JagStart 2020

JagStart: create, innovate, and pitch your idea

At JagStart, IUPUI students showcase their ideas for an innovative new product, new business venture, or a compelling solution to a social challenge with the hopes of making their dreams a reality. Student individuals and teams receive support from IUPUI faculty and community mentors as they navigate through the innovation process.

Meet our mentors

Meet our 2020 Grand Prize Winner

Abhinav Sikharam

M.S. in Human Computer Interaction

Project Ma started as a design project and soon turned out to be a potential customer product. Thanks to Jagstart 2020 to teach, guide, and encourage me in bringing it to reality in an entrepreneurial way.

Learn more about Project Ma

Meet our 2020 Audience Choice Winner

Joshua Kelly

Sports Management

Full Court Analytics is a subscription-based service that brings professional-level analytics and insights to high school and AAU basketball teams.

Follow Full Court Analytics

Contact Full Court Analytics

Why pitch?

It takes just three to five minutes for you to share your idea! IUPUI's JagStart Elevator Pitch competition pits you against your fellow IUPUI Jags as you seek to make your idea a reality. So, why join JagStart? Here's why:

  • Learn the process of defining a problem, ideating, refining a solution, and presenting.
  • Showcase innovative new products, business ventures, or compelling solutions to social challenges.
  • Have an opportunity to receive 1 class credit offered by the Kelley School of Business network with entrepreneurs and others in the community.
  • Earn prizes! The first-place winner will also be given the opportunity to join the Elevate Ventures Origin Program. The grand prize winner will also receive $1,000, and the audience vote award winner will receive $500. All prize money is sponsored by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research.
A woman stand in front of a PowerPoint wearing a microphone as she pitches her JagStart idea.

Frequently asked questions

JagStart is open to all students (e.g., undergraduate, graduate, and professional) who are enrolled, full or part time, and are in good standing for a degree during the 2019–2020 academic year (including December graduates) in any of the IUPUI schools at either the Indianapolis or Columbus campuses. Students must attend the semi-final pitch. It is highly encouraged that each participant also attend the workshops (see below). Each session will be approximately 60–90 minutes in length.

The Kelley School of Business is offering the opportunity for you to receive a credit for participating, but the requirements are a little more extensive than just participating in JagStart. They are:

  • Attend at least four out of five sessions. Each session will be approximately 60 to 90 minutes in length.

  • Attend the semi-final pitch.

  • Write a one- to two-page reflection paper after your JagStart experience (due date is May 5, 2020).

If you are over 18 credit hours, you are welcome to audit the course.

An elevator pitch is a very short story that describes your idea for a novel product or venture, just as you would do in a real-world scenario (e.g., talking to a potential investor in an elevator). JagStart rewards students who have the best ideas—and the best pitches—with cash prizes.

Students are invited to submit an abstract describing their idea to begin the entry process. This will allow the JagStart mentoring team to provide feedback on your idea and provide mentoring/coaching assistance to the selected teams for preparation of the final entry stage of the contest in the spring. Students may request to be paired with one of our volunteer business mentors (an industry professional that is matched to the team based on the mentor’s expertise and background) to refine their project idea for the next stage of entries.

You can watch past student competitors in action to see how it’s done:

Please contact Dr. Christian Rogers, faculty fellow with the Institute for Engaged Learning. You can email him at rogerscb@iupui.edu.

Get involved—become a mentor

Are you an innovator or entrepreneur with a desire to give back? We need your help to mentor our IUPUI JagStart students to the finish line. The commitment is low, but the reward is high. Here are the requirements:

  • Meet with your students that you are paired with as needed (preferably at least one time).
  • Attend one of our workshop sessions (if you can make the first one that would be preferred).
  • Participate in a semi-final pitch with students to determine the finalists.
  • Provide us a headshot and bio (we’d like to feature you on our website).


Fill out our survey to participate

Our workshop sessions

Each of our workshop sessions are listed below. We will also try to record some of the sessions so you can watch it online if you are unable make it in person.

  • Feb. 20, 5 p.m.—Overview of JagStarts (BS 3017)

  • Feb. 27, 5 p.m.—Design Thinking Strategies (Herron 121)

  • Mar. 2, 5 p.m.—Assessment of Market, Evaluation of Product Design (BS 3017)

  • April 2, 5 p.m.—Generation of Revenue Model (Zoom virtual meeting)

  • Apr. 9, 5 p.m.—Development of Pitch and Storytelling Techniques (Zoom virtual meeting)

  • Apr. 22, 5 p.m.—Pitch Practice with Mentors, Semi-Final Round (Zoom virtual meeting)