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Fordham to Hold Business Plan Competition


Fordham University’s Bert Twaalfhoven Entrepreneurship Center is holding its third annual Startup! Business Plan Competition.

The contest is open to students and alumni from any school or college at Fordham. The winner(s) will receive up to $10,000 in prize money, and this year, $30,000 worth of in-kind prizes will also be awarded, including legal services.

While the primary objective of the competition is to educate participants about the entrepreneurial process of creating and evaluating new business ventures, it also provides a platform for showcasing entrepreneurial talent at Fordham, enabling exposure to highly sought after Angel Investors that is often so difficult to obtain on their own, said Elizabeth Ingrassia, executive director of the Twaalfhoven Center and Fordham Institute for Family and Private Enterprise (FIFPE).

“The primary objective [of the competition]is to educate participants about the entrepreneurial process of vetting business ideas and creating and evaluating new business ventures,” she said. “It provides a terrific platform for networking participants with the entrepreneurial and venture community, and harnessing Fordham University’s and its communities resources.”

No prior business courses or experience is necessary. The only requirement is that at least one member of each team be a student or graduate of a Fordham University undergraduate college or graduate school. That team member must be an active participant in the business plan presentation, as determined by the Twaalfhoven Center.

In this year’s contest, there will be opportunities for interested participants who do not have a business idea, but are interested in getting experience in the entrepreneurial process. They will be partnered with early stage entrepreneurs located in the metro area.

“We’ll try to help them find others with the interests, talents and skills they seek,” Ingrassia said.

Entries can be made as individuals or groups. Those who do not have an idea but would like to join a team or find teammates can contact Ingrassia at

2010 winners were led by GBA students, Stefani Gartenberg and Meaghan O’Connor. 2009 winners were led by Law School Alumnus Alistair Ong, ’95.   For more information on past winners, visit:

The deadline for submitting business plans is March 25, 2011. Participants must register prior to March 25. Those that register before Dec. 10, 2010, will have the opportunity to be matched with a mentor, who may assist them with the development of their business plan or provide expertise in a specific area.

For more information about the competition and additional eligibility guidelines, visit the Twaalfhoven Center’s Web site at


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