College Programs

The Center for Entrepreneurship at Saint Louis University helps students — both within the John Cook School of Business and throughout the University — develop their ideas into products. This includes opportunities to network with business owners and win cash prizes.

SLU Entrepreneur Club

SLU’s Entrepreneur Club is a campus-wide student group supporting entrepreneurship. It is dedicated to introducing, engaging and inspiring student entrepreneurs to create a better world.

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College Competitions

Pure Idea Generator

The Center for Entrepreneurship’s Pure Idea Generator Challenge asks college students to provide answers to a different challenge each year. Finalists are invited to the St. Louis City Museum’s rooftop where they are given a new problem and placed on City Museum’s three-story Ferris wheel for a 30-minute ride.

At the end of the ride, the finalists pitch their new solutions to some of the biggest names in the St. Louis entrepreneurship scene, including high-profile entrepreneurs and wealthy investors. The top three finalists receive prizes of $1,000, $500 and $300.

How to enter:

  • Follow @SLUent on Twitter.
  • When the year’s problem is announced, tweet back your solution with the #SLUPureIdea hashtag included. Do not include video or links in your tweet.
  • If you don’t have a Twitter account or cannot send a tweet, email with your name, school and idea. You may enter as many ideas as you’d like, but each idea must be 140 characters or less.
  • Fill out the submission form when it is posted.
  • Watch for the announcement of the finalists.
Real Elevator Pitch Competition

The annual Real Elevator Pitch Competition invites college students to enter SLU’s twist on the classic elevator pitch competition for a chance to a grand prize. Submissions open the third week of October.

The competition is open to all colleges and universities. Two types of pitches are considered: for-profit ideas and not-for-profit ideas.  Prizes are awarded to first place ($2,500), second place ($1,500), and third place: ($1,000) in each track.

How to enter:

  • Follow us on Twitter @SLUent.
  • Work on your best 30-second elevator pitch for your existing business or your business iddea.
  • Upload your video to YouTube and complete the submission form. Your Youtube video must be public in order for us to seeit.
  • Watch for the announcement of the finalists.

A panel of judges will select the top 18 pitches, which will move on to the final round. The 18 finalists will be invited to the One Met Square building in downtown St. Louis to pitch to 30-plus wealthy judges while riding up and down on 12 elevators.  For more information, email

Who’s eligible to enter?
Any undergraduate or graduate student at any college or university.

Can I submit more than one entry?

Yes, but each entry must be for a different company or idea. Only one entry may be selected for the final competition.

Can my idea be both for-profit and not-for-profit?

No, you must choose one or the other. If there is a discrepancy, choose the category your idea or company aligns with most.

Does my submission have to be an existing business?

No. You may create a pitch for an existing business or an idea you have.

How many people can pitch?

There’s no limit to the number of people that can be on a team, but only one member may pitch in your submission. If selected, the same member of the team who pitched in the submission must also pitch in person.

Is there a certain format the pitch must be in?

No. Feel free to craft and make your pitch however you’d like. The only requirement is that you, the person submitting the idea, must be featured in the video pitch.

Can I use special effects in my pitch video?

Sure, but remember that you won’t be able to use those special effects in real life.

How do I know that my video/pitch will be confidential?

Once received, your pitch will not be posted anywhere or shared with anyone except for the review and judging teams without your consent. Once the submission period has ended, you’re free to remove your video from YouTube or Instagram if you’d like.

How strict are the time limits for presentations?

The time limit for each pitch — from start to finish — is 30 seconds with a five-second buffer time. If the video submitted is longer than 35 seconds, it will not be considered.

Pitch and Catch

The Center for Entrepreneurship’s Pitch and Catch competition invites all college students to submit a video of their investor pitch using the guidelines below. Submissions are open the 3rd week of March.

A panel of judges will select the top 10 investor pitch submissions. The top 10 contestants will have the opportunity to present their pitch deck at the Final Round on Sunday, April 30 at the Gateway Grizzlies ballpark, where they will pitch from the pitcher’s mound with their PowerPoint presentation cast on the center field jumbotron to a panel of rock star judges that include multi-million dollar investors.

The first-place winner will receive $5,000, the second-place winner will receive $3,000 and the third-place winner will receive $1,000.

How to apply:

  • Create your pitch deck, which consists of the following slides:
      • Title: Name of your organization, company or idea, as well as your name
      • Problem: Describe the pain that you’re alleviating. The goal is to get everyone nodding and buying in.
      • Solution: Explain how you alleviate this pain. Ensure that the audience understands what you sell and your value proposition.
      • Business model: Explain how you make money and who pays you.
      • Industry trends: Tell us what industry you’re in and what the future trends look like. Are there two potential customers or are there three billion?
      • Competition: Provide a complete view of the competitive landscape and how you are better than what’s there already.
      • Closing: Make your ask. Are you looking for an investment, connections, mentorship, etc? Thank the judges and show your name again.
  • Make a seven-minute video of yourself presenting your pitch deck with the slides showing as well. Both you and your presentation slides must be in the video.
  • Upload your video to YouTube and complete the submission form.

For more information, email