“The Pitch” Offers Chance of a Lifetime

Originally posted: November 10, 2011

With ideas, entrepreneurs can transform communities, improve quality of life and offer services that change the very way we live our lives. In the tradition of nurturing entrepreneurial spirit on the Hobart and William Smith campus, the Centennial Center for Leadership (CCL)is looking for non-profit and for-profit entrepreneurial ideas in its first ever entrepreneurial contest, The Pitch.

Inspired by this year’s theme of the Power of an Idea, students are asked to develop an influential idea to bring to life – and CCL is providing one lucky entrepreneur with up to $10,000 to do it. Whether these ideas implement social change or insight intellectual growth, the Pitch seeks to help budding entrepreneurs cultivate their idea, assisting with every step of the process – from thought to implementation.

There is no need to have any experience in economics or business to enter the contest. All are encouraged to demonstrate their entrepreneurial spirit – and show the drive to make an idea a reality.

Student entrepreneurs are asked to submit one proposal per person, though students can submit a proposal as a team of up to five members, to CCL by Friday, Dec. 2. Proposals should be no more than four pages and action ready – the winner of the competition will receive a grant that will require them to begin work on their project immediately after being selected.

After reviewing all proposals, an evaluation committee of faculty and staff will select up to 10 semi-finalists. Each of the chosen semi-finalists will be paired with an HWS alum in a related field, who will act as entrepreneurial mentor, assisting students in strengthening their proposal before it is submitted for reevaluation.

Following a careful reevaluation process, five finalists will be chosen to compete in a culminating Pitch event on Wednesday, Feb. 29. The event will be open to the entire campus, who will watch as each finalist has the opportunity to present a four-minute pitch to a panel of entrepreneurial judges. These experienced judges will then decide on the grand winner – announcing the successful entrepreneur that evening.

CCL will offer a workshop for the The Pitch on Wednesday, Nov. 16, at 4 p.m. in the Centennial Center for Leadership located on South Main St. The workshop seek to help students generate and develop well thought out ideas before creating a proposal.

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