Copyright © Entrepreneurship Foundation 

Copyright © Entrepreneurship Foundation 

​​​​Entrepreneurship Foundation

Fall Entry Deadline: November 24 2020

Eligibility.  Entrants must be students at a Connecticut high school, college or university during the current academic year and have a faculty adviser. Plans for a company not student-owned and conceived are ineligible;  EXCEPT that only college alumni may enter the “Growth Plan category.”   


       Apply at   Finalists notified 3 days prior to finals.  Any major may enter. 

       Categories include...
           A.  Venture Enterprise. Scalable, capital intensive, large market.    
           B.  Personal or Service Business. Limited market, little capital needed.  
           C.  Social Enterprise  
           D.  Consumer Product. 
           E.  Mobile App. Judged on UX and performance.    
​           F.   Blue Economy (commercializing kelp, marine transportation, etc.)  
           G.  Plan to grow an Established Business owned by a recent graduate to $1m in annual sales.   
      Judging Criteria   
        1.  Problem:  Strong customer pain or desire?
        2.  Solution:  □ Feasible?   □ Scalable?   □ Barriers to entry?  □ Compelling value proposition?    
        3.  Market: □ Adequate sales plan to meet goals?  □ Demand  validated?  □ Competition manageable
​        4.  Finance: □ Clear how company will make money? □ Safe margins? □ Capital needs and use clear?
        5.  Management Team:   □ Knowledgeable?     □ Convincing?  

      Here are the questions you will be asked to answer in the online application (1,500 character limit per answer):

  • PRODUCT OR SERVICE brief description (8 words or less)
  • VALUE PROPOSITION: Problem and your solution, including how it's a) better, b) cheaper to produce or deliver, c) targets an underserved Market Niche, or d) customer service is superior                 
  • CUSTOMER VALIDATION. Research  that shows enough people will buy your product to earn a profit       
  • CHANNELS of MARKETING and DISTRIBUTION.How will users become aware of the product or service? Describe payment and delivery process.                 
  • REVENUE STREAMS and COST STRUCTURE (How much you charge, who pays, and what it costs to produce including delivery and customer service)               
  • SIZE of TARGET MARKET in dollars and number of prospective customers.  Give supporting evidence.       
  • COMPETITION. Names of important competitors, their strengths and weaknesses and how you will compete.       
  • BARRIER TO ENTRY (something not easily copied or acquired or a strategy to keep others out of your market (e.g. - patent, secret sauce, exclusive contract)                
  •  MANAGEMENT TEAM and Relevant Experiences

2)   ELEVATOR PITCH OLYMPICS  Apply at    Any major may enter.

      Upload a 30- to 60–second pitch (Problem and Solution only) to Vimeo or YouTube and post the link and 

      password in your online application.   

3)  BRANDING PORTFOLIO by a DESIGN MAJOR for a real or hypothetical business.  Elements of portfolio 

     might include examples of a logo, website home page, social media post, brochure, print ad, etc..
​     Upload a file of the portfolio at  Judged on projection of intended image and

     “brand promise”.   

Additional Awards as Service Vouchers for selected entrants.
1.     Legal Services package from Wiggin and Dana $2500  
2.     Patent searches $500 to $1000 value [Ziegler IP Law Group; Law Offices of Michael Blake, Nuventus]
3.     Provisional Patent Filing Assistance [Ziegler IP Law Group, Nuventus]
4.     Vouchers for 6 months rent at an incubator or co-working space for the price of one month rent.
        [B:Hive in Bridgeport, MakeHaven in New Haven, reSET in Hartford, Whitneyville Cultural
​        Commons in Hamden, BioCT Innovation Commons in Groton]
5.     Six month’s rent at  a maker space for price of one month rent [MakeHaven, Danbury Hackerspace] 


Competition administered by the Entrepreneurship Foundation, Inc., a 501c3 non-profit organization.     (203) 540-5903 

​Copyright  © Entrepreneurship Foundation 

Prior Winners

Cash awards + start-up support services

24th Connecticut Business Conference and Competition 

December 2020

$10,000 in cash grants + $5,000 in startup services


Copyright © Entrepreneurship Foundation