The College of Business and its Miller School of Entrepreneurship (MSOE) wants to enhance ECU’s entrepreneurial culture.
The inaugural Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge is a three-round competition open to any student enrolled in the 2017/2018 academic year, as well as alumni who have enrolled students on their team.
Total prize money to accelerate winning business ventures is $20,000 with $12,500 going to the grand prize winner. $5,000 and $2,500 will be awarded to second and third place winners, respectively. Payment will be delivered to the winners as they achieve pre-approved milestones. Other in-kind prizes will be awarded.
“We are excited to bring an opportunity to all of ECU that will highlight promising student entrepreneurs across campus,” said Dr. Mike Harris, interim director of MSOE. “The students will engage with the MSOE for coaching and resources to accelerate the growth of their award-winning ideas.”
Round one is an open-air forum for participants to showcase their ideas and ventures. This poster session is Oct. 17 from 12 – 2 p.m. in the Sculpture Garden outside of Mendenhall Student Center. Student passersby will get three tickets to allocate to their idea (or ideas) of choice. Twelve teams will move on to the second round based on student popular vote and input from ECU college representatives.
Round two will feature five mentors who will choose five teams based on a five-minute pitch and responses to a three-minute Q&A session. The MSOE will mentor a team based on the popular student vote from round one. This round will take place Wednesday, Nov. 15, from 5 – 7 p.m. Location TBD. Six teams will move on to the final round.
Round three (and final round) will be held during National Entrepreneurship Week Feb. 22 from 6 – 8 p.m. in the Murphy Center. The six finalists will present a five-minute pitch followed by five minutes of Q & As. A keynote speaker will address the finalists. A panel of university and community entrepreneurship leaders will choose the winner.
Established in 2015, the MSOE serves as a regional hub for preparing students to take an entrepreneurial mindset and skillset into their communities. To date, MSOE faculty has worked with approximately 349 students and 28 business clients. Students have recorded more than 6,000 hours of fieldwork.
Student teams who want to participate in the Challenge can register here.
Additional information about the Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge can be found at the Miller School of Entrepreneurship website.
-by Michael Rudd, University Communications