The definitive publication for graduate business education will partner with the No. 1-ranked MBA program in entrepreneurship for a pitch competition with a $50,000 prize

OAKLAND, CA, November 19, 2021 /24-7PressRelease/ — Poets&Quants, the definitive online publication for business education news, announces a new, first-of-its-kind pitch competition for budding entrepreneurs. In partnership with Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis, the No. 1 business school for entrepreneurship, this competition is open to all current undergraduate and graduate school students or any prospect interested in a graduate business school degree.

The competition, WashU Olin’s BIG IdeaBounce® powered by Poets&Quants, will be conducted in three rounds. Round 1 is the submission of ideas by January 7, 2022, via a registration form on Poets&Quants’ website. Select teams will be selected for Round 2 and will be required to send in a two-minute video elevator pitch. The top three teams will attend a live event in St Louis on March 3, 2022, to present their business proposals to a panel of judges.

“We’re really excited about this event,” said Doug Villhard, WashU Olin’s academic director for entrepreneurship. “It really promotes the entrepreneurial spirit that is present here at Olin and permeates so many business school programs. I can’t wait to see the entries come in. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

The winning team will be awarded $50,000 in seed money for their venture.

“We are thrilled to partner with Olin for this pitch competition,” says John A. Byrne, founder and editor-in-chief of Poets&Quants. “The value of an MBA in helping to create successful startup ventures is immeasurable. Top programs like Olin offer more than an educational foundation. Students have access to networks, venture capital, incubators, support of the university and local community, and more. We are excited to co-host this competition and shine a light on some of the best new ideas in business schools today, and that $50,000 prize to the winner would give any entrepreneur one heck of a head-start.”

Byrne will serve as master of ceremonies at the final event. He will also be on the panel of judges, which will be announced later.

Submissions to the WashU Olin’s BIG IdeaBounce® powered by Poets&Quants will be judged on eight criteria:

1. Problem: What is the significance of the problem/issue being addressed?
2. Solution: How adequately does the product/solution address the problem?
3. Market: Is the target customer market significant, well defined, and growing?
4. Competition: Is the solution clearly differentiated from its competitors?
5. Value Creation: Is the potential for sustainability — revenue, profits, and/or measurable social/environmental impact — clearly articulated?
6. Investment Needed: How will the prize money be used to further develop the next steps of the concept?
7. Team: Does the team have the skills, experience, and credentials to actually execute the concept?
8. Presentation: (only for Round 2/video submission) How was the overall pitch presentation, organization, and passion?

Learn more about the WashU Olin’s BIG IdeaBounce® powered by Poets&Quants pitch contest and submit an application here.

About Poets&Quants:
Poets&Quants is the leading resource for complete coverage of graduate business education. We feature multiple tools and authoritative content, including consolidated B-school rankings, news and in-depth features, videos, podcasts, two searchable directories, and events, empowering our community with information needed to make decisions along their journey from pre- to post-MBA.

About Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis
Firmly established at the Gateway to the West, Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis stands as the gateway to something far grander. WashU Olin prepares our students to thoughtfully make difficult decisions—the kind that can change the world—through a values-based, data-driven approach to decision-making, informed by entrepreneurial spirit, experiential learning and a global outlook on business. Olin offers 13 graduate business degree programs, including specialized master’s programs and the MBA, online and in-person, along with a four-year BSBA and a host of joint degrees and related minors. Learn more at or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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