IdeaPitch contest for student entrepreneurs accepting applications

The third annual IdeaPitch competition, hosted by the Farrell Center for Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Penn State's Smeal College of Business, is now accepting applications from Penn State students who have an idea for a viable business venture. For the first time, this year's winning team will go on to compete against teams from other Big Ten universities in April in Chicago.

More than just a competition, IdeaPitch's experiential-learning design equips teams with the tools, skills, and resources necessary to successfully pitch their ideas to investors, while providing exposure to potential backers.
The two-round contest awards prizes to the best three business ideas, as judged by a team of venture capitalists, angel investors, and innovation experts. In addition to the trip to Chicago, the winning team will be eligible to receive capital from Smeal's Garber Venture Capital Fund and, if all team members are Penn State students, free office space from Penn State's Launch Pad business incubator.
Budding entrepreneurs have until Dec. 31 to register online at Individuals who are interested in participating but lack an idea also may sign up to put their skills to work for an existing team. Each team must have at least one Penn State student, but other team members may come from outside the University.
Teams will have access to counsel and online tools to help them craft and finesse their pitches. To ensure all contestants are on a level playing field, teaching materials and examples will be made available on the Web so that teams may learn while competing.
In the first round of competition, teams will be required to submit a detailed business proposal explaining their idea by Feb. 26. The proposal must include a description of the product or service itself, its market and potential competitors, and its customers. Teams also must include a business model to tell investors how much it will cost and how long it will take to get their idea into the marketplace and generating revenue. Finally, the business proposal should include a description of the firm's management team, gaps in leadership, a financial account of where the firm now stands, and details describing how backers can expect to get a return on their investment.
A proposal template can be found on the competition's Web site, describing in greater detail each requirement.
Upon reviewing the submitted proposals, the judges will select eight finalists to move on to the final round of the competition, which will be held on March 26.
During the final round, the eight remaining teams will present their ideas to a panel of venture capitalists. The teams must defend their proposals and answer questions and concerns from the potential investors on the panel.
For complete details on the Penn State IdeaPitch Competition, visit For additional information, contact Anthony Warren, director of the Farrell Center for Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship, at


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Last Updated October 13, 2009