CIG IdeaLabs competition to begin soon

Baldwin Wallace’s Center for Innovation and Growth (CIG) will be hosting the annual IdeaLabs contest this spring.

IdeaLabs is an entrepreneurial pitch contest in which contestants present their ideas for new businesses in front of a small panel of judges.

“This is a great opportunity for students to get their ideas out there and turn them into something,” said Lori Long, chair of the Department of Management & Entrepreneurship and associate professor at BW. 

The contest is not only open to students studying within the school of business, but also full-time undergraduate students.

IdeaLabs submissions can either be an idea by one person or by a group of up to five people.

To participate, the student or group must submit a PowerPoint including up to 10 slides to Hannah Schlueter, LaunchNet Program Manager, by midnight on Sunday, Feb. 25.

The contest submission must be a completely new concept and have been developed during the 2017-2018 academic year. The concept can either be a start-up or a nonprofit.

Submissions that have won in the past range from a videography business to a sport staffing business that helped connect students to work for a variety of sporting events.

“Even if you’re not sure about your idea, this is a great place to test it out, whether it is as simple as a bakery or as complex as a software idea. An idea doesn’t have to solve all the world’s problems, just one problem,” said Schlueter.

Finalists will be announced by the end of the day on Monday, Feb. 26. Those selected will have the chance to present their submissions to the judges on Thursday, March 1 at the CIG beginning at 3 p.m.

Contestants will have seven minutes to present with an additional three minutes for questions the judges have about the concept. The BW IdeaLabs winning pitch will be announced on Friday, March 2.

The student or team that wins will receive $1,000 and the chance to compete at the regional IdeaLabs competition against 10 other schools of the Entrepreneurship Education Consortium at Cleveland State University on Wednesday, April 4. The regional winner will receive $5,000 towards their idea. 

Students interested in submitting their work are strongly encouraged to attend the informational session on Thursday, Feb. 15 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. at the LaunchNET Office located in the basement of the Union.

The LaunchNET office is also available to answer any questions or help students put their ideas together before both of the BW competitions as well as helping the winner with their final submission for the regional competition. 

“The best advice I can give would be to come to the information session and take advantage of resources like Hannah in the LaunchNET office to prepare their idea,” says Long. 

For any questions or for more information, contact Hannah Schlueter at hschluet@bw.edu.