Penn State Berks Announces 2021 STEM Business Idea Contest

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The Penn State Berks Flemming Creativitiy, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (CEED) Center invites all Penn State students, faculty members, recent alumni, and community teams to submit their innovative ideas in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) fields to the STEM Business Idea Contest. The contest is an excellent starting point for those considering developing an idea into a successful business. Applicants only need an idea to apply, and applications are due by September 22, 2021.

Each finalist team will receive a short training session on customer discovery and will be eligible for a $500 seed grant to further develop their idea. The seed grant will be released on a reimbursement basis. In addition, teams will tap into the resources of the Flemming CEED Center, with the potential to connect with strategic partners, business mentors, and other students who could help to turn your idea into a successful venture.

The selected teams will be invited to attend the Flemming CEED Center Customer Discovery Lab in spring 2022. After completing the Customer Discovery Lab, the teams will become eligible to receive a micro-grant of up to $3,000, which can be used for further customer discovery expenses. In addition, teams will be matched with dedicated academic and business mentors who provide business expertise, advice on pitch development and funding strategies, and help with growing a network of contacts.

The STEM Business Idea Content provides a gateway for other STEM-related innovation programs at Penn State Berks and Penn State University, such as VentureWell E-Team Grant Program and Invent Penn State I-Corps. Participating teams will receive support and coaching to apply for these two programs. Those with more general business ideas are encouraged to apply for the Flemming CEED Center’s Student Enterprise Award.

For additional information, contact Dr. Abdullah Konak, distinguished professor of information sciences and technology at Penn State Berks, at [email protected].

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