Have a Business Idea? Enter Student Contest to Fund it

The Clarion Call report
Clarion University

The State System Business Plan Competition Committee is looking for students from State System schools who are interested in starting or growing their own business in Pennsylvania. They are holding a contest, in which the grand prize is $10,000.

Students may compete either individually or in teams by submitting a business profile, a condensed version of their business plan, to be screened by the committee members. Students must register for the competition by 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 30, 2018, and the business profiles must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 13, 2019. If the submitted profile is eligible, it will be scored by a first round of judges. The students or student teams with the highest scored profiles, or semi-finalists, will advance to the second round of judges. The semi-finalists will be announced on Feb. 25, 2019. The judges will score the semi-finalist profiles, and the highest scored profiles will move forward as finalists. The finalists will be announced on March 4, 2019. The finalists will be asked to interview, by phone, with the second round of judges, who will then select the top three finishers to be announced and recognized at an awards ceremony on April 3, 2019. All semi-finalists and finalists will also be recognized and asked to display a poster at the ceremony for other cash prizes.

The prizes for the main competition are as follows: first prize is $10,000; second is $5,000; third is $2,500. The prizes for the poster competition are as follows: first place is $350 and second is $150. Students wishing to enter the competition must create an account with YourNoodle through a link under the “Enter the Competition” tab on www.passhebiz.org.

In order to be eligible for the competition, students must be enrolled as undergraduate or graduate students, full-time or part-time, during the fall 2018 semester, at any one of the 14 PA State System of Higher Education universities. Teams must include at least one state system student, who is currently enrolled, who has a management level role within the business. Other team members do not need to come from the same state system university. The teams can be formed by students that are from one or from multiple state system universities. However, only active students can be listed as the team leader and as the other members. In order for the business to qualify for the funding awards, it must be located in Pennsylvania.

Students are encouraged to contact their campus representative for a list of business development resources, such as small business development centers, and any mentors which may be available to them, as well as any other information about the State System Business Plan Competition. A university Entrepreneur Leadership Coordinator or university designee can provide assistance. Students at Clarion University should contact Tracy Reinsel at (814) 393-2060 or treinsel@clarion.edu or Cindy Nellis at (814) 393-2060 or cnellis@clarion.edu For more information and for additional guidelines, and to begin the registration and submission process, visit www.passhebiz.org.