Prizes valued at approximately $85,000 are at stake in the Duquesne New Venture Challenge (DNVC), launching this September and hosted by the Palumbo-Donahue School of Business.

"This exciting new competition will offer tremendous resources to anyone with compelling start-up ideas," said Dr. Dean McFarlin, dean of the Palumbo-Donahue School of Business. "This isn't limited to members of the Duquesne community. Anyone in the Pittsburgh region and beyond is welcome to enter the competition."

The two-stage business plan competition, open to individuals and teams up to four people, will accept submissions from Monday, Sept. 16, until noon on Monday, Oct. 21.

In Stage I, participants must submit a short description of their business idea with a two-minute video "elevator pitch." Cash prizes of $2,500, $1,500 and $1,000 will be awarded to the top three video pitches. The competition judges, who are regional business leaders and members of the entrepreneurial ecosystem, will select up to five finalist teams to move onto Stage II of the competition and receive service prizes worth approximately $45,000.

In Stage II, 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-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.

Finalists will submit an executive summary, business plan and PowerPoint presentation. They will then present their submission live and take questions from a panel of judges. Cash prizes totaling $25,000 will be distributed to the finalists, with the top three finalists earning approximately $10,000 in service prizes.

"The DNVC is both a platform for entrepreneurship education and a vehicle for helping entrepreneurs develop and execute their business models," said Dr. Michele Migliuolo, director of the Center for Excellence in Entrepreneurship. "We will do everything we can to help new entrepreneurs succeed, from opportunity recognition to launch and everything in between."

McFarlin said that Duquesne's entrepreneurship program is on the move, with new facilities, new faculty and new directions. "The DNVC is emblematic of our desire to educate our students while also engaging with the community in promoting entrepreneurship," he said.

Details on the 2019 New Venture Challenge's rules and regulations are available online. For more information, visit, call (412) 396-2538 or email

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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August 12, 2019