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Using LivePlan in your classroom

Posted By Amy Valente, Friday, July 19, 2013

Let's talk about a tool that can really make your life easy when you have a business plan project for your students - LivePlan!


What is it? An online web-based tool that helps users to write professional business plans.  The tool includes expert advice, built-in help, online access, team access and sample business plans.   

How does a student access it? I piloted LivePlan in my Principles of Business Classes. Palo Alto Software provided me with a promo code to share with my students. If you are interested in sharing LivePlan with your students you should contact Jason Gallic at

What does a student use it for? Students used the tool for a semester-long team project in which they create a business plan.

How does it relate to entrepreneurship education? Entrepreneurs use this product to create their business plans initially and continually update their plans on an ongoing basis. 

What did I like about LivePlan from an instructor's perspective? 

Prior to using LivePlan, I provided students with a Word document template for their business plan.   Even though I encouraged students to use a collaboration tool such as Google Groups, many did not.  They were emailing the plan back and forth between each other and it was difficult to keep track of versions and changes. LivePlan really facilitated communication between students who were in a team on the business plan project.  Students could comment on sections of their business plan and collaborate on what to change in their plan without having to meet face-to-face.  From an instructor's perspective, students set me up as a guest so that I could view their plans along the way.  I was able to comment on each section of the plan for them to improve the plan prior to the end of the semester.  When it came to grading the project, it was easy to go back into LivePlan and view the full plan with my previous comments. 

What could Palo Alto do to improve LivePlan for use in the classroom?

  • I would like the ability to have a grading rubric in each section to make sure that students have considered all points in each section.  
  • There were some limitations in terms of what could be attached in LivePlan.  Currently, the product only allows .jpg attachments to a business plan.  I would like to see the ability to attach a word document, power point, or excel spreadsheet also.
  • When I am teaching multiple sections of the class, I would like the ability to set up a class section within Liveplan so that I don’t just have a bunch of plans and I’m not sure which plans go with which class sections.
  • Spell check should be incorporated into the product.
I've attached an instruction sheet that you can tailor and distribute to your students to help them use

Download File (DOCX)

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Comments on this post...

North Iowa Area Community College _ says...
Posted Thursday, December 5, 2013
Amy - Can students use the promo code for live plan the entire time they are a student?
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Amy L. Valente says...
Posted Thursday, December 5, 2013
Tim, The promo code is good for 6 months. I use it in one of my 15-week semester classes, so this was enough time for them to finish their plan. Hope this helps!
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