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CUNY Institute for Virtual Enterprise

One Bernard Baruch Way (55 Lexington Ave. Suit 2-140).
New York, NY 10010

P: 646-312-4790
F: 646-312-4781


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Since its inception, the Institute for Virtual Enterprise (IVE) has been fostering student engagement in social entrepreneurship and community related projects/businesses through its annual CUNY IVE SmartPitch Program. The program teaches students how to run, manage, and measure the performance of a real company by going through the process of identifying an entrepreneurial opportunity to actual implementation of their idea.

SmartPitch meets an important need by recognizing that the acquisition of knowledge is insufficient in today's competitive economy. To succeed, you must be able to identify problems, ask pertinent questions, develop solutions, and implement those solutions. Over the past 12 years, the SmartPitch Program has offered more than 1500 students an invaluable opportunity to develop their potential as future leaders and entrepreneurs. The program brings together student leaders and entrepreneurs, and helps them to articulate their passions and interests into dynamic, applied solutions to real world problems.

Student entrepreneurs from all over New York City have been supported and mentored through the Smartpitch and worked on a vast range of project/business ideas, proposals and implementations, ranging from student leadership, to health and urban environmentalism, and IT solutions.

2014 Program Design

The Verizon Foundation, the competition's new sponsor, is providing a $60,000 grant to support this year's SmartPitch Challenge, including $25,000 in prizes for the top five teams. Verizon will also offer mentors to provide infrastructure, marketing, and general business management support to the teams.

"These funds from Verizon will allow us to further expand our reach across all of the CUNY campuses and provide cash awards that will be critical in seeding the launch of students' ventures," said Monica Dean, Administrative Director of the Lawrence N. Field Center for Entrepreneurship.

The involvement of the Verizon Foundation is due to its response to a proposal submitted by Stuart Schulman, Professor of Management and Executive Director, CUNY Institute for Virtual Enterprise.

"We're excited about welcoming Verizon to the SmartPitch family of sponsors and we look forward to developing a strong working relationship that will grow in the future," Schulman said.

As a participant in the 12th Annual SmartPitch Challenge, you have a chance to develop your business concept and be a part of an entrepreneurship community of student entrepreneurs and gain access to mentors who will provide you with guidance. You have access to resources, peer camaraderie, and mentorship. In addition, you will be informed about a variety of resources with regards to entrepreneurship, paid internships, and job offerings at start-ups.

The focus of the competition is to seek out innovative student concepts. There are three suggested areas but NOT required:

  • Education: mobile learning, tablet computing, learning analytics, gaming and gamification
  • Health: healthcare, pharma, patient management, sports, exercise, behavior, diagnostics
  • Energy: solar, sustainability, green initiatives, energy storage, bio/sustainable fuel

We accept ALL business ideas.

The best teams will be invited to present their concepts at the SmartPitch Event on June 5, 2014 and compete for $25,000 in prizes.

  • 1st Place: $10,000
  • 2nd Place: $7,500
  • 3rd Place: $5,000
  • Most Innovative App: $1,500
  • Fan Favorite: $1,000

The top 5 finalists will be able to participate in a Virtual Business Incubator, which will help in launching your business.

Benefits include:

  • Entrepreneurship Boot Camp
  • Virtual Incubator
  • High Level Mentorship
  • Access to the entrepreneurship network in virtual and real space

SmartPitch 2014 Timeline

  • KICKOFF Event: January 31, 2014 at 10am
  • Milestone 1: 30 Sec Video Pitch: Due March 17 at Midnight
  • Milestone 2: Executive Summary: Due April 23 at Midnight
  • Milestone 3: Slide Deck: Due May 16 at Midnight
  • SmartPitch Final Event: June 5, 2014 (2013 Winners)
  • Entrepreneurship Bootcamp June 26-27, 2014

Participants will take advantage of continuous business development, consultation, and mentorship on throughout the entire length of the challenge.

SmartPitch Challenge is a NYC student competition. Only current NYC students are eligible to participate.

SmartPitch 2014 Timeline Table

1/31Kick-off Event and Sign-up (ongoing registration at
2/24 Workshop for Milestone I: Presentation Skills/Personal Pitch
3/17Milestone I Due(30-second pitch video)
3/21IBM Global Tech Outlook presentation
4/7Workshop for Milestone II: Business Plan Basics
4/23Milestone II Due(Executive Summary)
4/24Meet your Mentor event
5/1Workshop for Milestone III: Planning the Launch
5/16Milestone III(Slide Deck)
5/20-6/01Mentors nominate 10 finalists
6/05Final Event
6/26-6/27Entrpreneurship Bootcamp

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