AMHERST, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Innovation Challenge fall MinutePitch competition will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 29 at 5:30 p.m. in Flavin Auditorium at the Isenberg School of Management. The event is free and open to the public.
Teams of students and alumni, along with business and faculty advisors, will compete for $2,500 in prizes. Each pitch is only 60 seconds - no slides, prototypes or written business plans. The competition offers participants an opportunity to get started and test business ideas without having to develop written plans. The first prize is $1,000, second prize is $750 and third prize is $500. There is also an audience choice winner who will receive $250.
The Innovation Challenge includes four public competitions and one closed-door session each year. There are fall and spring MinutePitch events. In December, there is and executive summary and elevator pitch competition, followed by a Mini-Plan Competition in March. This is a closed-door competition that emulates an investor boardroom experience. Teams pitch their developing ventures to a panel of sponsors for a spot in the Final Business Plan Competition. This takes place at the end of the academic year and features the best teams competing for as much as $50,000. Judges determine winning teams and award amounts.
The Innovation Challenge awards more than $65,000 in prizes each academic year though competitive events. Its overall goal is to encourage interdisciplinary teams to conceptualize a product with regard to its scientific and technological design and create a business plan for the product’s commercialization. Competition judges are entrepreneurs, legal experts, and consultants who volunteer their time to meet with students who are interested in marketing their new ideas.
Established in 2005, the competition is the result of the early work by Michael F. Malone, who is currently the vice chancellor for research and engagement at UMass Amherst and the Ronnie and Eugene Isenberg Distinguished Professor of Engineering, and the late Soren Bisgaard, who held the Eugene M. Isenberg Professorship of Technology Management in the Isenberg School of Management from 2002-09.