The Charger Blog

Entrepreneurship Club Looks Forward to University's Smerd Pitch Competition

The Entrepreneurship Club is charged up for an event that enables students of all majors to pitch their business ideas and showcase their "unlimited potential" as they compete for funding for their ideas.

October 6, 2023

By Anchal Bhatia '24 MBA

Students at the Smerd Competition
The Smerd Pitch Competition enables students to pitch their ideas and compete for funding.

Like many recognized student organizations on campus, the Entrepreneurship Club is an RSO that welcomes students from every major and background, providing them with a platform to display their business ideas and work on them.

"The purpose behind the Entrepreneurship Club is to provide a space for all undergraduate and graduate students to express their entrepreneurial skills and to cultivate their spirit," said Dr. Vasiliki Kosmidou, the Entrepreneurship Club's faculty adviser.

'Connect with like-minded professionals'

The club is a safe space to enhance confidence, build ideas, and put them in action. One of the main motives behind the club is to provide mentorship and guidance to its members and to communicate about any issues before starting a new venture. Besides this, the club also offers students the opportunity to obtain seed funding for their startups.

To bring a more comprehensive platform to budding and enthusiastic entrepreneurs, the Entrepreneurship Club hosts the Smerd Pitch Competition in the Fall semester. Launched in 2022, its motto is "unlimited seats, unlimited potential," denoting the idea of being open to all students at the University. The competition aims to sharpen the competitors' entrepreneurial skills, incubate their businesses, pitch in front of a panel of judges, and win up to $10,000 in seed funding.

Dean Brian Kench and Dr. Vasiliki Kosmidou with students
Dean Brian Kench (left) and Dr. Vasiliki Kosmidou (right) with students at the 2022 Smerd Pitch Competition.

"One of the major benefits of this competition is that students not only gain a chance to win seed funding, they also undergo an incubation process in which the participants go through a series of five workshops led by experienced faculty members and industry professionals," said Dr. Kosmidou.

The Smerd Pitch Competition for the Fall 2023 semester kickstarted in September, with an introductory session, followed by a list of weekly and topic-dedicated sessions.

"The sessions not only help students sharpen their skills and get ready for the final pitch," said Dr. Kosmidou. "They also provide ample feedback on the business ideas, which helps them move forward with their idea regardless of the outcome of the competition. In addition, students also benefit tremendously from the networking opportunities that they get from the competition. This pitch competition also helps students connect with like-minded professionals in the entrepreneurial industry."

'Providing students with the necessary resources'

Jaliyah Monte '24, vice president of the Entrepreneurship Club, says the club is very active in organizing events and activities centered on entrepreneurship.

"The content of these events is all aimed toward providing students with the necessary resources to help them successfully embark on their entrepreneurial journey," said Monte, a business management major. "We often invite guest speakers or organize panel discussions led by professors, business owners, and other industry practitioners. Often, we collaborate with other clubs and RSOs on-campus and host events together."

Chargers at the SMERD pitch competition
Chargers at the SMERD pitch competition in 2022.

The Fall semester is all about productivity for the Entrepreneurship Club, and along with the exciting Smerd Pitch Competition, several other events are being hosted by the club in collaboration with Women in Business, another RSO on campus.

Running as an RSO since December 2021, the Entrepreneurship Club is open to all students, and they highly recommend and welcome a diversification of all majors to cultivate an entrepreneurial spirit from all backgrounds and student groups.

The Entrepreneurship Club encourages students to put forth their ideas and join the club to foster innovation, meet new and like-minded friends, and get involved in projects that enhance their resume even more.