Businesses Launching Here

Students now have a Business Plan Pitch Competition, and entrepreneurs can spend a Startup Weekend on campus.

SCU students with great business ideas can now pocket significant money.

Last spring the Leavey School of Business’ Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship launched a Business Plan Pitch Competition (this year’s finals will be May 12). The grand prize, $5,000, went to Spree–Student Marketplace, a free iPhone app that lets members of the campus community buy, sell, or trade things. Just snap a photo and post. Spree can create a hyperlocal marketplace for any community with a common email address domain (in SCU’s case, that’s “@scu.edu”).

Spree is the brainchild of business major Marco Ciccone ’16 and engineering major Riley Steele Parsons ’16. After its win, Spree went on to the business school’s California Program for Entrepreneurship (CAPE), which provides free education and mentoring to promising businesses. Read more about Spree from the Leavey School of Business.

Before the pitch competition, the University will host its second Startup Weekend for entrepreneurs, April 1–3 in Bannan Hall. At Startup Weekends, people from technical and business backgrounds come together and try to launch a business by working in teams during the next 54 hours. The weekend culminates with a pitch competition Sunday night. Most of the prizes are in the form of services, such as legal advice or mentoring, that are donated by sponsors.

One of the success stories from last year’s Startup Weekend is Stilt, which offers financial assistance to foreign nationals who don’t have credit histories and who would otherwise be ineligible for traditional loans.

This year’s core sponsors for Startup Weekend are Google for Entrepreneurs, Chase, Sprint, and .Co, says Adam Brutocao J.D. ’15, local organizer this year and last. More information: santaclara.startupweekend.org.

post-image Photography by Alyssa Lee
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