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Botstiber Senior Design Entrepreneurship Competition

Botstiber Competition

The Dietrich W. Botstiber Endowed Fellowship for Inventors and Entrepreneurs is generously supporting an annual competition for Drexel University senior design students in the College of Engineering and the School of Biomedical Engineering.  This competition is run by the Close School of Entrepreneurship in coordination with the College of Engineering. The purpose of the competition is to educate students on certain principles of entrepreneurship as well as provide student teams with funding to enhance their design project development. In addition, the competition is used to identify design projects that may have commercial potential and then work with students to discuss incubation options should they choose to pursue commercialization efforts during their senior year and potentially after graduation.

Competition criteria

The competition is open to any senior design team in the College of Engineering or the School of Biomedical Engineering. Competing teams will develop entrepreneurship skills including team building, business model development, customer development, and presentation development.


Up to ten team prizes will be awarded in the amount of up to $2,000 per team, with the intention that the money will be used to reimburse supply expenditures for their senior design project. Teams will be awarded prizes in the spring term.

Competition schedule

The following is the schedule of activities and timeframes:

Fall term (applications)

  • Team applications will be due by Friday December 14 at midnight
  • The application will ask for certain ideas on marketability but will not require extensive business or entrepreneurship knowledge
  • Applications will be reviewed by the Close School and the College of Engineering; applications that meet a minimum criterion will be accepted into the next phase of the competition and announced on Friday December 21
  • On Tuesday February 5 teams will present and winners will receive their awards

Winter term (education and market development activities, competition presentation and awards)

  • Beginning January 7, accepted applicants will be required to participate in an online educational program (“Entrepreneurship 101 for Engineers”) and will be provided with numerous in-person mentoring opportunities in the Baiada Institute for Entrepreneurship.
  • The online program will require approximately three hours of online work and readings and will be accompanied with resources and tools that the teams can use for developing and testing their market viability ideas.
  • Applicants will be provided with further information regarding the competition presentation expectations.
  • The online program is not for credit and will not cost you additional money.
  • Applicants will be required to submit an essay that describes how they envision that their product/idea could be sold into the market and describes the work that they accomplished to validate their ideas regarding market viability.
  • Applicants will be required to present in-person to a set of judges who will choose up to ten awardees. It will be at the judges’ discretion, in coordination with the Close School, to determine which, if any, of the teams receive awards and the prize amounts that will be awarded.

Application details and judging criteria

The initial application during the fall term will require basic information about the senior design team and their project, a description of the “problem” or “unmet need” their project focuses on and a short narrative that discusses their initial ideas regarding market viability, their ideal customer/user, and specific use cases.

The judging criteria used in the spring term competition will be based on a review of the teams’ understanding of how to best determine and test market viability assumptions, their actual efforts accomplished in determining market viability, a cost-benefits analysis, a review of their essay, and use of prize funds.  Teams that put into substantive efforts into the suggested market development activities will likely fare better than other teams in the competition.

The judges for the competition will be comprised of impartial individuals from inside and outside the university selected by the engineering and entrepreneurship programs.

Competition notes

  • No intellectual property or ownership is taken because of this competition
  • Awardees will be paid prize money once they have submitted a W9 form to the Close School; the prize can be split among team members
  • University policy requires that students indicate if they have previously been employed by the university. If so, their prize will be paid as a payroll payment and taxes may be taken out
  • Please email Chuck Sacco at with any questions.

Application link

Apply to Competition


For more information, contact Chuck Sacco at or 215.895.2527.