Baruch College Incubates Next Generation of Student Entrepreneurs and Partners With Corporations to Host SmartPitch Competition

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NEW YORK, NY – January 9, 2013–This spring a diverse set of young entrepreneurs from U.S. colleges and universities will compete in the 11th Annual SmartPitch Challenge, hosted by Baruch College and IBM. The competition, which celebrates New York City as a center for innovation and new business development, gives student entrepreneurs an opportunity to create and validate a business concept, pitch their idea and follow a business plan to ultimately launch their business.

The competition kicks off Feb. 1 at Baruch College in room 14-220 of the Vertical Campus, with a reception featuring remarks by noted business entrepreneurs, educators and mentors. A series of supporting events will be hosted throughout the challenge that will lead up to the formal SmartPitch competition scheduled on June 6. A list of events and updates can be found on Facebook and their Social Networking Site.

The SmartPitch Challenge is a partnership of the CUNY Institute for Virtual Enterprise (IVE), the Lawrence N. Field Center for Entrepreneurship at Baruch College and IBM. SmartPitch is the culmination of a Virtual Incubation process that invites student entrepreneurs to develop, pitch, validate and launch business ideas in a social networking environment.

The CUNY Institute for Virtual Enterprise (IVE) was a pioneer when it launched a social networking platform to provide virtual mentoring and resources for student entrepreneurs in 2007.  During the SmartPitch Competition, this platform will serve as the  virtual co-working space to engage mentors, ask experts and find peer support. In addition,  there will be a series of face-to-face support events, workshops, and roundtables leading  to the SmartPitch Challenge competition on June 6, where student entrepreneurs will make their presentations “pitches” and compete against other U.S. universities and colleges. The best teams will be invited to present their concepts at the SmartPitch Event on June 6, 2013 and compete for $8,500 in prizes. The 1st Place team receives $5,000; 2nd Place receives $2,500 and 3rd Place receives $1,000. The top five winning teams will be selected to participate in a virtual business incubator ending with the launch of their concepts. The incubator includes: entrepreneurship boot camp, incubator space, expert IBM mentorships, access to the entrepreneurship network in virtual and real space, and access to stipends and angel investors. The winners will also present their new businesses in the fall, 2013 and be recognized as IVE Fellows in a continuing support network.

“SmartPitch is an opportunity for young entrepreneurs to explore their creativity, innovate and create a business. This competition is a celebration of entrepreneurship and an opportunity to realize the American dream of launching a business. Baruch is creating the next generation of innovative business leaders,” said Dr. Stuart Schulman, Professor of Management and Executive Director, CUNY Institute for Virtual Enterprise.

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About Baruch College:

Baruch College is a senior college in the City University of New York (CUNY) with a total enrollment of more than 17,000 students, who represent 160 countries and speak more than 100 languages. Ranked among the top 15% of U.S. colleges and the No. 5 public regional university, Baruch College is regularly recognized as among the most ethnically diverse colleges in the country. As a public institution with a tradition of academic excellence, Baruch College offers accessibility and opportunity for students from every corner of New York City and from around the world.  For more about Baruch College, go to http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/.


MEDIA CONTACTS:
Manny Romero, (646) 660-6141, manuel.romero@baruch.cuny.edu
Mercedes Sanchez, (646) 660-6112, mercedes.sanchez@baruch.cuny.edu
Celene McDermott (646) 660-6134, celene.mcdermott@baruch.cuny.edu