​​​​​​​​​The awards for the first, second, and third place winners, as well as Video and Poster awards are intended to assist the winners in capitalizing and developing or growing their business venture.

Prize money is available to currently enrolled and matriculating degree candidate students in good standing as of the fall 2017 semester.  Prize money for the Poster awardees will be provided in full amount upon receipt of the awardee's W9 form.  

Otherwise, for awardees of the First, Second and Third major cash prizes:

  • ​A portion, 10%, of the award will be available as cash upon receipt of the W9 form. The balance of the award will be held in escrow by the awardees University. Awards will be transferred to the university from the PA Foundation and will be released to the winner for business related costs with proof of payment.
  • No more than 10% of the award can be used for salaries or wages.
  • Business related costs may include, but are not limited to professional services, such as accounting, legal, or consulting, that are needed to complete the business plan, establish a legal structure, secure inancing, and complete related start up tasks.
  • The use of free resources, such as the Small Business Development Center’s (SBDC), on-line training, are recommended and preferred. However, awardees are permitted to use up to 30% of their award for professional development/training that meets the following standards:
  • The development or training must be necessary to obtain a certification or license that is required by the state to operate the winning business.
  • They must be short-term (one to two weeks) intensive training, including continuing education units (CEU) programs, which provide the skills needed to operate their business.
  • Conferences must be less than one week and offer professional development sessions that provide the skills needed to operate their business.
  • Rent and utilities for space to conduct the business.
  • Working capital for business costs, which include advertising, supplies, materials, inventory, web site development, etc.
  • Necessary equipment.
  • No funds may be used to complete degree requirements at any level.

Terms and Conditions

Students who are undergraduates or in graduate school, at the date of the award, have up to three (3) years from the date of the award to expend all awarded funds.  An extension may be allowed based on justification satisfactory to and with approval by the university and Competition Coordinator.

If a team wins the competition and only one, or several, of the team members proceed with the business development, those who proceed with the development will receive the award benefit. Teams are encouraged to enter into an Operating Agreement, prior to or upon entry into the competition.  If not a sole proprietorship, then companies should provide evidence that a legal entity was actually formed, for example, a Partnership, or Limited Liability Company (LLC).  A W-9 Taxpayer ID form will be required of each cash awardee. (W9 will be provided at the conclusion of the Awards Ceremony on April 4, 2019.)

Funds in escrow will be deposited at the awardee's university in a secure interest bearing account, with interest to accrue to the awardee.