BW Students Can Win Up to $1000 in LaunchNET’s Annual IdeaLabs Competition

On March 25, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. the Center for Innovation and Growth’s LaunchNET program will be hosting its yearly competition, ideaLabs, where students have the opportunity to win up to $1000virtually. LaunchNET Program Manager, Hannah Schlueter, said that ideaLabs is like “BW’s annual shark tank-style pitch competition.”

IdeaLabs challenges students to come up with an innovative idea to pitch. The purpose of this event is to connect students with opportunities to create original ideas and provide them with support to move forward with them. The ideas presented at the virtual event have to be new and are required to have been created after January 1, 2020. Any ideas that were established before then will not be able to compete.

Students competing in ideaLabs must present a six-minute-long oral presentation followed by a two-minute-long question and answer portion with the judges. Presentations must be created using PowerPoint. Teams are allowed to use prototypes in their presentations. Students are required to send their final PowerPoints to Schlueter on March 24 at 12 p.m.

Any undergraduate BW student is allowed to participate in the ideaLabs competition. Students can compete individually or create a team of up to five members. The teams for this event are required to meet with LaunchNET at least once before the competition takes place.

Schlueter is a resource for students involved in ideaLabs and is considered a coach for students. Schlueter meets with students frequently to ensure “they do not feel like they are doing it alone.”

The team or individual that wins first place at the local competition will receive a $1000 prize. Second place will receive $500. The winning teams can use their prize money to further develop their idea, but it is not required.

Both the first and second place teams will have the opportunity to continue to compete at the regional competition, which will take place on April 8. The regional competition is hosted by the Entrepreneurship Education Consortium. This gives the winners an opportunity to further develop the idea that they have created.

Professor Lori Long, Burton D. Morgan endowed chair in entrepreneurial studies, will coach the winning teams for the regional competition if they choose to participate. Her role in LaunchNET is to help develop entrepreneurial thinking in students and faculty at BW as well as attending and supporting CIG events.

Long said, “This is a great opportunity for students to get connected to the greater entrepreneurial ecosystem.” Students are meant to gain experience through the event by learning through their failures. This provides students with hands on knowledge.

“Whether you think you want to move forward with your idea or not, this is a great way to develop skills as a BW student,” Schlueter said.

The deadline for the application to participate in the local ideaLabs competition is on March 21 at 11:59 p.m. Students can apply via this link www.tinyurl.com/ideaLabs21.

Contact Hannah Schlueter with any questions or interest related to BW ideaLabs. She can be reached at hschluet@bw.edu.