Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship Events & Competitions

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

Launch Champlain Competition

Champlain College students with a business OR business idea (operating business is not necessary) may enter the Launch Champlain competition 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.

Why compete in Launch Champlain?

In addition to receiving financial support (with $3,000 in prize money available at this event), it's a great way to sharpen your idea and 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:

  • What is your business idea?
  • Does it solve a problem? For whom?
  • How does your business idea work?
  • How does it fit into today's market?
  • What makes this idea unique from the competition?
  • How will you execute?
  • How do you plan to use the prize money to advance your business idea?

I am interested. What's next?

To find out more or to enter Launch Champlain, contact Pat Patel, Program Director of CIE at

Generator and LaunchVT Jump/Start

Jump/Start is a product-focused nine-week program designed to connect very early-stage makers with the resources they need to turn their product prototypes into market-ready businesses. JumpStart provides a comprehensive business development program, one-on-one expert mentoring, sophisticated prototyping tool-sets, technical training, free workspace, and more.

Learn more about Jump/Start.

Elevator Pitch Competition

The Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship collaborates with Champlain's Career Collaborative and the Office of Institutional Advancement to present the Annual Elevator Pitch Competition, which usually takes place in March.

The competition requires participating students to give their 90-second "pitch" to an executive (dubbed "the suit") as they ride together in a fictional elevator. There are three categories of competition:

  • Entrepreneurs
  • Job/internship seekers
  • Non-profit/social advocates

For more than 10 years, the Elevator Pitch Competition—modeled after a national competition—has provided an opportunity for students to learn and polish their networking skills by presenting a "big idea" as succinctly and convincingly as possible. Learn more about the Elevator Pitch or fill out an entry form here.

Hear From Participants

"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