BizBlitz is an annual, regional startup experience, hosted by the Shenandoah Valley Innovation Coalition each spring. The 40- hour weekend event is open to anyone with an idea (no existing businesses). Individuals pitch their ideas, teams are formed, prototypes created, and plans outlined. Participants are encouraged to get out of the building to talk to their customers. Experienced professionals coach the teams to design a viable business model to launch in the Shenandoah Valley. Teams pitch to judges who award in-kind prizes, such as legal or marketing assistance, to founders with the most viable concepts.

To learn more, visit their website.

Fallon Challenge

Undergraduate students are invited to apply for an annual scholarship established by the Fallon family in 2014 to honor the late Rodney Fallon, the father of three JMU graduates. Entrepreneurially-minded students with good character and strong academic performance interview and then present a business idea to a panel of judges during the Fallon Challenge.

2016 Fallon Challenge Winners: 

  • Precision Partners
  • Elliott Sellers, Finance and Zachary Weiss, Finance and Accounting

Email for more information.

Frederic I. McGhee Scholarship

The Fredric I. McGhee Scholarship for Aspiring Entrepreneurs provides up to $5000 in financial assistance to carry out transformational off-campus experiences such as, but not limited to, developing a business startup, analyzing a new product or conceptual idea, participating in an internship, or engaging in work related to the Honors Capstone Project. To be named a McGhee scholar, a student must be an outstanding second year honors student in good academic standing.

To learn more, visit their website.

Startup Studio

Learn the art of the pitch in this fast-paced workshop led by the Society of Entrepreneurs each semester. Learn the process and best practices and then present your idea to a panel of judges. Open to all majors.

Email for more information.

Bluestone Hacks

The annual hackathon is led by JMU students who are part of the University Innovation Fellows (UIF)—a nationwide program started by Stanford University. UIF students cultivate innovation on their own campuses and host skill-building events. Now in its third year, the 24-hour Bluestone Hacks offers various workshops, challenges and consulting throughout the event to support student learning and innovation.

I.C.C.E. Pitch Competition and Conference

The I.C.C.E. Pitch Competition and Conference is a high-energy evening celebrating JMU Entrepreneurs and featuring: JMU Student Pitch Competition, I.C.C.E. Talks, networking, and entrepreneurial alumni, faculty, and students. 

LET Maker Sprint

At the beginning of each Sprint, which will last about three hours, University Innovation Fellows announce a challenge or problem to solve. You can then team up with a few of your fellow students to envision and create your solution. They provide equipment, supplies, and advice. At the end of the sprint you'll present your project to a group of judges made up of JMU Innovation Fellows, who will select winners and present prizes based on creative use of materials, teamwork, presentation, and, of course, how well you solved the problem!

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