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UPitchNJ is consortium  representing entrepreneurship education center directors and entrepreneurship faculty at New Jersey’s four-year colleges and universities. Created six years ago, UPitchNJ’s main activity is to sponsor an annual statewide collegiate startup competition in partnership with Nokia Bell Labs. UPitchNJ also supports related activities involving entrepreneurship and innovation at New Jersey’s universities.  Undergraduate students interested in participating in UPitchNJ should contact their university’s entrepreneurship educational program for more details. Twelve universities will compete in UPitchNJ 2021: Drew University, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Montclair State University,  New Jersey Institute of Technology, Princeton University, Rider University, Ramapo College of New Jersey, Rowan University, Rutgers University, Saint Peter’s University, Seton Hall University and Stevens Institute of Technology.  Other higher education institutions which have competed in past UPitchNJ competitions include Kean University, Monmouth University, New Jersey City University and William Paterson University.

UPitchNJ 2021, together with Nokia Bells Labs, was held in a virtual format on Friday, April 23 from 1 p.m to 3 p.m. The event will be livestreamed and the public is invited to watch the contest. Each participating university sends an undergraduate student team that had developed a startup idea, or had launched a startup, to compete for cash prizes. Nokia Bell Labs executives and research scientists have provided individualized mentoring and coaching to each of the teams, and Nokia Bell Labs executives served as judges. The judges will evaluate the student teams on the innovativeness and originality of their startup ideas. The contest judges looked for creative and innovative thinking about markets, products and services. The teams will 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.

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 Nokia 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.