Santa Clara University

Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

2014-2015 Competitions

Business Plan competitions allow students to gain experience in not only as competitors for a prize, but also in working together as a team, public speaking, strategy, planning ahead and making contacts.  

In addition, the CIE provides information, coaching and advice to students enrolled in the Graduate Entrepreneurship Program on both regional competitions and national competitions and also works with the EC on other student-run competitions and team prep.


startup madness 

Calling All College Student Startups!  Applications Now Accepted for Student Startup Madness 2014-15 Seeking the Best College Digital Media Startup (Nationwide Tournament

Online applications are now being accepted for the 2014-15 Student Startup Madness, a fun and exciting nationwide tournament offering college student startups the opportunity to "live the entrepreneurial dream": compete against fellow student entrepreneurs, and grab the attention of potential investors and leaders in the startup community at the South By Southwest Interactive festival in March 2015.

Student Startup Madness (SSM) is open to all college student digital media startups from any college/university in the United States. To apply, go to Applications will be accepted through Dec. 5, 2014.

Teams are encouraged to apply for "Early Admission" by Friday, Oct 10, 2013, when 20 of the 64 SSM starting field of tournament teams will be selected. The benefits of early admission include less competition for the 20 "early admission" spots and more time for student teams to plan ahead and prepare their pitch materials, if they are selected for the semi-finals. Early application will also afford the SSM Selection Committee more opportunity to consider applications versus those that are submitted close to the Dec. 5 final application deadline.  

Competition format:  Each round of the nationwide tournament will build momentum, awareness and social media buzz, drawing attention to colleges and universities as sources for innovation, entrepreneurship and talent while showcasing university entrepreneurship and encouraging college students to start businesses. From all online applications, 64 teams will be chosen by the SSM Selection Committee for the first round of competition, which will take place online in the platform. From the 64 first-round competitors, half (32 teams) will advance to the semi-final regionals round. From the regionals will emerge the "Entrepreneurial Eight," the top eight student teams that will be invited to pitch to a celebrity panel of well-known entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and investors at the Student Startup Madnessnational finals at South By Southwest in Austin, Texas, in March 2015. 

About Student Startup Madness:  The Student Startup Madness concept was developed by Sean Branagan, director of the Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, in conjunction with SXSW. Student Startup Madness, along with its sponsors and host universities, believes in American entrepreneurship and on-campus startups—and wants to help young student entrepreneurs succeed and become a part of the SXSW experience.


SVForum Startup Expo 2014 - Apply now!

November 18th, 2014
1:00 — 6:30 pm

Location announced soon!
Silicon Valley, California

Polish your pitches - Startup Expo is approaching! A selected group of tech startups will have the opportunity to showcase their product to respected investors, VCs, Corporate Venture and Angels. A distinguished panel of Silicon Valley investors, experts and thought leaders will also give their insights on the future of investing and what to expect when pitching to them. Startup Expo is in celebration of Global Entrepreneurship WeekThis event is by-invitation-only! Tickets will be limited to participating startups and invited investors only. If you'd like to request an invitation, please email Sepideh Nasiri


Application Criteria:

  • We’re tech agnostic, but we do require that you have a tech company with great growth potential
  • You have a verified product/solution, and it is live (beta is okay)
  • Your startup is actively seeking funding
  • Your company is incorporated
  • You've assembled a team

Have a Competition to Share?

If you would like to ivite Santa Clara University students to participate in your elevator pitch or business plan competition, please send pertinent event details to the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Go

Competition Archive
For information on previous competition offerings, please visit our archive page.


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