future students, posted on websites, used for marketing purposes, etc.
  • Participating teams should ensure that their documentation does not contain trade secrets or proprietary information.
  • Participants agree to be photographed and recorded and allow UTSA free use of these images and a summary description of all executive summaries.
  • All decisions regarding the competition rules, procedures, and processes are at the sole discretion of the competition organizers.
  • The selection of the teams to compete on competition day and the selection of the winners are at the sole discretion of the Draper Competition Planning Committee and competition judges.
  • Any team who intentionally initiates contact with any judge prior to competition day will be disqualified from the competition.