Challenges and competitions are a vital part of GEW and innovation in general. They offer participants the chance to test themselves and their ideas against equally motivated entrepreneurs, and also present opportunities for collaboration with students and faculty from other colleges or disciplines. Members of the community judge many of the competitions, and some competitions offer monetary rewards.

A number of Penn State colleges and organizations sponsor these events, which are located throughout the campus. They’re a great way to refine an idea, practice presentation skills, and push the limits of your entrepreneurial spirit.

Some of the competitions that GEW helps to promote include:

Ag Springboard

All Penn State students can participate in this annual business pitch competition. Teams of two to five students present a polished pitch of their concept for a new business or nonprofit organization. Monetary prizes are awarded. At least one student on each team must be enrolled in the College of Agricultural Sciences.


HackPSU, a 24-hour hackathon powered by Innoblue Entrepreneurship and the Penn State Developer Network, takes place at the IST Building in November. Join us as 250 Penn State students collaborate and compete for incredible prizes!

Inc. U

The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development awarded the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown $500,000 to work in collaboration with Bucknell University and Penn State to foster undergraduate entrepreneurship.

As part of the “Discovered in PA — Developed in PA” initiative, the goal of Inc. U is to develop an environment for student start-ups across campuses and the region through Shark Tank–like pitch competitions and coordinated University programs and resources.

mHealth Challenge

The mHealth Challenge is an engaged scholarship event where undergraduate students across three colleges collaborate on developing a low-fidelity prototype of a mobile health application design to address a societal health need associated with a specific targeted audience.

Penn State Idea Pitch

Presented by the Smeal College of Business, this competition gives Penn State students, faculty, and alumni the opportunity to work together to learn how to effectively formulate and communicate the value of innovative ideas and turn them into real opportunities.