Entrepreneurs will have opportunities to win cash and service prizes valued at more than $100,000 in the 2020-2021 Duquesne New Venture Challenge (DNVC).
The three-stage business plan competition, hosted by the Palumbo-Donahue School of Business, is open to entrepreneurs in the Pittsburgh region and beyond. Submissions of technology companies and general business ideas, with emphasis on job-creating concepts for after COVID-19 subsides, is encouraged for the competition.
“Our region is blessed to have such a rich entrepreneurial spirit,” said Dr. Michele Migliuolo, executive director of the Center for Excellence in Entrepreneurship. “During the DNVC, the tools and services we offer in the School of Business and at our Small Business Development Center will help support entrepreneurs eager to bring their visions to life.”
Submissions will be accepted beginning at midnight on Monday, Sept. 6, and will close at noon on Friday, Oct. 16.
In Stage I, entrants will submit a short description of their business idea along with a one-minute video pitch. Cash prizes totaling $5,000 will be awarded to top video pitches. The DNVC Committee will select up to 20 semi-finalists to advance to Stage II.
Semi-finalist teams during Stage II will submit an executive summary, short business plan and a five-minute video pitch. Cash prizes totaling up to $20,000 ($1,000 to each semi-finalist team) will be awarded, and a panel of judges will select five finalist teams to advance.
In Stage III, with $30,000 in cash prizes on the line, finalists will submit an executive summary, full business plan and PowerPoint presentation as well as make a live presentation to a panel of judges that will be followed by question-and-answer session.
Finalists will be assigned mentors from the regional entrepreneurship ecosystem and will have free access to Palo Alto’s LivePlan software, the world’s leading business plan software designed for entrepreneurs and small business owners. Services from the competition sponsors—BlueTree Allied Angels Investment Group, the Duquesne School of Law, the University’s Small Business Development Center and the maker space in the business school’s Center for Excellence in Entrepreneurship—will be made available.
“These are extremely challenging times for entrepreneurs, and they desperately need our support,” said William Generett, Jr., vice president for community engagement. “The 2020-2021 DNVC challenge will provide a wide array of support for entrepreneurs in our region, which will ultimately help make our community stronger.”
Funding for the DNVC is provided by Bob Mallet, a member of Duquesne’s Board of Directors and former president and chief executive officer of Mallet & Company.
For more information on the competition, including rules and regulations, visit the DNVC website.