About Ag Springboard

During Spring 2019 student teams will compete to win $7,500 in the Ag Springboard student business pitch contest. Like TV's Shark Tank — but for College of Agricultural Sciences' students! Ag Springboard is a signature event of the college's Entrepreneurship & Innovation Program.

Ag Springboard is a business pitch competition open to all students at Penn State. Teams consisting of 2-5 students, at least one of whom must be a student enrolled in the College of Agricultural Sciences, are eligible to compete. Teams will develop and pitch an innovative business plan addressing a need in the field of food, agriculture, ecosystems or bio-products and energy. 

Mark Gagnon, Harbaugh Entrepreneurship Scholar, explains:

In their business pitch, students must address issues such as competitive due diligence, marketing, financial projections and other aspects to make a compelling argument for their business idea.

Teams submit a 5-8-minute video pitch for the first round of the competition. Judges will select which teams will move forward to the final presentation stage  which is a live pitch before a judging panel of experienced entrepreneurs.

The $7,500 grand prize winning team, and $2,500 second-place winner will be announced that evening at a banquet.

Learn more at three Ag Springboard open houses during Fall 2018, all in 6 Armsby: 

  • Sept. 18, Ag Springboard open house, 6-7:30
  • Oct. 22, Ag Springboard open house, 5-6:30
  • Nov. 13, Ag Springboard open house, 5-6:30

Top Reasons to Participate

  1. Learn about entrepreneurship and whether you are an entrepreneur.
  2. Strengthen your resume — employers seek students who have competitive “real world” experiences.
  3. The odds of winning are great to claim the $7,500 prize — some contests have only 25 teams!
  4. Take your idea to the next level and start a company — winners will have an opportunity to connect with potential investors, build their networks and obtain valuable guidance.
  5. Be recognized for your efforts and abilities — build the winning team and experience success!
  6. Learn what it takes to pitch a business idea and develop these valuable career building skills while at Penn State.
Questions? Contact Mark Gagnon at
This event is sponsored by Earl and Kay Harbaugh whose generous support is also used to fund a variety of entrepreneurial activities at Penn State.