Student entrepreneurs can apply to compete for $30,000 on 'The Investment'

January 14, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Technical Assistance Program (PennTAP) at Penn State is looking for student entrepreneurs to compete in the 2019 Inc. U Competition. Finalists will earn a spot on “The Investment” and a chance to compete for a share of $30,000. Applications are due by Feb. 10.

“The Investment,” modeled from ABC’s “Shark Tank,” gives student entrepreneurs a spotlight to pitch their business ideas for a chance to claim a portion of the prize money. The annual production of the program, orchestrated by PennTAP and produced by WPSU, is possible because of grant funding awarded from the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

Tim Kerchinski, innovation team lead for PennTAP, said the annual Inc. U Competition provides opportunities for students to continue their journey toward funding their entrepreneurial pursuits.

“Some competitors come to us with no experience, just ideas; others come to us after launching a company. All of them are looking for mentors and funding resources,” Kerchinski said. “The Inc. U Competition gives student entrepreneurs an opportunity to showcase their startup and discover potential business partnerships.”

Sherveen Karbasiafshar, a biology student at Penn State, and his team competed on “The Investment” in April with their product Moichor (formally HemoGO).

“Moichor is an application we designed to assist people who need to check their complete blood count on a regular basis. The app allows them to check their CBC from their smartphone,” Karbasiafshar said. “Competing in ‘The Investment’ gave us the opportunity to pitch our product. Winning the $30,000 award supplied us with the funding we needed to move our product forward to market.”

To enter the 2019 Inc. U Competition:

  • Student entrepreneurs must submit a two-and-a-half minute video about their company to PennTAP by Feb. 10.
  • Top six teams will be announced on Feb. 20.
  • Top six companies must have legal company/entity established by March 4.
  • “The Investment” will be taped at the WPSU studio on April 6.

The Inc. U Competition is one of many entrepreneurship-focused opportunities available to Penn State students. Under the leadership of President Eric Barron, Penn State has developed rich and transformative educational environments across Pennsylvania with a strong focus on entrepreneurial success and economic development. In 2015, Barron launched Invent Penn State, a statewide initiative that has created 21 innovation hubs throughout the Commonwealth that provide student entrepreneurs with tools and resources to develop their business — with an ultimate goal of creating a positive impact on the economy.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated January 14, 2019