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IUPUI to host annual JagStart entrepreneurship competition

February 28, 2017

Winners of the 2016 JagStart competition were all smiles as they held their giant checks.
Winners of the 2016 JagStart competition were all smiles as they held their giant checks.

Fifteen teams composed of some of IUPUI's most enterprising students will gather March 3 to "pitch" their way to a share of $5,500 in prize money in the 2017 JagStart competition, taking place 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. in the Lilly Auditorium in University Library.

In this elevator pitch–style competition similar to the ABC program "Shark Tank," students will have three minutes to pitch their ideas for new products or ventures, both commercial and nonprofit, and then face two minutes of questions from a five-person judging panel.

The panel will decide the first-, second- and third-place prizes, which will earn $2,500, $1,500 and $500, respectively. There will also be a $1,000 award for the best pitch as chosen by audience balloting.

The competition is under the auspices of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, which offers programs to support student innovation and entrepreneurship.

"It's pretty unique," said Kendrea Williams, a contest judge who founded a nonprofit called PitchFeast Corporation, a micro-enterprise development organization. "I've been through some other university-based competitions that were geared more toward business students and a lot of profit-based ideas. This is more about social ideas and open to different types of enterprises, compared to businesses that are scalable."

Audience check-in/on-site registration begins at 1 p.m. the day of the competition.

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