Success Story

  • Founder presenting student startup

Students can win up to $30,000 to fund their businesses

Students can apply to win up to $30,000 in funding for their company in the Inc.U Competition. Open to Penn State undergraduates, the Inc.U Competition will culminate in “The Investment,” a WPSU Shark Tank-like television production that will be livestreamed during Penn State Startup Week powered by PNC.

Applications for the 2022 Inc.U Competition close on Friday, Feb. 4.

Penn State undergraduates can apply to the Inc.U Competition by:

  • Assuring the entered business is based on an original idea and the team is at least 50 percent owned by one or more Penn State full-time undergraduate students
  • Developing a 2.5-minute video and submitting a link to the video on the application form

From the applicant pool, six finalists will be selected and will receive pitch coaching to help them prepare for their final presentations. These final pitches will take place in front of a panel of judges on April 9 during Penn State Startup Week as part of the “The Investment.” During “The Investment,” finalists will have 2.5 minutes to deliver their pitch followed by a five-minute period in that judges may ask questions.

“The Inc.U Competition is a tremendous opportunity for student startups,” said Lee Erickson, Office of Entrepreneurship and Commercialization associate director of economic development and student programs. “By participating in this competition, student founders not only receive help to hone their pitches, but they gain the experience of pitching their business to a panel of judges to win up to $30,000 in funding. We know from past Inc.U participants that the competition has been not only pivotal in helping them promote their business, but also in building their confidence as a founder.”

Past Inc.U winners include Purpose Therapy Box, Vitable Health and Moichor. Past episodes of “The Investment” can be watched here.

To view more Penn State affiliated startups, visit the Startup Navigator. To find more student entrepreneur resources, visit the Resource Navigator.

About Inc.U Competition

Inc.U began in 2015 as a pilot program funded by a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. It was originally a collaborative effort between the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, Bucknell University, and Penn State to foster undergraduate entrepreneurship. From 2016-2020, the Inc.U Competition was managed by PennTAP and evolved to become a Penn State program offered in partnership with Invent Penn State and the LaunchBox & Innovation Hub Network. Beginning in spring 2022, the Inc.U Competition will be a featured competition as part of Penn State Startup Week, with “The Investment” production livestream scheduled for April 9, 2022.