Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (CIE) Events

The Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship organizes and sponsors events that are relevant to entrepreneurially-minded students, including Launch Champlain and the Elevator Pitch.

Upcoming Events


Steps to Starting a Business 
Ireland Room 105 // March 3rd, 12:30pm-1:30pm

Office Hours:
Get practical 1:1 advice as you consider starting or growing your business.
Ireland Room 010 // April 17th, 11:30am-2:30pm


Tour the VT Center for Emerging Technologies, and spend the afternoon using their coworking space.
Main Street // March 20th at 1:00pm

Peak Pitch

Entrepreneurs seize the opportunity to deliver their "elevator pitch" to investors while riding the chairlift throughout the morning. Afterwards, meet for a networking luncheon and a "pitch off" in the afternoon.
Sugarbush // March 27th, all day

Pitch Workshop

Get tips and tricks to help you succeed at Launch Champlain, or in other pitch competitions.
Ireland Room 105 // March 31st, 1:30pm-2:30pm

Elevator Pitch Finals

See below for event information.
Champlain Room // April 3rd, 7:00pm-9:30pm

Launch Champlain

See below for event information.
Perry Presentation Room // April 9th, 5:00pm-6:30pm

Launch Champlain Competition

Champlain College students with a business OR business idea may enter the Launch Champlain competition in April, and present their business idea to a panel of judges. The winner(s) receive the opportunity to represent Champlain in the Generator and LaunchVT Jump/Start program, as well as cash prizes (up to $1,500).

Why compete in Launch Champlain?

In addition to cash prizes, it's a great way to sharpen your idea, and to learn how to pitch it effectively in order to raise capital, and attract both talent and supporters. Mentoring is provided throughout the entire process. 

How do you compete?

Competitors will have ten minutes to present their idea. Presentations should provide compelling answers to the following questions:

  1. What is your business idea?
  2. Does it solve a problem? For whom?
  3. How does your business idea work?
  4. How does it fit in today's market?
  5. What makes this idea unique from the competition?
  6. How will you execute?
  7. How do you plan to use the prize money to advance your business idea?

Launch Champlain will be held in the Perry Presentation Room on April 9th, from 5:00pm-6:30pm.

Elevator Pitch Competition

Champlain College's Career Collaborative, Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, and the Office of Institutional Advancement collaborate to present the Annual Elevator Pitch Competition held during the spring semester. The contest invites participating students to give their 90-second "pitch" to an executive (dubbed the "suit") as they ride together in a fictional elevator. There are four categories of competition:

  • Entrepreneurs
  • Job/Internship Seekers
  • Nonprofit/Social Advocates
  • Game Developers

The event is patterned on a national competition and teaches students the importance of presenting a "big idea" as succinctly and convincingly as possible. The competition is open to all years and majors.Support and coaching is available from about a dozen volunteer coaches─faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the College.

The Elevator Pitch finals will be held in the Champlain Room on April 3rd, from 7:00pm-9:30pm.

Learn more about the Elevator Pitch. 

Hear what some participating students have said of their experience with the Elevator Pitch:

"I'm developing a juice company, and the Elevator Pitch gave me the opportunity to present it. I explained my company in the best way I could in 90 seconds. That helped boost my self-esteem and gave me more confidence."
-Prince Awhaitey // Finance major

"There are three different categories that you can enter. It was really cool because I got to pitch them my idea for a nonprofit. Practice like that helped with my speaking skills."
—Bekemeh Airewele // Marketing major