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Baiada Institute Incubator Competition

The Baiada Institute Incubator Competition is designed to help student entrepreneurs and their teams develop their business ideas, receive feedback and mentoring, and compete for cash prizes. It also provides opportunities for networking, brainstorming and development of future entrepreneurial opportunities.

Teams develop their ideas with guidance from business leaders who serve as mentors and judges. Additional assistance is provided through workshops held at the Baiada Institute as well as from faculty and staff at the Close School of Entrepreneurship.


Teams must register a team leader, list team members and enter all submissions (starting in June 2019) through the competition website at

A team can consist of one person, or as many people as needed by the team. The team must designate a team leader, who must be a degree-candidate (undergraduate or graduate) student at Drexel University or recent graduate (graduated no earlier than June 2017) of Drexel University. See the Rules page for additional information regarding team qualification.


The competition format is below. See the Schedule page for additional timeline details.

  • Round 1: Individuals/teams will submit a max 5-minute video presentation, a completed idea assessment questionnaire and an executive summary. While all entries will receive feedback, a maximum of 25 submissions, as determined by the faculty and staff of the Close School of Entrepreneurship, will be accepted to proceed to Round 2.
  • Round 2Accepted participants will be required to attend a mandatory information and education session. They will also be assigned to a competition bracket with a maximum of five teams in five brackets. One team from each bracket will go forward to Round 3 based on a judged presentation during Drexel Startup Fest.
  • Round 3Five competitors plus one “wild card” will compete in Round 3 at Drexel Startup Fest. The top three presenters will receive prizes (see below).

Mentoring and pitch practice opportunities will be provided throughout the competition. See the schedule page for more details.


We are proud to offer the following prizes:

Cash prizes

  • First place: $12,500
  • Second place: $7,500
  • Third place: $5,000

In-kind services

  • A certain amount of free, in-kind legal, accounting, and other services will be provided to the winners. Details of those services will be announced.
  • Resident space in the Baiada Institute will be available for the top three teams.

Specialty prizes (awarded at the discretion of the Baiada Institute)

  • Up to two nutrition and/or environment focused ventures are eligible to receive an additional prize of $5,000 each. This prize has been generously donated by Jamie and Lisa Maguire.
  • The Paul H. Scheffler Jr. Endowed Prize Fund for Entrepreneurial Promise prize in the amount of $1,000 is designated for students in the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society who demonstrate high performance in the Baiada Institute Incubator Competition but who will not receive other monetary prize awards in the same competition.