Almost every university or research center organizes idea contests or business plan competitions. This article highlights, on the one hand, the vast variety of such kind of competitions across Europe. On the other hand, it aims to propose a new typology to classify such contests. We do this for two reasons: to allow scholars to better classify and study such events that, despite having similar labels, might be quite different in terms of their content; and to allow organizers - such as universities, incubators, accelerators and research centers - to increase the level of consistency between the implicit and explicit goals of the competitions they organize and the internal and external structure of such competitions.
Keywords: Business Plan Competition, University, Idea Contest, Spin-off, Start-up, Business Education