Eligible applicants must be matriculated
undergraduate or graduate students, enrolled full-time or part-time during the Fall 2017 semester, at any of the 14 PA State System of Higher Education universities: Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock, West Chester.
A team of contestants must include an active state system student who has a management level role within the business.
Nonprofit businesses must have no less than 2 State Systems students who are founders of the business and with voting rights shall be members of the Board when the business is launched. A copy of the organization's By-Laws can be added to the Venture Profile, which will evidence the inclusion of student membership within the Board.
Team Members need not come from the same State System university; teams could be formed from one or more State System universities.
Only active students should be listed as the Team Leader and additional applicants; you will identify other equity ownership members, who are not active State System students, in the management section question in the venture profile.
An eligible pre-venture or early stage business is one that: has been operating for three years or less to include a business operating as a sole-proprietorship and has cumulative revenue from sales during the last three years (2015-2017) of $75,000 or less.
To qualify for the funding awards the businesses must be located in Pennsylvania. The business' headquarters operations and a majority of key management personnel must be located within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Be sure to indicate your business' actual or planned location by name. Business incorporation may be made in States other than Pennsylvania, likewise, sales, operations and business related activities can be conducted nationally and internationally.
An individual or team who had previously received third-party funding must disclose the amount and the percentage of equity owned by non-student equity owners, when completing the financial section of the Business Profile.
Each team of contestants must have control over intellectual property (IP) or written permission to use the IP in the business they propose to launch from the person and/or organization who owns the IP. Contestants are encouraged to protect the intellectual property they propose to make, distribute or sell in the venture profile. If you are unsure of intellectual property issues, then speak with your university's contact. At the same time, contestants must ensure that their proposed development does not infringe on intellectual property of others. Intellectual property includes copyrights, trademarks/service marks, provisional patents and patents. Intent to license another's intellectual property as a component of your product or service is allowed in the business plan competition. If you have a question regarding Intellectual Property ownership, please see Student Intellectual Property Agreements.
State System Startup Challenge
Startup Challenge Contacts
Academic and Student Affairs
$10,000 for 1st place
$5,000 for 2nd place
$2,500 for 3rd place
$350.00 1st place and $150.00 2nd place for best Poster displayed by semi-finalists at Awards Ceremony
Personal Form due: November 30, 2018
Business profiles due: February 13, 2019
Semi-Finalists announced: February 25, 2019
Finalists announced: March 4, 2019
Awards Ceremony: April 3, 2019