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Students to pitch business ideas at New Venture competition April 12


Students, staff and faculty gather for New Venture Competition on Apr. 13 in French Auditorium. 

Sixty-five students will compete in 35 teams in the ninth annual New Venture competition from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on April 12 in the College of Education and Human Services building events center.

The competition will allow Central Michigan University and Michigan Technological University students to compete for more than $100,000 worth of prizes. It consists of three rounds, with a student gallery and two-minute pitch competition.

New Venture aims to teach students to use the business model "Canvas" to develop their business ideas and improve their own business model. Judging of the competition will simulate the process of entrepreneurs presenting their business to early stage investors. 

This year's competition took eight months of preparation, as students developed their ideas and faculty led 12 workshops aiming to help students launch businesses.

The competition first began nine years ago with CBA dean emeritus Charles Crespy, said CBA coordinator of events communication and marketing Jessica Meyers.

“The competition is extremely beneficial to students because even if they do not win money to launch their business, they have gained skills they cannot learn in the classroom,” Meyers said. 

Students will pitch their business ideas in front of a panel of judges, and audience members will vote on their businesses. More than 75 industry professionals will be in attendance to judge the competition. 

The top award is $25,000 for the David and Janice Underwood Best Overall Venture. Teams can also win special categories, including "The Korson Family Highest Growth Potential Venture," "David and Susan Roberts Best Social Venture," "Most Impact on Michigan Venture," "Best Technology Venture" and "Best Lifestyle Venture."

The competition is open to the public. Those who wish to attend the event must register on Eventbrite by April 10.