POCATELLO – The Idaho State University College of Business’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Economic Development is once again leading a group of students in the Boise competition, the Idaho Entrepreneurship Challenge (IEC) and the challenge is well underway according to CEED director, Jeff Street.
“We are excited to already have 24 teams and 49 students in the mix coming from all colleges on campus,” said Street. “This is a wonderful increase over the eight teams and 22 students participating last year.” According to Street, this dramatic increase in participation could still rise as more teams are encouraged to keep joining throughout the fall semester.
The IEC is a competition hosted in Boise where students from schools throughout the state come together to present their business idea for an innovative product or service. Before going to Boise, students must prepare a business plan, prototypes and 60-second elevator pitches that could all lead to their selection by judges to attend. Once in Boise, the students will present their ideas once more in front of the panel for a chance to win a portion of the $100,000 in prize money.
As the challenge and preparations are under way, U.S. Bank has stepped in with a great deal of support. “This year, CEED and U.S. Bank will host a 'Pitch-Off' contest at ISU during the first week of December,” said Street. “During this contest, teams will present a four-minute pitch to panels of judges. Students with the best pitch will be offered a cash prize from U.S. Bank.”
Street said this ‘Pitch-Off’ will incentivize students to really polish up the eventual 60-second elevator pitch they will need to put together for entry into the final competition. Prizes for this initial competition include:
$500-Runner Up (2 awards)
$250-Best Support Materials
“The U.S. Bank Pitch-Off Contest will be a great opportunity for teams to fine-tune their application for the statewide Idaho Entrepreneur Challenge," said Street.
Last year was ISU’s first time participating in the IEC. From this competition, six of the eight groups were selected as finalists to attend the challenge in Boise competing against 77 other applicants. In this competition, ISU students took home first place in Agriculture and Agriculture Technology with two groups being runners up in their respective categories with another group also winning Best Marketing Display.