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SmartPitch Challenge Student Entrepreneurs Meet with Mentors to Prepare Business Ideas

$40,000 in Prizes to be Awarded June 4


Student entrepreneurs meet with mentors as part of the 13th Annual CUNY IVE SmartPitch Challenge.


NEW YORK, NY-March 19, 2015 - Young entrepreneurs from New York City are competing in the 13th Annual CUNY IVE SmartPitch Challenge, hosted by Baruch College, the Lawrence N. Field Center for Entrepreneurship and the City University of New York (CUNY) Center for Student Entrepreneurship (CSE).

On March 18, SmartPitch challengers met with mentors for an information session to discuss their business ideas and to learn about starting a business.

There are 142 student teams participating this year from New York City schools including CUNY's Baruch College, Borough Manhattan Community College, Brooklyn College, City College, City Tech, Graduate Center, Graduate School of Journalism, Hostos Community College, Hunter College, John Jay, Kingsborough Community College, LaGuardia Community College, Medgar Evers, Queens College, Queensborough Community College and York College. Other schools represented included Cardozo Law, Columbia University, Fashion Institute of Technology, Fordham University, New York University and the School of Visual Arts.

The Smart Pitch Challenge, created by the CUNY Institute for Virtual Enterprise, 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 Verizon Foundation, the competition’s sponsor, is providing financial support for this year’s SmartPitch Challenge, including $40,000 in prizes for the winning teams. Verizon will also offer mentors to provide infrastructure, marketing, and general business management support to the teams.

The competition kicked-off January 30, with a reception featuring remarks by noted business entrepreneurs, educators and mentors. A series of supporting events are being hosted throughout the challenge that will lead up to the formal SmartPitch competition on June 4. A list of events and updates can be found on Facebook and their Social Networking Site.

The focus of the competition is to seek out innovative student concepts. These innovative approaches can be in the form of new technological advances, new strategic alliances, new methods or processes or new strategies. The concepts could, but are not required to, fall into one of the following tracks:

  • Education: mobile learning, tablet computing, learning analytics, gaming and gamification
  • Healthcare: healthcare, pharma, patient management, sports, exercise, behavior, diagnostics
  • Sustainability: alternative energy, green initiatives, energy storage, bio/sustainable fuel
  • Smarter Cities: transportation, security, pollution, technology solutions

The best teams will be invited to present their concepts at the SmartPitch Event on June 4 and compete for $40,000 in prizes. The Grand Prize winner receives $15,000; Education Track winner receives $5,000, Healthcare Track winner receives $5,000, Sustainability Track winner receives $5,000; and the Smarter Cities Track winner receives $5,000. The Most Innovative App (with Beta) winner receives $3,000, and Fan Favorite winner receives $2,000.



About Baruch College:

Baruch College is a senior college in the City University of New York (CUNY) with a total enrollment of more than 18,000 students, who represent 160 countries and speak more than 100 languages. Ranked among the top 15% of U.S. colleges and the No. 4 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



Manny Romero, (646) 660-6141,
Mercedes Sanchez, (646) 660-6112,

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