Competitions: Executive Summary

What Is an Executive Summary?

An Executive Summary is a summary of your business plan. Investors use the Executive Summary as a quick way to evaluate ideas. The Executive Summary needs to catch investors' attention and make them WANT to read more.

A one-page Executive Summary MUST include the following:

  • First and Last Name
  • Name of your Business
  • Product/Service Description —This is an overview of your business idea. Promote what is unique about your business idea. What problem is being solved? How is your business solving the problem?
  • Describe key management personnel, including skills and experience—What makes you/your team qualified to start/run this business?
  • Competitive Analysis & Advantage—Describe your competitors. Identify your competitive advantage. How do you compete? (For example: price, quality, unique features & benefits, distribution, marketing/advertising, strengths/weaknesses)
  • Target Market—Who is your customer and what are their needs? How will you get your product/service into the hands of your customers?
  • Business Revenue Model—How will your business generate a profit/make money?
  • Current Stage of Business (e.g. Start-up/New or existing business)
  • What's the Next Step for Your Business?—How will you use the seed capital if you win?

Note: If your business is already operational, you should include the history of your business, an overview of your marketing efforts, and a summary of sales and profits.

John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center The University of Iowa