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Inaugural student pitch competition now accepting entries

Staff Report //October 19, 2020//

Inaugural student pitch competition now accepting entries

Staff Report //October 19, 2020//

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The inaugural SC Innovates 2020, a statewide student pitch competition, has begun in conjunction with Global Entrepreneurship Week.

More than $10,000 in cash prizes is up for grabs in the collaboration between the S.C. Department of Commerce, the South Carolina Research Authority and state colleges and universities.

Any student enrolled in at least one credit course this fall at an S.C.-based college or university is eligible to enter the competition, which closes Nov. 1, according to a news release.

Ideas will be developed using online innovation platform StartupWind and include an idea concept card, pitch deck and pitch video. Teams can include up to three members.

“This competition is designed for students ready to dig into a promising business idea or launch a social enterprise,” said Dirk Brown, faculty director of the McNair Institute for Entrepreneurism and Free Enterprise at the University of South Carolina. “We encourage UofSC undergraduate, graduate and professional students at all campuses and the Palmetto College to develop and pitch your innovative idea (virtually) in the first-ever SC Innovates Pitch Competition.”

Ideas will be judged by a volunteer group of entrepreneurs and investors who will evaluate how well a team defines a problem, a solution and a revenue model. The social/environmental impact of an idea, as well as its innovation and feasibility, will also be considered.

“This statewide student pitch competition is an opportunity to showcase the untapped talent in our state’s colleges and universities,” SCRA executive director Bob Quinn said. “We are excited to see which business ideas emerge. Our mission is fueling South Carolina’s innovation economy, and we see this as an opportunity to explore the pipeline of things to come.”

Idea concept cards are due Sunday on StartupWind. Entries, including pitch deck and pitch video, are due Nov. 1. Semifinalists will be announced the week of Nov. 9, with live presentations to be held during a virtual finale on Nov. 18.