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The Joan F. & John M. Thalheimer '55 EUREKA! Venture Program is the Baker Institute's signature initiative in support of student venture founders from idea to launch - and all the steps in between.

Spring 2024 PITCH NIGHTS

February 1st, 2024 - 5PM-7PM

March 7th, 2024 - 5PM-7PM

March 28th, 2024 - 5PM-7PM

Apply by 01/30/24 at 1pm to be considered

Apply by 03/05/24 at 1pm to be considered

Apply by 03/26/24 at 1pm to be considered

EUREKA! Pitch Nights are open to all students, faculty, and staff who want to attend as an audience member! Stop by to watch live pitching and maybe we'll see you on stage next time!

You may know about our EUREKA! pitch nights, but did you know that our EUREKA! Venture Program in an all-inclusive initiative that offers Lehigh University students one-of-a-kind resources, mentoring, and support during every stage of the idea to launch continuum? Read more about everything that EUREKA! has to offer below...

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IDEA

Do you have a napkin-sketch idea, but don't know how to make it come to life? Have you thought about a solution to a problem that needs solving? Maybe you want to participate in pitch night, but don't feel ready. We're offering support to help you move your idea forward and personalized coaching to give you the confidence for pitching it, too 

PITCH

You've done the prep work and now you're ready for the big stage! Our signature monthly Pitch Nights give you the opportunity to pitch your student venture project to a panel of expert reviewers for a chance to win funding and other resources to take your idea to the next level!

LAUNCH

Our support doesn't end with Pitch Night! After pitching, we'll connect you to resources, mentors and an exclusive network of student entrepreneurs and founders led by our team. It's the best of Baker resources working together to help you launch your student venture project!

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Idea!

YOU HAVE AN IDEA! NOW WHAT? 

We know EUREKA! Pitch Nights can feel intimidating. You might be wondering how to put together a solid pitch or how to turn your napkin-sketch concept into a student venture project that you can talk about in front of reviewers. If you have identified a problem you want to solve and a way to solve it, you've already done half the work! The Baker Institute team is ready with resources to support your next steps before you apply for pitch night!

GOING FROM ZERO TO ONE

A session for students who are exploring entrepreneurship. If you don't know what to do or where to start, this session is for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IDEA BOUNCE (FORMERLY WHAT TO DO WITH AN IDEA) 

A session for students at the idea stage to receive feedback on the current progress and next steps in preparation for Eureka! Pitch Nights. Brian's been in your shoes, and he knows what it's like to feel unsure about jumping into our EUREKA! pitch nights. During "What To Do With An Idea" you'll have access to a casual, judgment-free zone to work through your napkin sketch ideas, discuss options for pursuing those ideas at the Baker Institute, and get direct coaching on how to pitch your ideas at EUREKA!

NEXT IDEA BOUNCE SESSION:

Wednesday, March 27th, 2024 | 5:00 pm-7:00pm | Business Innovation Building: Lehigh Ventures Lab Pitch Room: Room 237

NEXT ZERO TO ONE SESSION:

Friday, March 21st 2024 | 4:30pm-5:30pm | Business Innovation Building: Lehigh Ventures Lab Pitch Room: Room 237

Idea

READY TO PITCH?

Our monthly EUREKA! Pitch Nights help students take their venture projects to the next level through an opportunity to pitch live to a panel of reviewers for funding, mentoring, and more!

FEB 1, 2024: 5PM-7PM / DEADLINE TO APPLY: 1/30 AT 1PM

MAR 7, 2024: 5PM-7PM / DEADLINE TO APPLY: 3/5 AT 1PM

MAR 28, 2024: 5PM-7PM / DEADLINE TO APPLY: 3/26 AT 1PM

HOW DOES PITCH NIGHT WORK?

Students who have an idea at any stage can apply to pitch live on Pitch Night. Applications are due 2 days before Pitch Night. They will be reviewed and students notified if they are selected to pitch.

On Pitch Night, students will have a designated amount of time to pitch live, with a slide deck, in front of a panel of expert reviewers. 

After all pitches have been heard, the reviewers will meet and decide which teams will be awarded funding and/or mentoring opportunities. Click here for EUREKA! Pitch night rules & regulations.

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Pitch!

Students are not competing against each other - only themselves. All students have an opportunity to win. EUREKA! funds are given as grants and do not require students to give up any equity or ownership

EUREKA! PITCH NIGHT STAGES:

Stage 1: Napkin sketch ideas and concepts you want to try out

Stage 2: Prototyped ideas you've begun to validate technically and financially

Stage 3: Prototyped ideas that have clear externally validated rationale both technically and financially

Stage 4*: Prototyped ideas that have externally validated rationale technically and financially, a team to execute, and the ability/desire to take the idea to the world.
*Stage 4 applications will be awarded once per year at our Innovate Celebrate Awards dinner

APPLICATION: QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT BEFORE APPLYING TO PITCH...

Stage 1 (Three minute pitch):
What is the problem you want to solve?
Why do you care about solving this problem?
What ideas do you have to solve it?
How would you spend (up to) $100 to work on your idea?

Stage 2 (Five minute pitch):
What is the problem you are trying to solve?
Why do you care about solving this problem?
Who is the customer and/or end user that has this problem?
How do you know? Who have you talked to?
How are your customers currently solving this problem?
What is your proposed solution to this problem?
What have you done to prototype your ideas? What do you need now?
How would you spend (up to) $500 to further develop your project?

Stage 3 (Seven minute pitch):
What is the problem you are trying to solve?
Why do you care about solving this problem?
Who is the customer and/or end user that has this problem?
How do you know?  Who have you talked to?
How are your customers currently solving this problem?
What is your proposed solution to this problem?
What have you done to prototype your ideas? What do you need now?
What is your business model? What have you done to prototype your business model?
What is the revenue model? What is the cost structure?
​How would you spend (up to) $1000 to further develop your project?

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT PITCH NIGHT...

Who should apply? Current Lehigh University undergraduate and graduate students who are working on self driven entrepreneurial projects for which they need mentorship, financial, or technical support to move their projects forward. 

What can I use awarded funds for? To learn and further validate your concepts. Most commonly this translates to spending resources on; prototyping, professional gatherings (conferences, trade shows ect.), and user feedback.

What can't I use awarded funds for? Items that create tangible assets for your company or venture operations. Most commonly this translates to not being able to spend resources on things such as; manufacturing equipment, manufacturing production costs, product inventory, marketing or sales cost, paying for intellectual property and paying for legal entity filing (LLC).

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Launch!

BAKER SUPPORT DOESN'T END WITH PITCH NIGHT

A successful EUREKA! Pitch Night is only the beginning of your journey with a student venture project. The Baker Institute's post-pitch support for student founders is a key resource on your journey through innovation, testing, prototyping, and more before launch. 

Students who win during a EUREKA! pitch night will unlock access not only to funding in support of their student venture project, but also to coaching, mentoring, and peer support designed to help you succeed well beyond pitch night. 

COACHING & MENTORING

As a pitch night winner, you will meet one-on-one with Baker Institute Innovator in Residence Brian Quispe to discuss goals, next steps, and strategies for success once you've received your pitch night funding. 

You'll also receive one-on-one mentorship and direct peer coaching from Brian Quispe as well as Dulra Amolegbe, Both of whom have gone through the Eureka! Ventures Program and are willing and open to support you with the right tools and resources. 

EUREKA! winners also gain access to our one-of-a-kind EUREKA! mentorship network - a group of experts within the startup industry who are excited to connect with the next generation of problem-solvers at Lehigh! 

FOUNDERS CIRCLE

The Baker Institute's Founders Circle is an exclusive peer network of student venture project founders at Lehigh University hosted by Chris Kauzmann. Students who succeed at EUREKA! pitch nights are invited to join this special group that meets monthly throughout the semester. 

Founders Circle gatherings offer a supportive place for student founders to talk through the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of going from nascent idea to early stage venture. 

Launch
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