About the Competition

The Annual West Chester University Business Idea Competition is co-hosted by the Dr. Edwin Cottrell Entrepreneurial Leadership Center and the Keiretsu Forum Mid-Atlantic. The Annual WCU Business Idea Competition promotes creativity, idea generation, and entrepreneurship by recognizing innovative ideas for new products, services, and technology.

What is the Process?

Ideas will be reviewed by business angels, entrepreneurs, and business advisors. The top ideas submitted by March 4th will be selected for the 6th Annual WCU Business Idea Pitch event on April 25th, 2018 at the West Chester University Alumni and Foundation Center, 202 Carter Drive, West Chester, PA.

The Pitch is co-hosted by West Chester University’s Dr. Edwin Cottrell Entrepreneurial Leadership Center and the Keiretsu Forum Mid-Atlantic. Keiretsu Forum Mid-Atlantic members and regional business leaders will judge the Idea Pitches. Winners will be announced and awards will be presented at the conclusion of the Idea Pitch.  The Business Idea Pitch is sponsored by the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce.

The culmination of the competition is the Annual Business Idea Pitch on April 25th, 5 to 8:30pm at which the top ideas from each track will be presented live to a panel of judges and to the public.  Registration and networking begin at 5pm, dinner will be served at 5:30, and pitches begin at 6:15.  Click here to register. 

The following ideas were selected to pitch on April 25th:

Chester County Based Start-ups

Ram Ride Smart Shuttle, A ridesharing platform contained to university perimeters, presented by Mark Stevens.

Sir Dangerhorse Skin Solutions, An all-natural tattoo healing cream, presented by Rachel Frazao.

West Chester University Undergraduate Students

TUS: Tutors for University, An interface allowing students and tutors to connect and learn, presented by presented by Salih Salaam.

U Ride: WCU Parking App, An app which displays parking notifications, walking or driving directions and notifications for closures of parking areas at WCU, presented by Zohndra Vogdes, Elizabeth McBrien, and Anthony Rotonda.

 West Chester University Graduate Students, Alumni, Faculty & Staff

Innovative Solutions, Fostering connections between students and companies looking for interns and internships in cost accounting, presented by Ben Wann.

Wish Respect, Providing information with the intent to increase the number of people with advanced derivatives, presented by Matthew Heilman and Tina Heilman.

Chester County High School Students

Speak Easy, An app that translates sign language into written or spoken word, presented by Anna Miller and Bradford Allan, Great Valley High School.

 

Chester County High School Competition

The Annual WCU Business Idea Competition includes a track for Chester County high school students.  High school submissions were reviewed by judges, and the top 9 submissions (individual or team submissions) will be presented at West Chester University on Tuesday, April 10th to a panel of investors, entrepreneurs, and business leaders. The pitch begins at 6:00 pm and will be held at the Business and Public Management Center at West Chester University.  The first place winner will be eligible to participate in the Business Idea Pitch on Wednesday, April 25th at 5:00 pm at the West Chester University Alumni and Foundation Center. 

The following ideas were selected to pitch at the High School Pitch on April 10th:

Morpheus Eye Mask, An all-natural herbal medicinal steam eye mask to improve sleep quality, presented by Chenxi Nie, West Chester East High School.

Penny Traders, A penny trading stock app, presented by Daniel Cantando, West Chester Henderson High School.

Pet Finder, A LED and GPS pet collar to help locate lost pets presented by Ethan Lineburger, Downingtown STEM Academy.

Puppy Plan, A subscription based pet care delivery service, presented by Timmy Sullivan, West Chester East High School.

Sleep Screen, A detachable nighttime mobile phone screen protector to reduce sleeplessness from LED device screens, presented by Maya Moktan, Margaux Fleming, Brendan Merten, West Chester East High School.

Smart Mat, Sensory padded yoga mats to help avid yogis or yoga practitioners identify areas of imbalance, presented by Anja Hayes, Bishop Shanahan High School.

Speak Easy, An app that translates sign language into written or spoken word, presented by Anna Miller and Bradford Allan, Great Valley High School.

Steer Secure, A smart steering wheel cover that detects and alerts dozing drivers, presented by Sravya Basvapatri, West Chester East High School. 

The Jet, A portable charger that fits onto your keychain, presented by Jeong Ho Kim and Mikael Aamir, Great Valley High School.

Speak Easy was awarded the first place prize of the competition, and Steer Secure was awarded the second place prize.

 

What Types of Ideas are Eligible for the Competition?

· Ideas which have not yet been commercialized and which can be used as the foundation of a new business are eligible.

· West Chester University undergraduate students

· West Chester University graduate students, alumni, faculty, and staff

· Chester County based startups: startups based in Chester County, PA

· Chester County high school students: High School Students in Chester County, PA

Participants may submit multiple ideas and may compete individually or in teams of up to six members.

 

Confidentiality

· Ideas submitted to the competition remain the property of the submitter

· Ideas submitted will be held in strict confidence.

· Ideas selected for presentation at the Business Idea Pitch, however, will be presented to the public. 

 

What is the Required Content?

Explain your idea for a product, service, or technology that can be used as the foundation for a new business, focusing on the following 5 sections:

1. What is the problem or need your idea addresses?  In 250 characters or less (not including spaces) describe the problem your product, service, or technology solves or the need it addresses.

2. How are you solving the problem or addressing the need you identified?  In 500 characters or less (not including spaces). Describe how your product, service, or technology solves the problem (or addresses the need) identified above. Describe the features/characteristics of your product, service or technology. Explain how your product, service, or technology differs from what is currently available to solve the problem/fulfill the need that you identified above.

3. Who or what does your idea benefit? In 250 characters or less (not including spaces) describe the target market that will benefit from your product, service, or technology.  Include a few characteristics that describe your target market, e.g. college students, businesses with revenues between $1M and $5M, businesses located in the Southeastern Pennsylvania.

4. Who Are You?  In 250 characters or less (not including spaces) introduce yourself and describe how you are qualified to address the problem/need or interested in addressing the problem/need.

5. What is the benefit your idea provides?  In 250 characters or less (not including spaces) explain the benefit that your idea provides.  A benefit is a positive outcome derived from a characteristic of the product, service, or technology.

Click here for a sample idea.

 

When are the Ideas Due?

Entries are due by 11:59 pm on March 4, 2018.

 

How are Ideas Submitted?

Submit your idea online at  www.wcubizideas.com.

 

Select your track

· West Chester University undergraduate students

· West Chester University graduate students, alumni, faculty, and staff

· Chester County based startups

· Chester County high school students

 

Prizes

·    Grand Prize $2,500

·    First Place Prize in each track $1000

·    Second Place Prize in each track $500

 

Helpful Hints

· While some great ideas are based on radical inventions, others are the extension, duplication, or synthesis of existing products, services, or technologies. Some great ideas are simplistic in their nature and/or design.

· In describing your target market you inform the reader that you are familiar with your target market and that there is a market for your product, service or technology. Specific facts and figures  are  helpful  and  provide  evidence  that  you  are  knowledgeable about your target market.

· Write clearly and succinctly.

· Check your grammar and spelling. If the judges cannot understand your entry it will not be selected

 

 

Questions

Email the Cottrell Center team at cottrellcenter@wcupa.edu or call us at 610-436-2014 with your questions.

 

Informational Video

Click here to watch a video presentation on the competition.