Selected teams must complete required milestones and attend the full virtual finale weekend program in order to qualify to participate in the final pitch competition.
Nope! This event is open to the public. We welcome community and students, faculty and staff of other educational institutions.
Check back in spring 2021 for information on the fall 2021 program!
Program is by application only. Open to any PA-based individual or team with an early stage business idea that is pre-development and pre-launch. No affiliation with Penn State is required for application.
Limited number of spots are available in the program. We expect to select 8 applicants to participate.
Yes, you must apply with an earl-stage business idea that is pre-development and pre-launch. pre-venture. If you’ve launched your business or acquired customers, you are too far along. If you have a prototype, you might also be too far — unless you are willing to adopt a beginner’s mind and update your design based on what you learn from the program.
Startup Challenge prioritizes scalable business ideas — these ideas are often technology-based, but also can include physical products, social innovation, etc. This program is not a good fit for individuals wanting to open a traditional service-based business such as a restaurant, salon or retail store.
Of course! Startup Challenge is individuals and teams with early-stage business ideas at any level of experience. If you have a burning desire to build your business idea, this program is for you.
We have a fantastic lineup of judges and coaches who are entrepreneurs and industry experts. Check back soon for more.
No, you own your own intellectual property (IP), unless you are a faculty member or current graduate student of Penn State who is commercializing your university research. Your IP safely stays with you! What’s more, Penn State can even help you protect your IP…..the Penn State Law Intellectual Property Clinic provides free legal services related to intellectual property to Pennsylvania entrepreneurs. No affiliation with Penn State is required to work with the Clinic.