Welcome to the 7th Annual WCU Business Idea Pitch!

 

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 are reviewed by business angels, entrepreneurs, and business advisors. The top ideas submitted by March 4th are selected for the 7th Annual WCU Business Idea Pitch event on April 17th, 2019 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 judge the Idea Pitches. Winners are announced and awards are 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 17th, 5 to 8:30pm at which the top ideas from each track are presented live to a panel of judges and to the public. Registration and networking begins at 5pm, dinner is served at 5:30, and pitches begin at 6:15.

These are the four tracks.

Chester County Based Start-ups

West Chester University Undergraduate Students

 West Chester University Graduate Students, Alumni, Faculty & Staff

Chester County High School Students

 

Chester County High School Competition

The Annual WCU Business Idea Competition includes a track for Chester County high school students.  High school submissions are reviewed by judges, and the top 9 submissions (individual or team submissions) are 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 is held at the Business and Public Management Center at West Chester University.  The first place winner was 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:

 

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 in teams of two to four 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.