Gustie Entrepreneur Cup – Student Entrepreneurship Competition – Saturday, May 11, 2024 | Academics

Sponsored and supported by:George Torrey Endowment Fund | Mansergh-Stuessy FundGustavus alumni and community coaches, mentors, and donors

Program Lead:  Tara CadenheadDirector, Center for Innovative and Entrepreneurial Leadership 507-933-6273

The Gustie Entrepreneur Cup brings together student entrepreneurs in an innovative and collaborative pitch competition that showcases the creative spirit that Gustavus students bring to their startup endeavors. Here at Gustavus, we find that great ideas are usually created by trial and error, collaboration, and working in an innovative space that supports ongoing learning and development in a community of entrepreneurial peers and mentors. Students identify real problems and opportunities, find realistic solutions, use insightful data, and integrate important research to develop a strong business model.

The Gustie Entrepreneur Cup is sponsored by the Center for Innovative and Entrepreneurial Leadership (CIEL), and supported by Gustie alumni, special grants, and community partners. Throughout the Gustie Cup process, students are strongly encouraged to participate in a variety of sessions and workshops where they can contribute their ideas, talents, and innovative thinking to address complex challenges. Participants engage with faculty, coaches, and alumni mentors, to support students in developing their ideas into feasible, scalable, and sustainable business models. RSVP for Prep Sessions/Labs today!

There are two categories for the competition and within these categories, entries can be pitched as a for-profit venture or a social entrepreneurial endeavor (non-profit organization). – Scalable Category: This is for innovative ideas that are scalable to larger and broader markets – Sustainable Category: This is for business ideas that satisfy strategic community-based needs and/or provide a student with a livelihood after graduationStudents can formally apply to the Gustie Cup (deadline is April 17), and continue to refine their pitch. If selected to proceed, applicants meet with Alumni mentors and ultimately present to a panel of judges for the opportunity to win seed money to grow their business idea on May 11, 2024. Additionally, the winning business idea in the Scalable Category automatically advances to the semi-finals of the Minnesota Cup. All students are encouraged to apply to the Minnesota Cupby Apr 12.

Leading up to the Gustie Cup, students have the opportunity to participate in sessions and access tools and resources to help them develop their innovative ideas. Participation in sessions 1-3 is strongly encouraged, but not required, to apply to participate in the Gustie Cup. Please RSVP here if you plan to attend any of the sessions so we can plan accordingly.

Session Dates/Times:Sun, Feb 25 (6:30 – 8 pm)Mon, Feb 26 (6:30 – 8 pm) Tues, Mar 12 (3:30 – 5pm) *Beck 111Sun, Mar 17 (5-6:30pm) *Google MeetsWed, Apr 3 (7-8:30pm) *Google Meets

About: Learn more about the Gustie Cup and available resources, support, and working sessions leading up to the competition on Saturday, May 11, 2024. This is your chance to ask questions! You will also learn about previous student participants and their business ideas to understand what the experience is like. This session also focuses on exercises to help with ideation – coming up with new business ideas or opportunities to create a non-profit organization, or refining the ideas you already have. This session will give you tools to formulate business ideas before Startup Labs.

Session Dates/Times:Thurs, Mar 14 (4-6 pm)Tues, Apr 2 (4-6 pm)Sun, Apr 7 (4-6 pm)Pizza & sides will be provided

About: This is a space for entrepreneurial exploration. The lab is a confidential learning space where you can explore your ideas and begin to build a business plan, assess your likelihood of success, and determine if entrepreneurship is right for you. You will leave this session with a solid framework and tools to continue shaping your business plan. If you choose to move forward with your idea, you’ll have an opportunity to practice your pitch in early April before submitting your application to the 8th Annual Gustie Entrepreneur Cup on May 11, 2024, and get connected to the business support resources to take your plan from the lab into reality.

Session Dates/Times:Sun, Apr 7 (6-8 pm) Mon, Apr 8 (6-8 pm)Tues, Apr 16 (4-6 pm)Pizza & sides will be provided

About: All participants are invited to attend Pitch Practice sessions. You will receive templates, tools, and tips to pull your ideas together in a succinct and compelling way. From there, you will have the opportunity to practice your pitch and continue working on it so you feel even more confident to apply to the Gustie Entrepreneur Cup. We will coach you to share the right level of detail, and be prepared to answer questions you may receive from the judges should your business idea be selected to move on to the Gustie Cup competition in May.

Timing:  Once students have applied to the Gustie Cup (application deadline is April 17th), a panel will review all entries and 8-12 business ideas will proceed to the Gustie Cup Competition on May 11, 2024. Students will receive an email with the panel’s decision by Monday, April 22nd. If chosen to proceed to the competition, students can then sign up to participate in coaching sessions that work best with their schedule.

About: Selected students will have the opportunity to meet with a panel of Alumni mentors to share their business idea and practice their pitch. They will experience a Q&A session and engage in discussion and feedback to refine their business idea and pitch.

Timing: The Gustie Cup is on Saturday, May 11, 2024. The tentative schedule is as follows:

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