This post originally appeared on the Nexus Louisiana Tech Park blog.
The next founders of a startup unicorn may be on a stage pitching their business this Thanksgiving weekend in New Orleans.
Applications are open until Sept. 30 for the BizTech Challenge, an entrepreneurial competition for students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The winning team could earn up to $10,000 and expert mentorship.
Calvin Mills Jr., a serial tech entrepreneur and chairman of the board at Nexus Louisiana, is proud of how the BizTech Challenge highlights the entrepreneurship of HBCU students. “It shines a light on very smart, very talented individuals at HBCUs in Louisiana who come together to create dynamic products and ideas,” he says.
What Exactly is the BizTech Challenge?
BizTech Challenge, developed by Nexus Louisiana, gives HBCU students the opportunity to validate their business idea and build a real business — and maybe even win some cash.
From those who apply, five teams will be selected to pitch their business in front of a live audience and a panel of expert judges for a chance at up to $10,000. Finalists will receive mentorship, coaching, and a travel stipend for their trip to the event. Everyone who submits a pitch will get expert feedback on their business.
“You have to take the first step and go for it,” Mills says. “Sign up and see what it’s about. I think you’ll be very surprised and be motivated to succeed. We want people to see the talent at HBCUs and the support that Nexus Louisiana gives to help make these ideas a reality.”