Every year, the Baker Institute’s EUREKA! Series of student competitions seeks proposals with the potential to make a positive impact through the pursuit of innovative thinking and sustainable business models. These competitions give undergraduates and graduate students, faculty, staff, and alumni the opportunity to work together to turn innovative ideas into real enterprises . . . creating economic and social value. Winners receive awards in cash and in-kind prizes that help them launch or expand their ventures.
All proposals must include at least one team member who is an undergraduate or graduate student enrolled in a degree-seeking program at Lehigh during the academic year of the competition. That student must both originate and lead the startup/project team. Alumni, faculty, and staff may participate in ventures with students or may offer their expertise as mentors or domain experts to student startups. Students participating in more than one startup proposed to the EUREKA! Competitions may only be a majority stake-holder in one.
By filling out an application on Gust.com, you will create a business summary of the business and technical aspects (if any) of the venture idea and in the case of social ventures, the social impact; and briefly communicate the student entrepreneur’s or team’s ability to execute and succeed in the venture. Key questions will be about: Business Idea, Problem, Solution, Customer, Business Model, Competition, and Competitive Advantage. You will create a profile on the site and can upload a 1-minute video pitch (suggested). Select the “Submit Your Company” button option on the site to begin your application.
Semi-finalists will be chosen from among the applications. Semi-finalists will log back in to their profiles and have 2 days to answer additional questions. There is an option to upload supporting documents as a way to provide more details which the panel may review. The economic and technical feasibility of your product, service or solution, market opportunities and competition, team qualifications, and overall attractiveness of venture will be reviewed.
Those chosen as finalists by a panel of judges will be interviewed (by appointment). Interviews consist of a 5-minute pitch and 15-minute Q&A.
Lehigh University’s Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Innovation provides winners with a variety of resources, from mentoring and funding to assistance in the form of incubator space, boot camps, internships, coursework, facilities, and an impressive infrastructure. Cash prizes range from $250 – $5,000. Examples of non-cash prizes include coworking space in the student incubator on campus, semi-private office space in Ben Franklin TechVentures business incubator, and a funded Integrated Product Development (IPD) project.
HOW TO APPLY: An 11 step guide to the application on Gust
For more information about the EUREKA! Ventures Competition Series, contact Lisa Getzler-Linn, Baker Institute co-executive director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (610) 758-4620.