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Gonzales Weekly Citizen - Gonzales, LA
  • LSU Student Incubator to award $25,000 to Student Startups during 2nd Annual Venture Challenge

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  • The LSU Student Incubator, a program of the Louisiana Business & Technology Center, or LBTC, will host its 2nd Annual Venture Challenge this spring. The program will award $25,000 to four student businesses.
    "By giving students access to seed capital, this event is instrumental in retaining university graduates in Louisiana and creating jobs for the community," said Charlie D'Agostino, LBTC executive director.
    The Venture Challenge starts with a series of five free business planning workshops open to all LSU students and culminates with a final competition when four students will pitch their businesses to a panel of judges and a live audience. The judges will then decide how $25,000 will be distributed among the four startups. The final round will be held on April 19 at the Crowne Plaza Baton Rouge.
    The Venture Challenge, a two-round business plan competition, will showcase LSU's brightest student entrepreneurs and provide their businesses with access to the capital and resources needed to achieve long-term success. The deadline for the first round of the 2013 Venture Challenge is Friday, March 15.
    An information session and a series of five free workshops will be held in the months leading up to the Venture Challenge at LSU's Business Education Complex. The "New Venture Workshops" series is open to all LSU students and will provide guidance to entrepreneurs looking to launch or grow their businesses. Participants in the Venture Challenge are encouraged to attend the workshops and meet with LSU Student Incubator consultants for individual counseling. Although the workshops are free, pre-registration is greatly appreciated, as seating is limited. More information and registration can be found at http://www.eventbrite.com/org/1381113591.
    The Venture Challenge is looking to support new, independent ventures in the early growth stage. The startup venture must be a current member of the LSU Student Incubator, and all LSU students are encouraged to become a member of the Student Incubator. Students who are interested can apply online at www.business.lsu.edu/studentincubator. Any startup venture that fits these requirements, including non-profits, can enter. For more information on the LSU Student Incubator, watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGbiT3kxzA0.
    Please contact Jennifer Gatz Fowler, LSU Student Incubator director, or Shannon McCormick, LSU Student Incubator associate director, at 225-578-7555 or jfowl13@lsu.edu/ smccormick@lsu.edu for more information on the Student Incubator Venture Challenge.
    The LSU Student Incubator assists students with business idea development so they can have their business as a career option after graduation. The program supports more than 40 student-run startups annually by providing one-on-one consulting, business planning software, mentors and speakers from the business community, an Elevator Pitch Competition, the Venture Challenge, and other valuable resources needed to start and grow a business. The LSU Student Incubator is a program of the LBTC at the LSU Innovation Park, which endeavors to enhance economic development in Louisiana through the support of existing small businesses and the development of new businesses.

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