2023 Spring QU Pitch Competition Semifinals
April 12, 2023
7:00 PM - 8:00 PM (ET)
Lender School of Business SB 109 Center for Innovation and EntrepreneurshipRead More
The M&T Bank Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship empowers and connects students, staff and faculty across all of Quinnipiac’s academic disciplines to pursue their entrepreneurial ventures. We provide advisory services and workshops in legal, finance, research, marketing, design, business plan development and start-up mentoring for all types of innovative business, social, sustainable and artistic ventures. We accomplish this by catalyzing students and faculty from all disciplines and backgrounds to help promising entrepreneurs learn ways to turn their ideas into practical use.
We support faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, alumni mentors and other internal and external partners of the university. Our relationships with successful entrepreneurs and business owners outside the QU community enable us to connect our students with the broader entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region and country and enhance the economic development provided by small to mid-sized businesses that are fundamental to a successful economy.
The M&T Bank Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship pitch competition is a highlight of the year, in which students from all disciplines across campus may present their ideas and ventures to receive valuable feedback. Finalists will present to a panel of judges and can win money to fund their venture. Students from all disciplines are encouraged to submit entries for new ventures in all types of categories such as products, services, healthcare, social impact, sustainability, arts, family business and more.
Applications are due by midnight on March 20, 2023.
The deadline for submissions is March 20, 2023. The initial application will ask:
Names and email addresses of the team members
What is the problem you have identified?
What is your solution and unique advantage?
Who are your customers?
How are you going to deliver your solution?
Who is the management team? What is the market fit and why are you the right founder?
What is the financial overview?
What amount of money (up to $3,000) would help your venture and what would you use the money for?
Applicants are encouraged to seek help and feedback from Patrice Luoma to learn how to prepare and submit their pitches and hone their ideas for the competition. You may also be put in touch with a separate mentor.
From the initial pool of applicants, a smaller group of semifinalists will be selected to move forward in the competition. They will have the opportunity to continue to work with a mentor to receive additional coaching for the competition. Applicants who are not selected are encouraged to seek additional feedback to learn how to prepare their pitches for future competitions.
Submit an application for the initial screening process
The smaller group of semifinalists will be notified by email. Each semifinalist will have the opportunity to work with and a mentor/coach for the next round.
Semi-finalists to submit a five-slide PowerPoint presentation.
Semifinalists present internally to faculty and other judges.
This session serves to help participants prepare for an effective pitch and get supportive feedback and tips on how to enhance the overall pitch and value proposition of the venture.
After this session, finalists will be selected to move on to the final event.
The finalists will present to a panel of external expert judges on April 19, 2023.
The M&T Bank Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship will award cash prizes to winning businesses in amounts up to $3,000.
Applicants must be enrolled as undergraduate or graduate students at Quinnipiac University at the time of the final pitch competition on April 19, 2023.
Entrants can be individuals or teams. Teams of 2-4 members are strongly encouraged.
Faculty and staff are not eligible to apply.
The purpose of a pitch is to obtain attention from investors, potential partners, or a particular audience. Any content presented will be considered public information. Competitors should carefully consider excluding any proprietary information or materials.
Participating students grant Quinnipiac University the right to share content about your team and your business across the university’s owned channels. This includes, but is not limited to editorial publications, marketing, general publicity, news releases, web, and digital formats. Students will be required to sign a media release.
Entrants acknowledge that by submitting the application materials to participate, they have consented to the guidelines and rules of the QU Pitch Competition.
For more information, please contact
Patrice Luoma, Ph.D.
Director, M&T Bank Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship
The event — which was open to all students throughout the university — was designed to promote interdisciplinary collaboration.
“It is really cool seeing how the center operates and how they help people and will continue to do that,” said Sarah Almeida ’23, MBA ’24, a second-year 3+1 accelerated dual-degree finance and computer information systems double major, who started working at the center this semester. “Not a lot of schools have places that encourage new business ideas and help fund them to make them possible and I am so excited to be a part of this.”
The Innovation Hub plays the role of the epicenter for innovation throughout Quinnipiac. One of the partner spaces is The Maker’s Space in the School of Computing and Engineering, where students are able to use the materials to create prototypes prior to pitches.
Patrice Luoma, professor of entrepreneurship and strategy, ran the event and promoted the Innovation Hub and the 2023 QU Pitch Competition.
The collaboration of students with varying talents and interests is important for a project to be successful, Luoma pointed out. The Innovation Hub acts as the common space for the students at Quinnipiac.
Open Ocean, our innovation and entrepreneurship networking platform, connects current students with other students, alumni, founders and mentors in the space. The platform also features a learning tool that will guide founders through the process of creating a new venture.
Throughout each semester, the M&T Bank Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship holds a variety of events designed to create a vibrant and entrepreneurial on-campus community, provide inspiration for Quinnipiac entrepreneurs (faculty, staff and students) and share information that will assist budding innovators in attaining their goals.
The M&T Bank Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship holds events throughout the year designed to create a vibrant, entrepreneurial, on-campus community, provide inspiration for Quinnipiac entrepreneurs (faculty, staff and students) and share information that will assist budding innovators in attaining their goals.
April 29, 2022, Mount Carmel Campus
The launch of the new space for the Innovation Hub also featured an overview of opportunities for innovators and entrepreneurs to pursue across campus. Faculty, staff, administrators, fellows, alumni, business owners and corporate partners joined together with participants from our recent pitch competition to celebrate the occasion. Provost Debra Liebowitz kicked off the event with an introduction to the evolution and design of the hub concept with Patrice Luoma, director of the M&T Bank Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, sharing highlights of the year’s events.
April 20, 2022, Mount Carmel Campus
The Student Business Pop-Up Shop highlighted a variety of student-run businesses on campus and gave business owners the opportunity to share and sell their products to fellow students, faculty and staff. This event was held on the quad in coordination with student affairs faculty and staff.
April 7, 2022, Mount Carmel Campus
The M&T Bank Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Pitch Competition was a highlight of our year, as students from all disciplines across campus presented their business ideas in an effort to win up to $3,000 in prize money. Each of our finalists had five minutes to describe their business, providing an overview of the fundamental concept before diving into market analysis, competitive landscape and revenue projections. Finalists presented ideas pertaining to health and nutrition, campus car safety, boat rentals, ski and snowboard platforms and hair care products, winning a total of over $12,000 in prize money to further their business ideas. Due to exponential growth in success and overall support, potential prize money for participating students has more than doubled since past competitions in 2021 and 2019.
Watch the 2022 Pitch Competition
March 31, 2022, On the Rocks Pub
TJ Salta, a third-year entrepreneurship major in the 3+1 program and a professional magician, performed a show at the On the Rocks Pub on our York Hill Campus before embarking on a one-year tour in Las Vegas. Renowned for his passionate and charismatic style, TJ Salta has performed from NY to LA and quickly earned recognition a rising talent. TJ was recently hired to perform as the close-up magician for ‘Mad Apple’ — Cirque du Soleil’s newest show in Las Vegas.
March 9, 2022, Carl Hansen Student Center, Mount Carmel Campus
The Student Business Pop-Up Shop highlighted a variety of student-run businesses on campus and gave business owners the opportunity to share and sell their products to fellow students, faculty and staff.
February 10, 2022, Webinar
From the conference floor to the board room, making a good presentation is an essential skill for any leader or entrepreneur. Students had the opportunity to learn from Wall Street veteran, Scott Rosen, as he shared well-practiced tips on handling stress and fear of being the center of attention, and how to communicate your ideas confidently under pressure.
December 9, 2021, Webinar
Students were able to join Leah Bailey, Chief Business Development Officer for AUSA, a publicly-traded multi-state cannabis company, and John Volkmann, Vice President of Marketplace at Eaze Technologies, California's largest cannabis delivery business to discuss opportunities and startups within the cannabis industry.
December 7, 2021, Rocky Top Student Center
The Schools of Business and Communications presented the Quinnipiac Launchpad Competition. Similar to the hit show “Shark Tank,” this live, virtual event gave viewers and participants the chance to decide which business to launch to the next level. With cash prizes on the line, student finalists from the Fall 2021 Digital Business/Entrepreneurial Media (ENT 290*) course went head-to-head to win it all.
December 2021, Mount Carmel Campus
The Student Business Pop-Up Shop highlighted a variety of student-run businesses on campus. Students had the opportunity to support a clothing up-cycler, glassware curator, and even rent boats!
In celebration of the Women Entrepreneurship Week 2021, the M&T Bank United Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the M&T Bank Center for Women and Business co-hosted a panel discussion featuring Quinnipiac women student entrepreneurs who discussed various phases of their entrepreneurial journey and what it takes to be your own boss.
The panel included Isabella Dias, founder of Beijo by Bella; Dena Dupree, a founder of NailTique; McKenna Haz, founder of SEAAV Athletics; and Kallie Purdue, a founder of Refashion. It was moderated by Patrice Luoma, director of the M&T Bank Centers at Quinnipiac.
Read more about Women Entrepreneurship Week
October 21, 2021, On The Rocks Pub & Grill, York Hill Campus
The M&T Bank Center for Women and Business and M&T Bank Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship co-hosted a networking event for School of Business student leaders to meet the Advisory Councils, Steering Committee, and Faculty Fellows.
April 21, 2021, Virtual
The M&T Bank Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship held its annual Pitch Competition. This competition helps students transform ideas into reality and take their business to the next level. Cash prizes totaling $6,000 are awarded to help get ideas off the ground.
Watch the 2021 Pitch Competition
April 14, 2021, Virtual
In preparation for the 2021 Pitch Competition, the finalists had the opportunity to get feedback on their presentations. The teams were given 10 minutes to present with time after for the judges to ask questions.
The lineup for the virtual 2020 Spring Speaker Series featured corporate innovators, entrepreneurs, Quinnipiac alumni, public and private sector support organizations and experts who focus on financing entrepreneurial startups.
April 15, 2020
Mary Howard, Executive Director, ABCT
Donna Lecky, Co-Founder and Managing Director, iHaven and HealthVenture
Donna Lecky and Mary Howard are leaders of two organizations that support the development of entrepreneurs and innovators focused on health care. Lecky, the co-founder of Health Ventures, helps early-stage health care companies with strategic financial and executive advice. Howard, executive director of the Accelerator for Biosciences in Connecticut (ABCT), leads a quasi-governmental agency designed to support CT-based innovators in the health sciences.
Watch the Healthcare and Entrepreneurship event
April 8, 2020
Garrett Sheehan, President and CEO, Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce
The Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce is one of the oldest continuously operating chambers of commerce in America. The chamber has supported business development in the greater New Haven region since 1794. Sheehan, president and CEO of the Chamber, spoke about how the organization is prioritizing the development of entrepreneurship in the region.
Watch the Entrepreneurial Support event
April 1, 2020
George Llado, Chief Information Officer, Alexion Pharmaceuticals
Alexion Pharmaceuticals is an example of a university-spawned enterprise that is a leading innovator in health care. Llado, the chief information officer at Alexion, spoke about the role of innovation in the continuing success of Alexion and other early-stage university-connected enterprises.
Watch the Pharmaceutical and IT event
March 24, 2020
Rodney Sampson, Executive Chairman and CEO, Opportunity Hub
Opportunity Hub was one of the first African American-based business accelerators. Based in Atlanta, GA, Sampson is one of the leaders at the intersection of technology, entrepreneurship and social change. Sampson is a national leader in working with urban-based innovators and entrepreneurs.
Watch the Urban Entrepreneurship event
March 10, 2020
Will Ginsberg, President and CEO The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven
Community Foundations have grown increasingly interested in promoting entrepreneurship, particularly in stressed communities, as a method of addressing societal problems that have been at the core of their missions. Ginsberg addressed the foundation’s role in promoting entrepreneurial infrastructure in Greater New Haven.
Watch the Philanthropy and Social Entrepreneurship event
March 3, 2020
Richard Blumenthal, U.S. Senator, State of Connecticut
Richard Blumenthal is serving his second term as a United States Senator from the State of Connecticut. Senator Blumenthal served an unprecedented five terms as Connecticut’s Attorney General, fighting for people against large and powerful special interests. His aggressive law enforcement for consumer protection, environmental stewardship, labor rights, and personal privacy has helped reshape the role of state attorneys general nationwide, and resulted in the recovery of hundreds of millions of dollars for Connecticut taxpayers and consumers each year.
Our School of Business M&T Bank Centers completed another productive year with initiatives that had a measurable impact on the various people and communities they serve, despite the uncertainty and heaviness of the pandemic. Consistent with their missions, each provided exciting, engaging and provocative activities and opportunities for students, faculty, alumni and friends of Quinnipiac University.
View the Center for Women in Business Report (PDF)
View the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Report (PDF)
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