Learn to pitch your ideas! The Ag Springboard experience teaches students how to pitch — a valuable skill for any career path. The team with the best pitch wins $7,500 to Make It Happen!

Put your ideas for solutions and new ventures into ACTION! Polish your pitch for the Ag Springboard contest.

Put your ideas for solutions and new ventures into ACTION! Polish your pitch for the Ag Springboard contest.

During Spring 2020 student teams will pitch an idea for a new business or non-profit, and compete to win a $7,500 grand prize and $2,500 second prize at Ag Springboard.

We can help match students to teams, and coach teams on their pitch. Teams must include a student from the College of Ag Sciences.

(It's 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.)

How Ag Springboard works

Teams register by Feb. 10. (Email Dr. Mark Gagnon.)

Teams submit a short video pitch on their concept by Wednesday, March 4, 11:59 p.m. EST.

Finalist teams will be announced March 16.

Finalist teams will LIVE PITCH a panel of judges on April 1. Winners will be announced at that evening's awards banquet, 6-8 pm at Hintz Alumni Center.

More details

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.

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 Dr. Mark Gagnon.

This event is sponsored by Dan and Wendy Azzara whose generous support will allow this competition to be an annual event.