Entrepreneurial students at Syracuse University will have the opportunity to test their pitch skills for prize money in a competition supported by the Raymond von Dran (RvD) Fund for Student Entrepreneurship at the School of Information Studies (iSchool).

Applications for the pitch competition are due on March 9, and the competition will be held in the Blackstone LaunchPad in Bird Library on March 23.

Student teams can submit an application to pitch in one of the following categories:

  • Information Technology/Software
  • Products
  • Services
  • Sustainable/Social Entrepreneurship

The prize pool of $40,000 will be spread equally across the categories. The money, $10,000 per category, will be awarded as non-dilutive seed funding. Students will not be required to give up any equity in their proposed business venture. 

Details about these categories as well as the application, are available online.

“The iSchool is thrilled to partner again this year with the Blackstone LaunchPad to offer this competition to students at Syracuse University,” said iSchool dean Liz Liddy. “The iPrize will encourage students to pitch their innovative ideas and share them with the entrepreneurial community here at Syracuse, ensuring that the legacy of former iSchool dean Ray von Dran lives on through the RvD Fund and the iPrize.”

The RvD Fund for Student Entrepreneurship is named after former dean Raymond von Dran. He served from 1995 to 2007, when he passed away. von Dran was a long-time academic entrepreneur who started many innovative programs in higher education and supported student innovation and entrepreneurship. His wife, Gisela, ensured that her husband’s infectious spirit for innovation lived on through the creation of the RvD Fund after his death.

The LaunchPad has arranged two application workshops for interested students, to be held on Thursday, March 1, and Monday, March 5, at 5:15 PM in the Blackstone LaunchPad.

“iSchool faculty members in the Information Technology, Design, and Startups program and Blackstone LaunchPad staff will be available to work with and mentor Syracuse students participating in the competition,” said Braden Croy, program manager at the Blackstone LaunchPad. “With notable Syracuse University graduates and entrepreneurs as special judges, it’s sure to be a great competition that showcases the talent and creativity coming from the our campus entrepreneurship community.”

All details about the iPrize contest is available online at the iPrize website.

Questions can be directed to Braden Croy at pbcroy@syr.edu.