An entrepreneur battle

Are you an aspiring entrepreneur interested in pursuing business plans? If so, the LaunchVT Collegiate Competition might be your calling.

LaunchVT is a business pitch competition that rewards entrepreneurs with not only cash prizes but also resources to help entrepreneurs succeed in their endeavors. The competition will be held on Feb. 19, 2016 at Champlain College in Burlington.

And for a little bit of extra encouragement, the winner will receive at least $6,000 and will be closer to being a successful entrepreneur.

Nine or more colleges and universities will submit participants for this competition. These participants are from Green Mountain College, Vermont Technical College, The University of Vermont, Lyndon State College, Johnson State College, Norwich University, Champlain College, Middlebury College, and Castleton University.

“This competition is positioned quite well for students because of work that’s going on in John Hoagland’s small business and entrepreneurship class. This semester one class is on campus and one is in downtown Rutland. The goal with these classes is to offer real life opportunities and learn about the wonders of business,” said Lyle Jepson, who is a part of the Castleton Downtown Office, which is the center for Entrepreneurial programs and other resources.

LaunchVT has been around for years, but this year this competition and its entrepreneurs will do nothing but thrive.

Lyle Jepson also mentioned how the competition differs from previous years.

“This isn’t the first year but it is the first truly well-organized year for the collegiate competition,” he said.

Not only can young entrepreneurs get involved, but students on campus can take advantage of a surplus of opportunities that will help them prepare for a career in business.

Peg Richards, the Chairperson of the Department of Business mentioned what students can do to prepare for their futures in business.

“Students do a high number of internships in our program, and most of them are paid. Paid internships challenge students to work hard, and the companies give students meaty internships. Students learn a lot and frequently find jobs out of these internships. We reach out to Crispin White and Renee Beaupre White, and we coordinate well with these people to make sure students get the best possible internships. We have a lot of connections with business people,” she said.

Richards also mentioned classes students can take on campus to start their careers in business.

“There’s a Careers in Business class that’s open to any college student, from any major, with no prerequisites. People work with me on their resumes, LinkedIn profiles, and students do informational interviews. There are also business leaders who come in and speak to students, and students can ask them questions about how they came to be in the business world,” she said.

There might be business classes students can take, but they can get real world experience and opportunities from competitions like LaunchVT.

“Students do projects on paper in class, and that’s one thing, but when you believe it in your heart and professionals believe in you it can change your whole life,” Richards said.

If you’re a young entrepreneur with great ideas, and successful business plans the Launch VT Collegiate Competition would be an opportunity for you.

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