Entrepreneurship Competitions

Think you've got the next big idea and want to vet it with experts? Ready to practice your business pitch and potentially win prizes to help you get your idea off the ground? We've got some competitions for you.

Students pitching to judges in an entrepreneurship competition
Business Model Competition participants give two-minutes pitches to judges.

Virtual Competition for Spring 2020

Due to in-person events being canceled, the Business Model Competition will take place virtually via Blackboard. Competition participants have been added to a Blackboard Collaborate site. If you have questions or need help accessing the site, contact Jan Baum, jbaum@towson.edu 

 

Spring 2020 Business Model Competition

DETAILS

Build out a business model for your idea using the Business Model Canvas and you could win money to help get your idea off the ground and running! 

Date & Time: April 21, 2020 4-7:30 p.m.
Location: Blackboard Business Model Competition Site
Prizes: 
First Place $3,000, Second Place $2,000, Third Place $1,300

How It Works & Important Deadlines

  1. Decide on your business idea and fill out the entry form by Feb. 14.
  2. Start working on your business idea and contact a Competition Mentor (see list below) by Feb. 21 and meet with them by March 31.
  3. Attend a virutal Perfecting Your Video Submission Workshop.
  4. Create your video and upload to the competition Blackboard site by April 7.
  5. Attend a virutal Competition Boot Camp.
  6. Videos are reviewed by judges. 20 finalists will be selected and notified by April 10.
  7. Finalize and print your Business Model Canvas poster.
  8. Finalists present their posters via Blackboard on April 21.

 

Business Model Competition RUles & Resources

Rules
  • Open to the Towson University campus community. Entries may be submitted by individuals or teams.
  • The competition is focused on early stage ideas: a product/service/technology in development. Ideas may be for profit or not-for-profit/purpose driven. Ideas must be in compliance with all federal, state, and local laws/regulation. Successful applications generally offer growth potential and scalability. Ideas will be reviewed for the potential to be in business in five years.
  • Ideas should be fairly developed. If you need assistance in developing or refining your idea, see Startup Resources below.
  • Requirement: Applicants are required to participate in one of the Competition Boot Camps and have one mentor meeting to review their business model canvas (See Template, Workshops and Resources below.) Applicants who do not attend a session will be disqualified from the competition.  
  • Participants are required to submit a 20 in. x 30 in. mounted Business Model Canvas mounted on foam board. Submissions that deviate from the Business Model Canvas will be disqualified. Students can have their business model canvas printed 20 in. x 30 in. at the Office of Student Computing Services for free. Appointments are required. Printed canvases must be neatly mounted on foam board, which can be purchased at the university store. Take poster and foam board to the Student Launch Pad (SLP) and have the SLP staff help you mount your poster.
  • Business Model Canvases will be judged on concept, clarity, comprehensiveness, feasibility, and potential value.
Workshops 

 

WORKSHOPS

All workshops take place in Student Launch Pad (Cook 401)

Competition Boot Camps
March 26, 10:45 - 11:45 a.m.
April 2, 12:30-1:30 p.m.
April 7, 12:30-1:30 p.m.
April 15, 12-1 p.m.

Perfect Your Video Submission
Feb. 26, 1-2 p.m.
March 3, 12:30-1:30 p.m.
March 11, 1-2 p.m.
March 24, 12:30-1:30 p.m.
April 1, 1-2 p.m.

Video Guidelines

All students interested in being a finalist will submit an elevator pitch video to the Business Model Competition Blackboard site by Tuesday, April, 7 at 5 p.m. 

Best Practices for 2-Minute Elevator Pitch Videos

Content

An elevator pitch is a succinct pitch of your startup idea delivered in the time it takes to ride an elevator. In two minutes you want to hook your audience, state your value proposition, discuss your customer segments, the critical differentiating elements of your idea, and the stage of development of your startup.

Preparation

Prepare what you will say and practice it so that  you can be relaxed and confident.

Dress nicely.

Technical Tips

  • Shoot in landscape mode versus portrait mode.
  • Speak to the camera and make eye contact. Smile.
  • Relax and be as natural as you can. Try not to be rigid, for example, use your hands to gesture. Always be authentic.
  • Acceptable file formats: .MOV, .MPEG4, .MP4, .AVI, .WMV

Resources

The Office of Technology Services at TU has a space you can shoot your video in, equipment such as cameras and tripods, and video editing software. The point of contact for these resources is Bill Gorman, . There is a video of what OTS has available on the Blackboard site.

Competition Mentors

Competition Mentors

Email mentors to schedule appointments.

David Cross, TU Incubator

Ellyn Sheffield, CEO verb8tm
ellyn.sheffield@verb8tm.com

Ifunaya Enezuagu, Student Launch Pad Manager
 

Mark Flores, Management Department
 

Sidney Pink, Media, Arts and Communications Department
 

Matthew Leister, Leister Ventures
matt@leisterventures.com 

Marcy Lightfoot, Media, Arts and Communications Department
 

Lisa Michocki, Student Academic & Career Services
 

Róisín Donegan, Student Academic & Career Services
 

Greg March, Student Academic & Career Services
 

 Quincey Johnson, Business Excellence & Legal Studies
 

Lauren Meredith, Student Academic & Career Services
 

Gary Pennington, Physics, Astronomy & Geosciences
 

Jaime DeLuca, Department of Kinesiology

Devon Dobrosielski, Department of Kinesiology
 

Poster Template