Entrepreneurs compete at GVSU

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Top student entrepreneurs from four area colleges will compete for cash prizes at Grand Valley State University in the first regional Idea Pitch competition.

The event is hosted by Grand Valley's Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation and Seidman College of Business in partnership with Cornerstone University, Aquinas College and Davenport University. The event is November 19 from 7-9 p.m. in the Loosemore Auditorium of Grand Valley’s DeVos Center on the Pew Grand Rapids Campus, 401 Fulton St. W.

The judges for the event are Rick DeVos, entrepreneur and founder of ArtPrize, Spout.com, and TheCommon.org; Danny Beckett, president and CEO of Spearia, a Web design and marketing firm based in Comstock Park; and Brent Hawkins, founder of Infusion Marketing.

The 11 competitors won competitions at their own schools. They will make 90-second pitches, which will be analyzed by a panel of judges based on the quality of their idea and presentation. The first place prize is $2,000. Second place is $1,000 and third and fourth place is $500. The event is open to the public and media coverage is encouraged.

Seidman College of Business Dean H. James Williams applauded the regional cooperation that launched the competition. "The regional collaboration of West Michigan business programs has been working together for the past couple of years on a number of higher education business projects to support and promote entrepreneurship in the region, especially among college students across our institutions," Williams said. "This is just another of the initiatives we hope will become an annual celebration of student entrepreneurial enthusiasm and competence. The students' collective entrepreneurial spirit is potentially explosive!"