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UPitchNJ is sponsored by the New Jersey Collegiate Entrepreneurship Consortium, which represents the entrepreneurship education programs at New Jersey’s four-year colleges and universities. Thirteen universities competed in UPitchNJ 2017: Fairleigh Dickinson University, Montclair State University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Princeton University, Ramapo College of New Jersey, Rider University, Rowan University, Rutgers University, Saint Peter’s University, Seton Hall University, Stevens Institute of Technology, The College of New Jersey, and William Paterson University.

The competition was held at Princeton University’s Keller Center on April 28, 2017. Each university sent an undergraduate student team that has developed a startup idea, or had launched a startup, to compete for cash prizes and business services. An independent panel of judges evaluated the student teams on the innovativeness and originality of their startup idea, and the quality of a written Executive Summary and oral presentations. The contest judges also looked for creative and innovative thinking about markets, products and services. The teams were be evaluated on their perceived ability to execute the idea and turn it into a viable, profitable business, and/or venture with significant social value.

Each year, the competition is held on the campus of a participating college or university. The next competition, UPitchNJ 2018, will be held on April 20, 2018 at Montclair State University. (The inaugural contest, UPitchNJ 2016, was held at Rutgers University.)

UPitchNJ’s aim is to highlight the ingenuity and creativity of today’s college entrepreneurs, whom are increasingly launching businesses from their dorm rooms.  As entrepreneurship educators in New Jersey, we want to provide our entrepreneurial students with a networking forum with other students, mentors and potential investors.

We believe UPitchNJ will help brand New Jersey – home to Bell Labs and Thomas Edison – as the innovative state that it is, plus encourage young entrepreneurs to develop their businesses here, leading to economic growth and job creation.

“Given the combination of universities, financial institutions and successful startups, New Jersey is one of the best places in the nation for entrepreneurship to flourish,” says entrepreneur Greg Olsen, UPitchNJ 2016 judge as well as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Princeton University.