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.

The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship holds five entrepreneurship competitions per year. The Big Idea Poster Competition and Tiger Cage are held in both the fall and spring semester while the Business Model Competition is offered in the spring only.

The Big Idea Poster Competition

Do you have a great idea for a business, product or nonprofit organization? Put that idea on paper and get feedback in a low-pressure environment from judges. Participants create posters communicating their ideas and will display them in a public format for a panel of judges.

Why participate?

This is your chance to explore your ideas and begin thinking about how to turn them into action. You'll get to network with the professional judges and get useful feedback in a low-pressure environment.

Date & Time: March 13
Location: PAWS, 5-8:30 p.m.
Prizes: Automatic advancement to Tiger Cage competition and recognition in college media for the first, second and third place winners.

Big Idea Poster Competition DETAILS

Rules
  1. Competition is open to the Towson University campus community. Interested participants must fill out this short online form.
  2. The competition is focused on pre-startup or early stage ideas (a product/service/technology/business) in development. Ideas may be for profit or not-for-profit.
  3. Ideas must be in compliance with all federal, state and local laws and regulation.
  4. Entries may be submitted by individuals or teams.
  5. Applicants are required to have two mentor sessions to review their poster by designated mentors. See startup resources below. Applicants who do not attend two mentor session will be disqualified from the competition.
  6. Participants must use the poster template. Submitted posters deviating from the prescribed format will be disqualified.
Guidelines & Criteria
  1. All types of ideas are welcome but should be fairly developed. If you need assistance in developing or refining your idea, see startup resources below.
  2. Successful applications will offer growth potential and scalability. Ideas will be reviewed for the potential to be in business in five years.
  3. Posters will be judged on concept, clarity, comprehensiveness, feasibility and potential value of opportunity.
  4. Posters should be self-explanatory and visually attractive. Viewers should be able to read a poster in less than five minutes. The participating team member will have one to two minutes to explain their idea to the judging team. Images, diagrams, and graphs are a great way to make your research accessible to an audience with a short attention span.
How To Participate

Students must submit an Intent to Compete Form. Email  for more information.

Startup Resources & Poster Templates

INNOVATION CALISTHENICS

Interactive space for innovation

Some Mondays Some Wednesdays, 4:30pm-6pm
Student Launch Pad - Cook Library, Room 401

Feb. 5: Improv for Entrepreneurs
Feb. 12: Sounding Board
Feb. 19: Design Thinking
Feb. 26: Idea to Business Model
March 5: Competition Boot Camp
March 7: Competition Boot Camp
March 12: Competition Boot Camp
March 26: Pitching + Pitch Practice
March 28: Pitching + Pitch Practice
April 2: Pitching, Pitch Decks, Pitch Practice
April 9: Pitching, Pitch Decks, Pitch Practice
April 16: Building the Business Model
April 18: Building the Business Model
April 23: Pitch Practice

Mentor Network

Email mentors to schedule appointments

David Brannon, Management Department
 

Shanshan Qian, Management Department
 

Bridget Nistico, Launch Pad
 

Josh Russakis, Venture for America
josh@ventureforamerica.org (Fridays only)

Lori Ellison, Management Department
 

Poster Templates

Participants are required to use the poster template below. Submitted posters deviating from the prescribed format will be disqualified.

Poster Template (PPT)
Poster Template Example (PDF)

 

The Tiger Cage

Ready to practice your business pitch and potentially win prizes to help you get your idea off the ground? In this fast-paced pitch  competition inspired by TV’s “Shark Tank” series, you will give a short pitch on your big for-profit or not-for-profit idea. Selected finalists will go on to present to a panel of seasoned entrepreneurs and business people who will select the winner. 

Why participate?

All participants will benefit from invaluable, helpful and encouraging feedback and input on your idea and presentation. 

Qualifying Round: April 4, 2018 | 5-8:30 p.m.
Grand Finale: April 11, 2018 | 5-8:30 p.m.

Business Model Competition

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! Participants put their models on posters, which will be displayed at Entrepreneurship @ TU Demo Day on April 24, 2018. Participants present and get feedback from a panel of entrepreneurship professionals. 

Date & Time: May 1, 2018
Location: Potomac Lounge
Prizes: First place is $750; second place is $500; and third place is $250.

Business Model Competition Details

Rules
  • Open to the Towson University campus community
  • 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.
  • All types of ideas are welcome. Applications will be viewed for their potential.
  • Ideas should be fairly developed. If you need assistance in developing or refining your idea, see Startup Resources below.
  • Entries may be submitted by individuals or teams. Fill out an Intent to Compete Form.
  • Ideas must be in compliance with all federal, state, and local laws/regulation
  • Requirement: Applicants are required to participate in one of the Innovation Calisthenics and have one mentor meeting to review their business model canvas. See Startup Resources below. Applicants who do not attend two sessions will be disqualified from the competition.  
  • Participants are required to submit a 24” x 36” Business Model Canvas mounted on foam board. Submissions that deviate from the Business Model Canvas will be disqualified.
  • Successful applications generally offer growth potential and scalability. Ideas will be reviewed for the potential to be in business in five years.
  • BMCs will be judged on concept, clarity, comprehensiveness, feasibility, and potential value.
Startup Resources & Template

Poster Template

Business Model Canvas Template

INNOVATION CALISTHENICS

Interactive space for innovation

Some Mondays Some Wednesdays, 4:30pm-6pm
Student Launch Pad - Cook Library, Room 401

Feb. 5: Improv for Entrepreneurs
Feb. 12: Sounding Board
Feb. 19: Design Thinking
Feb. 26: Idea to Business Model
March 5: Competition Boot Camp
March 7: Competition Boot Camp
March 12: Competition Boot Camp
March 26: Pitching + Pitch Practice
March 28: Pitching + Pitch Practice
April 2: Pitching, Pitch Decks, Pitch Practice
April 9: Pitching, Pitch Decks, Pitch Practice
April 16: Building the Business Model
April 18: Building the Business Model
April 23: Pitch Practice

MENTOR NETWORK

Email mentors to schedule appointments

David Brannon, Management Department
 

Shanshan Qian, Management Department
 

Bridget Nistico, Launch Pad
 

Josh Russakis, Venture for America
josh@ventureforamerica.org (Fridays only)

Lori Ellison, Management Department
 

How to Participate

Fill out an Intent to Compete form.

Judges
TBA