The purpose of the Student Enterprise Award is to provide seed money to support enterprising and innovative students at Penn State Berks. The main objective of the award is to allow students to utilize their Penn State Berks education to become entrepreneurs and start businesses which can create jobs in our local community.
The requestor and project lead for this award must be a full-time junior or a senior student majoring in one of the following degree programs and enrolled at Penn State Berks:
- Cybersecurity Analytics and Operations
- Electromechanical Engineering Technology
- Hospitality Management
- Information Sciences and Technology
- Mechanical Engineering
- Security and Risk Analysis
or minoring in the following and enrolled at Penn State Berks:
- Entrepreneurship and Innovation (ENTI)
All other full-time junior or senior students enrolled at Penn State Berks are eligible to be a member of the team but cannot be the project lead and/or the requestor.
A total grant ranging from $500 to $3,000, as determined by the Review Committee, may be awarded to a successful student or students who demonstrate:
- A passion to start a new business
- A business plan outlining the product requirements and time table for profitability
- A demonstrated product prototype that will be the core of the business plan
- The marketplace, including competition, where the product will be sold
- The sources and locations where the product will be developed, fabricated, and/or obtained
- An understanding of the quality, safety and ethical issues as well as any government regulations required of the new business
- A mentor who will assist, guide, and support the student during the startup phase.
- Apply by 5:00 p.m. Sunday, January 15, 2023. View Application Form »
- Complete Business Plan and submit online by 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 15. View Business Plan Structure »
- Teams will be notified by email whether they are a finalist to present on or before Friday, January 20, 2023.
- Finalist presentations to the committee via Zoom will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 25, 2023. Share your prototype (minimum viable product) during your presentation, if you have not already.
- Award recipient(s) will be contacted by email on or before Friday, January 27, 2023.
Award Disbursement and Follow Up
The student/team chosen for a Student Enterprise Award will receive the funding in multiple installments as follow:
- The first installment will be equal to one half of the total award and disbursed shortly after being granted.
- To receive the second installment, winners must either provide proof of monetary expenditures related to their project at least equal to the first installment amount or participate in the Flemming CEED Center Customer Discovery Lab workshops on campus. The Customer Discovery Lab, under the auspices of the Flemming CEED Center and directed by Dr. Kulturel-Konak, help early-stage entrepreneurs validate the utility and viability of their project. Award winners are strongly encouraged to participate in the Customer Discovery Lab.
- The student/team is to return to the campus at a later date to share their experiences with Penn State Berks students. They will also be required to give regular reports to the Student Enterprise Award committee regarding the status of their idea. The Program Director of the Entrepreneurship Minor will coordinate the follow-up and speaking engagements.
*The second and final disbursement is expected to occur within one year of initial award grant.