Entrepreneurship & Innovation Week Awards Over $15,000 in Prize Money

sustainability bannerCongratulations to all of the students who competed during the annual Entrepreneurship & Innovation Week: March 26 – 31, through the Ciocca Center for Business, Ethics, and Society and the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Program at Holy Cross. 

Sustainable Innovation Challenge

HC Launch held its bi-annual Innovation Challenge in partnership with the Office of the President, Environmental Studies Department, Political Science Department, Ciocca Center, Office of Sustainability, Green Fund, and Eco-Action. The challenge tasked Holy Cross students with developing and presenting creative ways to advance sustainability on our campus. With 8 teams pitching their ideas to a panel of 3 judges, students developed detailed applications of sustainable practices in an effort to lower the college’s ecological footprint and to inspire green-thinking on campus. Nick Bettenhauser ‘24, Sasha Paradise ‘24 & Eileen Evans ‘24 ultimately won first place with their innovative and feasible pathway towards the installation of solar carports. Eco Saders and Green Addition placed 2nd and 3rd respectively. HC Launch and other organizations are now collaborating with these teams to implement their ideas. 

Congratulations to the 2022 Innovation Challenge winners!

1st Place ($1500): HC Sales Club designed and presented a plan to implement solar car panels on-campus (by Nick Bettenhauser ‘24, Sasha Paradise ‘24 & Eileen Evans ‘24). 

2nd Place ($750): Eco-Saders designed and presented a plan to place solar-charged, electric, multi-use benches around campus (by Helena Sabo ‘22 & Joseph Leland ‘22). 

3rd Place ($500): Green Addition designed and presented a plan to turn dormitory roofs into green spaces with benches, greenhouses, and more (by Alexander McMillan ‘25). 

Thank you to our fantastic judging panel: Matt Duffy ‘87, Katie Gilbert ‘11, Eileen Cravedi

Shark Tank

The next two events were pitch nights for students with early stage projects or ideas to prepare for the Shark Tank event. These events presented opportunities for students to pitch their ventures to alumni and receive feedback on their business ideas. Students then came up with strategies to implement new ideas into their business models. 

The grand finale of Entrepreneurship & Innovation Week was the annual Shark Tank Competition.  Students pitched their business ideas to a group of judges for seven minutes each, followed by two minutes of Q&A. Ten teams from the seed stage and early venture categories competed for up to $10,000 in prize money. 

Congratulations to the Seed Stage Shark Tank Winners:

  1. TIE: $3,000: Nick’s On-Site Detailing (Nicholas Lazzaro ‘23) & $3,000: Dormi (Louie Fiacco ‘22 and Will Spangenberg ‘23)
  2. $2,000: That’s Yo Body (Josh Azor ‘24)
  3. $1,000: FUD (Chris Herndon ‘22, Jb Goriou, Adam Kaufman)

Congratulations to the Ignite Fund Winner: a category for students to work with funding and guidance through the JD Power Center.

  • $2,000 to Solar CarPorts: a sustainable way to generate energy on campus (Nicholas Bettenhauser ‘24, Alexandra Paradise ‘24, and Eileen Evans ‘24)

A special thanks to our Shark Tank Competition judges:

  • Bob Allard ’91
  • Paul Cloonan ’89
  • Gerry Cox ’85
  • Michelle Stark Barrett: Director, J.D. Power Center, Holy Cross

Congratulations to everyone involved in the 2022 Virtual Entrepreneurship & Innovation Week and we hope to see you next year! 

The Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program fosters the development of entrepreneurial skills and ventures in the Holy Cross community through the Ciocca Center for Business, Ethics and Society. The program takes a holistic approach to support individuals through skills training, alumni engagement, workshops, mentorship, funding opportunities, and in-kind resources culminating in the annual entrepreneurship week.