Cash and service prizes valued at over $100,000

UPDATE: Due to COVID-19 and requests from additional applicants, the Palumbo-Donahue School of Business has extended the submission deadline to Friday, November 13, 2020.

Our three-stage business plan competition is open to anyone in the Pittsburgh region and beyond.

We encourage submissions of technology companies and general business ideas, with emphasis on job-creating concepts after COVID-19 subsides.

How it works:

Stage I

Entrants submit a short description of their business idea along with a one-minute video pitch. $5,000 in cash prizes. DNVC Committee selects up to 20 semi-finalist teams to advance to Stage II.

Stage II

Semi-finalist teams submit an executive summary, short business plan, and a five-minute video pitch. $20,000 in cash prizes ($1,000 for each semi-finalist team). A panel of judges select up to 5 finalist teams to advance to Stage III.

Stage III

Finalists submit an executive summary, full business plan, and PowerPoint presentation plus make a live presentation to a panel of judges followed by Q&A. $30,000 in cash prizes. Finalists are assigned mentors and receive free access to Palo Alto's LivePlan software.

Rules, Regulations, and Policies

Application and Agreement Form

NOTE All signatures must be completed on the Application and Agreement
form before attaching to registration


Finalists have access to the resources of our sponsors:

Duquesne University School of Law

Duquesne Small Business Development Center

Center of Excellence in Entrepreneurship, including sophisticated equipment in our maker space-Bob's Launch Pad

BlueTree Allied Angels Investment Group  

Palo Alto LivePlan Software

Funding for the DNVC is thanks to the generosity of Bob Mallet, member of Duquesne's Board of Directors and Former President and Chief Executive Officer of Mallet & Company.