In an effort to advance innovative ways in which public universities are successfully using student advising systems to strengthen retention and graduation levels, APLU and Urban Serving Universities (USU) will hold a $165,000 pitch competition for its member institutions during the APLU Annual Meeting on November 17, 2015 in Indianapolis.
APLU invites members to submit a proposal for this competition by September 16, 2015. Click here to view the call for proposals.
The Innovation Pitch Challenge will be held before all attendees at the APLU Annual Meeting. Supported by (in alphabetical order) the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation, and Lumina Foundation, the challenge session will feature representatives from six universities, selected from the applicants, pitching innovations in student advising systems to a panel of seven independent judges for up to $165,000 in prize money. The first prize is a minimum of $100,000. The judges will then have $60,000 to award at their discretion (to up to two others) and the audience will have $5,000 to distribute via an electronic poll.
The Innovation Pitch Challenge session is based on the television show Shark Tank. In the show, a set of billionaire “sharks” listen to pitches from entrepreneurs and inventors and decide which innovations to support. Our seven judges from philanthropy, higher education and other fields will invest these funds in the innovations they believe hold the most promise for advancing student success and closing the achievement gap.
Pitchers will be selected through a competitive process. Those selected are required to attend a one day pitch training workshop on Tuesday, October 20, 2016 in Washington, D.C. to help them perfect their pitch as part of the event. Travel costs and expenses for the DC-based pitch training in October will be covered by the grant, but not for travel and related expense to the APLU Annual Meeting in Indianapolis.
Proposals and presentations will be evaluated according to the following criteria (more details are provided in the proposal):
We look forward to a very exciting and educational experience at the APLU Annual Meeting!