Overview of Competitions and Events

When you’re ready to launch into your entrepreneurial journey, the Simone Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is here with the resources, connections, and experience you need.

The Simone Center provides many opportunities for you to be innovative, create a product or service, and then launch it into the world. As the entrepreneurial hub of RIT, the Simone Center hosts an annual Tiger Tank Pitch Competition, provides a student accelerator, a maker space, and partners with other RIT departments to ensure students gain tangible, real-world experience that will enable them to launch successful careers or their own company.


Students from all academic departments can participate in entrepreneurship competitions and have access to events, workshops, and mentoring that enable them to test and refine their skills in pursuing their entrepreneurial journey.

Entrepalooza/Entrepreneurs Conference

Entrepalooza (formerly Entrepreneurs Conference), November 3, 2023, is a celebration of creators and innovators that bring ideas to life and launch startups. During our full-day event in November, Entrepalooza inspires people everywhere through local, national, and global activities designed to help them explore their potential as self-starters and innovators.

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Ladies Who Launch Luncheon Series

Ladies Who Launch is a luncheon series to empower RIT's women entrepreneurs, innovators, or any women that want to create a lasting impact in our society. It is up to us ladies to support and encourage other women in entrepreneurship. 


Tiger Tank

This event, sponsored by the Saunders College of Business, gives students the opportunity to pitch their business idea to a panel of judges (aka, tiger sharks) with a chance to win cash prizes. Submissions describe an early-stage product or service with a foreseeable commercial impact.

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RIT Business Model Competition

This event is an evaluation of the written presentation of an idea, the ability of a team to succeed, market potential, feasibility, and general knowledge of the subject. A panel of outside entrepreneurs will select five finalists from all the entries to present their business plans in person. The business plans are evaluated based primarily on their real potential for success.

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Regional and NYS Business Plan Competition

The New York Business Plan Competition is a venture creation and innovation competition to encourage entrepreneurship throughout New York’s colleges and universities. The 10 major regions of New York hold regional competitions prior to the state finals. The Finger Lakes regional winners will go head-to-head with finalists from nine other regions for cash and prizes in the statewide competition.

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Innovative Access Technology Product Competition 

This competition is designed to promote and advance early-stage effective access ideas and includes faculty and student researchers, companies, and other individuals with new access technology ideas. Inventors, entrepreneurs and students will pitch early-stage ideas for an access technology product or service and have a chance to win $2,500. 

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NSF National Deaf Innovation Challenge 

This competition showcases the innovative ideas of entrepreneurial deaf and hard-of-hearing students across the country. These innovation ideas will be for STEM (science, technology, engineering, or math) based technological solutions.

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