Gustie Entrepreneur Cup

Annual Student Entrepreneurship Competition

The 2019 Gustie Entrepreneur Cup took place on Saturday, May 11th, 2019. The judges allocated $10,000 in prizes and the first-prize winner will automatically progress to the semi-finals of the Minnesota Cup. 

Click here to apply

The Gustie Entrepreneur Cup is a focal point of the effort to create a space at Gustavus where students can experiment with putting innovative ideas into action. Entrepreneurship requires critical thinking, promotes creativity and resilience, teaches how to deal with ambiguity, and allows students to learn what questions to ask, and where to look for answers. We also believe that entrepreneurship is the perfect way of blending vocational preparation, service, and liberal arts education.

Video Credit: Will Clark '21  

Spring 2019 Events

March 13 | 6:30 p.m. | 5 steps to 5k | Heritage Room
Opportunity to learn about the Gustie Entrepreneur Cup from entrepreneurship professors and past participants. Chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card. Snacks and drinks will be served. No need to register.

March 21 | 6:30 p.m. | GAC Talks | Wallenberg Auditorium
Among other GAC Talks, you will hear how entrepreneurship inspires action.

April 11 | 6:30 p.m. | Speed Coaching | Heritage Room
Pitch your idea to alumni entrepreneurs and get immediate feedback. To register, send a 50-100 word description of your idea to by 3/31. Snacks and drinks will be served.

April 15 - 18 | Practice Pitches Round 1 | Beck 144
Prepare an 8 minute pitch and share your idea with our entrepreneurship professors and the members of the Gustie Entrepreneur Cup Leadership Committee. Sing up here (navigate to the week of 4/15 first).

April 17 | 6:30 p.m. | Financial Projections Workshop | Heritage Room
Financial projections are a required component of your Gustie Entrepreneur Cup application. Come to this workshop to learn from professor Thomas Clement on how to get these done. Chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card. Snacks and drinks will be served. No need to register.

April 28 | Application Deadline Apply here.

May 6 - 9 | Practice Pitches Round 2 | Beck 144
All finalists are required to pitch their idea to the entrepreneurship professors and the members of the Gustie Entrepreneur Cup Leadership Committee. Prepare an 8 minute pitch and be ready for a round of challenging questions. Selected teams will receive an invitation by 5/3.

May 11 | 2019 Gustie Entrepreneur Cup | Alumni Hall.
Competition 3 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Dinner 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Application Components:

  • Executive Summary (100 words): This is your elevator pitch.
  • Opportunity (500 words): Convince us this is a breakthrough idea and an innovative approach. Describe your product/service, the problem it solves, your value proposition and what is unique or innovative about your approach. Who is your target customer and how large is your addressable market?
  • Plan (500 words max): Convince us your plan is commercially viable. Explain your business model including operating, sales and marketing plans. What activities will your company perform and what partners/vendors will you rely on, how will your product/service be priced and positioned, through what channels will you reach your customers, how will you create awareness and convert customers. Also, include a list of key team members/advisors that are helping you develop the business. Include summary financial projections and assumptions including projected volume, unit pricing and margins, major operating costs and capital needs.
  • Progress (500 words): What progress have you made? What milestones you’ve achieved to validate the opportunity and bring your product/service to market?
  • Attachments: Financial Projections.   

Evaluations Criteria: 

  • How would you rate the scalabilityof the idea? 0-5 points
  • How would you assess the level of innovation? 0-5 points
  • Is the business financially feasible? 0-5 points
  • Has the team made significant progress? 0-5 points
  • Gustavus Factor? 0-2.5 points
  • Quality of presentation? 0-2.5 points

Also, please check out the new Nobel Conference Competition!

Questions? Contact professor Tom Clement.