NU Launch, a new Norwich student business pitch competition, has a message for student entrepreneurs: “A support network is here for you. Plug into it and propel your idea forward.”
Roughly $7,000 in startup money will go to Norwich student teams developing business or venture ideas for future launch. Investment funds come from VentureWell, formerly known as the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance.
During the fall 2014 semester, over 40 students in several multi-disciplinary teams participated in the incubator program. Students from engineering, management, accounting, architecture, mathematics and war and peace studies engaged in a series of workshops designed to support venture teams through the early development stages.Topics covered team formation, idea generation, customer canvassing, opportunity canvassing and value proposition development.
The workshops included hands-on activities and presentations by David Feinauer, PhD lecturer in the David Crawford School of Engineering (DCSE); Gerry Scott, serial entrepreneur and owner of Stowe Mountain Ranch; and Scott Holson, advisor with the Vermont Small Business Development Center.
The program culminates February 21, 2015, when student teams pitch their venture plans to an advisory panel comprised of School of Business & Management (SBM) Board of Fellows and representatives from the Vermont “starter ecosystem.”
Organized by Prof. David Feinauer, NU Launch is supported by faculty and staff in the DCSE and SBM, Prof. David Jolley’s Marketing class, members of the Norwich Entrepreneurship club and the Norwich Office of Academic Research.
In addition to coaching and funding student startups, the program aims to foster networking and mentoring opportunities between students, faculty and entrepreneurs.