High school students with a business idea or a business they have already launched are invited to participate in the sixth annual High School Pirates Pitch competition hosted by the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Stillman School of Business. Learning the basics of entrepreneurship, including recognizing viable business opportunities, during this virtual "Shark Tank" style competition, the next generation of entrepreneurs will compete for over $50,000 in cash prizes and scholarships to attend Seton Hall University.
The competition takes place during Global Entrepreneurship Week 2020 as part of a week-long celebration that runs from Nov. 16-22. Last year, the event received over 200 submissions from 23 states and four foreign countries.
"In today's business climate, which has been rocked by the unprecedented COVID-19 global health crisis, entrepreneurial education is more important than ever," said Susan Scherreik, founding director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. "The nimble and flexible nature of entrepreneurship provides crucial lessons to young people that will help them find success and make the world a better place through their innovative spirit, creativity, and passion."
High school sophomores, juniors, and seniors with a 3.0 GPA or better are eligible to submit their original business proposals that describe an innovative product or service in 350 words or less. Interested students should submit an individual application by Tuesday, Oct. 27.
An independent judging panel consisting of faculty members and successful alumni entrepreneurs will review all applications and invite 10 finalists to submit a prerecorded five-minute video pitch presentation. On Friday, Nov. 20, the finalists will participate in a live-streamed five-minute Q&A session and receive feedback from the judges.
The top contestant will receive a $2,500 cash award and a $10,000 tuition scholarship. The second-place winner will receive a $1,000 cash award and a $6,000 scholarship. In addition to recognizing and rewarding all 10 finalists with a tuition scholarship, the competition will present an Audience Choice Award of $250 to a participant who is virtually selected by parents, teachers, classmates, and friends.
The contest judges include former Stillman School Entrepreneurship Club President Byran Jakovcic ‘09, now president and owner of Fusion Health, which has been named to the Inc. 5000 list of the nation's fastest-growing private companies for four years in a row. Also, Alyssa Lopez, M.B.A. '19, a past first-place winner in the collegiate Pirates Pitch contest and founder of FamiliesDo will be on the panel. Additionally, three Stillman faculty members will serve as judges: Ruchin Kansal, associate director of the Buccino Leadership Institute; Christine Fowler-Phillips, entrepreneurship professor and business owner; and Ben Lowe, entrepreneurship professor and serial entrepreneur.
High School Pirates Pitch helps develop and showcase entrepreneurial skills that align with the World Economic Forum's list of the top skills that professionals need to thrive in 2020, including complex problem-solving, critical thinking, and emotional intelligence. The competition also introduces students to the Stillman School of Business, its Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, and the nationally-ranked Center for Leadership Development within the Buccino Leadership Institute.
For more information on this event and to apply, please visit here.