Growth Grant seeks to encourage entrepreneurship on campus

The Growth Grant, the first pitch competition of its kind here at Georgetown, was founded by students Jay Bhandari (MSB ’18), Jake Haberman (MSB ’18), and Rahul Desai (MSB ’17) to increase the entrepreneurship scene on campus.

It will be held this Thursday in the Rafik Hariri building at 6:30 pm. Six participants selected from a broader pool of applications will pitch their ideas to DC business leaders and receive feedback, and only one will be named the winner and earn 250 dollars.

In an interview with Vox, Bhandari explained, “Rahul Desai and I started the Growth Grant to ultimately help foster the entrepreneurship scene on campus. After participating in the Rocket Pitch, we thought that the entrepreneurs at Georgetown could benefit from a more intimate pitch competition with a diverse group of judges and a limited number of competitors so that each entrepreneur is given more time to pitch, answer Q+A, and receive feedback from each judge.”

The competition is about more than just the money. Bhandari highlighted the personal guidance the competitors will receive from the judges, who include the founder of SpendConsciously, an editor at DC Inno, and three other judges from DC.

“The Grant focuses on providing a boost to early-stage ventures with potential to scale. Every venture will receive pitching experience and one-on-one access to an incredible group of judges,” Bhandari told Vox.

At the event, each participant will have 10 minutes total to pitch their idea and answer the judges’ questions. The judges will then grade each venture on many different factors, such as scalability and attractiveness of the idea. After hearing each pitch, the judges will come together and determine the winner.

Regardless of who wins, all the participants have the opportunity to receive feedback from judges on their strategic business plan and certain risks and competition they could face.

Even though this is the first year of the competition, Bhandari hopes that the event will continue for the years to come. “My hope is that the Growth Grant grows itself and becomes a key contributor to the entrepreneurship scene on campus,” he said.

Photo: Georgetown University

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