Are you an aspiring high school entrepreneur who dreams of launching a business? Or do you already run your own venture? If your answer is YES to either of those questions, you are invited to participate in the eighth annual Pirates Pitch Competition for High School Students, hosted by the Center of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Stillman School of Business. Student finalists will compete on Friday November 18 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. EST in a virtual format for more than $50,000 in cash prizes and scholarships to attend Seton Hall University.
The "Shark Tank" style competition offers high school students an engaging opportunity to build entrepreneurship skills, including learning how to recognize viable business opportunities and deliver a compelling startup pitch. The event takes place during Global Entrepreneurship Week 2022, a worldwide celebration of entrepreneurship that runs from November 14 – 20. Last year, the Pirates Pitch Competition for High School Students received 140 submissions from 17 states and 10 foreign countries.
"This generation has a passion for entrepreneurship and innovation, and we look forward to a very exciting competition," said Susan Scherreik, founding director of the Center of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Scherreik noted that a recent survey showed that two thirds of teens between the ages of 13 and 17 are considering starting a business as an adult. "Students who practice entrepreneurship in high school and college get a head start on learning how to make their startup dreams a reality," she added.
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 Wednesday, October 26, 2022.
The judging panel, consisting of faculty members and successful alumni entrepreneurs, will review applications and invite 10 finalists to participate in the competition, in which they will deliver a five-minute pitch presentation followed by a five-minute Q&A session during which they will receive feedback from the judges. The competition will be held virtually on Microsoft Teams, and all parents, teachers, classmates and family members are invited to watch and cast a vote for their favorite finalist for the Audience Choice Award.
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. All other finalists will receive a $4,000 scholarship ($1,000 annually). In addition to recognizing and rewarding all 10 finalists with a tuition scholarship, the competition will present a $300 Audience Choice Award.
The prominent judging panel includes Stillman Business faculty and alumni entrepreneurs: Elizabeth McCrea, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship; Sunny Bathla '00/MBA '15, Senior Vice-President, Virtusa, and founder, OSB Co; Alissa Lopez, M.B.A. '19, founder and CEO of the Family Balance Planner, and first-place winner in the Seton Hall collegiate Pirates Pitch competition; and Patrick Burd, ’18, founder, Classic Soccer Cleats and recipient of the 2021 Seton Hall University Emerging Entrepreneur Award.
The Pirates Pitch Competition for High School Students helps to develop and showcase entrepreneurial skills that align with the World Economic Forum's list of the top skills that professionals need to thrive, including complex problem-solving, critical thinking, and emotional intelligence. The competition also introduces students to the Stillman School of Business, its Center of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and the nationally-ranked Center for Leadership Development within the Buccino Leadership Institute.
For more information and to apply, visit Pirates Pitch Competition for High School Students.