Entrepreneurs will have opportunities to win cash and service prizes valued at more than $100,000 in the second Duquesne New Venture Challenge (DNVC).

The three-stage business plan competition is open to entrepreneurs in the Pittsburgh region and beyond. The Palumbo-Donahue School of Business especially encourages submissions of technology companies and general business ideas with emphasis on job-creating concepts in the wake of COVID-19.

"Our region is blessed to have such a rich entrepreneurial spirit," says Dr. Michele Migliuolo, executive director of the Center for Excellence in Entrepreneurship. "During the DNVC, the tools and services we offer in the School of Business and at our Small Business Development Center will help support entrepreneurs eager to bring their visions to life."

Submissions will be accepted beginning at midnight on Monday, Sept. 6 and will close at noon on Friday, Oct. 16.

In Stage I, entrants will submit a short description of their business idea along with a one-minute video pitch. Cash prizes totaling $5,000 will be awarded to top video pitches. The DNVC Committee will select up to 20 finalists to advance to Stage II.

Semi-finalist teams during Stage II will submit an executive summary, short business plan and a five-minute video pitch. Cash prizes totaling $20,000 ($1,000 to each semi-finalist team) will be awarded and a panel of judges will select five finalist teams to advance.

With $30,000 in cash prizes on the line, in Stage III, finalists will submit an executive summary, full business plan and PowerPoint presentation, plus make a live presentation to a panel of judges, followed by Q&A.

Finalists are assigned mentors from the regional entrepreneurship ecosystem and will have free access to Palo Alto's LivePlan software, the world's leading business plan software designed for entrepreneurs and small business owners. In addition, services from the competition sponsors-BlueTree Allied Angels Investment Group, the Duquesne University School of Law, the Duquesne University Small Business Development Center and the maker space in the business school's Center for Excellence in Entrepreneurship-will be available.

"These are extremely challenging times for entrepreneurs and they desperately need our support," says William Generett, Jr., vice president for community engagement. "The 2020-2021 DNVC challenge will provide a wide array of support for entrepreneurs in our region, which will ultimately help make our community stronger."

Funding for the DNVC is thanks to the generosity of Bob Mallet, member of Duquesne's Board of Directors and former president and chief executive officer of Mallet and Company.

For more information, including rules and regulations, visit the DNVC website.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and horizon-expanding education. A campus of nearly 8,500 graduate and undergraduate students, Duquesne prepares students by having them work alongside faculty to discover and reach their goals. The Universitys academic programs, community service, and commitment to equity and opportunity in the Pittsburgh region have earned national acclaim.

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July 16, 2020