The Villanova Student Entrepreneurship Competition is a derivative of the Villanova Social Entrepreneurship Competition, which has evolved into a broad ranging, overarching entrepreneurship competition designed to give students at Villanova University the experience of innovating, creating and designing products, businesses and/or services to fill a variety of needs in today’s world. In traditional business programs, this type of activity is typically absent as part of any curriculum given the time constraints and program directives at top universities. We intend to provide a one-semester, interdisciplinary extracurricular entrepreneurship competition for students on campus to participate in as a way to incorporate this missing experience into student’s academic lives. In another way, the competition is designed to provide a realistic, modern entrepreneurial environment in which students are able to put together comprehensive ideas and to understand, first-hand, the process of entrepreneurship in today’s rapidly changing world.
To do this, students will be given a shared communications platform to collaborate with one another and to develop their ideas beyond very initial stages. This platform, called IdeaBounce®, is an online software tool for students to use as a development component as well as for the competition to use as a submission tool. As part of the competition process, students will first be tasked with creating a submission on IdeaBounce® by uploading a short summary (~500 words) and a short elevator pitch video (~2 minutes). Several weeks later, students will submit an executive summary in order to include some of the fundamental design details, logistics and justifications for their ideas. Those students who advance from this stage are then tasked with putting together a financial viability statement, including initial projections of required capital and all impact statements. The last set of student finalists will then pitch their idea to investors in a longer oral segment (~10 minutes) in a “board room” environment. This series of deliverables for the competition is designed to create an entrepreneurial working environment which is both realistic and modern.
As this is an extracurricular activity, and in order to comply with our goal of creating a realistic entrepreneurial environment, the competition will award prize money to its finalists in a variety of ways. While the ultimate goal is not to award a winner for any particular reason (i.e. to move on and create a full business proposal), entrepreneurs must experience some semblance of competition in order to operate within the modern environment that encompasses real-world entrepreneurs of today. As such, the prize money will be substantial enough to drive competition to the appropriate level which is representative of what is experienced by today’s most successful entrepreneurs, but will not be sufficient for developing a business. Though business development is not the goal of the competition, support services are in place for those finalists who do intend to develop their ideas further as well as for those who take their competitive ideas to national competitions.
The goals of the VSEC are deliberately general in order to include as many students as possible in the program. Listed below are the goals of the competition: