Business competition aims to encourage entrepreneurship among students

Apr 14, 2014

Aspiring entrepreneurs at the University at Buffalo will participate in a rapid-fire competition expected prepare them for pitching business ideas to potential financial backers. Seventy-five student teams will have 90 seconds to deliver their idea to a panel of six judges.

Associate Professor with UB’s School of Management Yong Li says the elevator pitch competition, modeled after ABC’s television show ‘Shark Tank,’ aims to encourage entrepreneurship among young people.

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“This pitch competition is part of a growing effort at UB to promote entrepreneurship, to realize the promise of the UB 2020 and to help build an entrepreneurial ecosystem for Buffalo and western New York,” said Li.

Students have about a minute-and-a-half to present their ideas to the judges without using notes or visual aids. The judges are comprised of experienced entrepreneurs, investors and venture capitalists.

Li says participants are competing for a slew of prizes to make their idea a reality.

“The first place winners are going to get $1,000. We have a second place prize of $500. We also have a third place prize, which winners will get an award of $200,” said Li.

The business ideas are expected to be in the fields of manufacturing, medicine, research, and the arts and sciences. The competition will take place Wednesday.