Crossroads is going to college! We’re excited to announce that applications are now open to Crossroads Collegiate Pitch Competition. Crossroads Collegiate is open to any student currently enrolled at any Indiana university or college with a startup based in Indiana. The winner will take home a cash prize of $5,000, and the top two contestants are guaranteed a spot in the prestigious Elevate Nexus Pitch Competition.
Our new collegiate competition was inspired by the success we had going virtual with the flagship Crossroads event last fall. As Andy Lehman, Head of Accelerator Programming for The Mill puts it, “Going virtual allowed us to expand our reach considerably. We were able to attract not only more startups, but also more judges, and more diverse participation from every corner of Indiana.”
We’ve witnessed a surge in student entrepreneurial interest in our programs, from Crossroads to our Spark Business Idea Competition to our boot-camp startup classes offered through Indiana University. Some incredibly talented college students are Mill members, and we know there are many more across the state. This new event will showcase their innovation and drive. Crossroads Collegiate gives student entrepreneurs the chance to not only win some money, but also to get out in front of judges, entrepreneurs, and investors from all over the state, from South Bend to Evansville.
To apply to Crossroads Collegiate, students will submit an executive summary, a pitch deck, and a 10-minute pitch video by April 12. “The video takes some of the pressure off of pitching,” as Andy explains. “You can re-record it a dozen times, as many as needed to get it just right. New entrepreneurs really benefit from the practice and the opportunity to get feedback.” A judging panel of respected Indiana entrepreneurs and angel investors will view the recorded pitches at the semi-finals and select finalists, who will pitch live over Zoom on April 29.
Students are thinking about becoming entrepreneurs earlier and earlier (we work a few amazing high school students, in fact!). It’s the right time to feed their interest and build on the current momentum in our startup ecosystem. Indiana has seen a surge in investment in early stage startups. Elevate Ventures recently reported that despite COVID, in 2020, pre-seed investments in Indiana more than doubled to 100 from 46 in the prior year.
Here at The Mill, our mission is to spark Bloomington’s innovation economy by launching and accelerating startups, and our vision is to become Indiana’s center of gravity for entrepreneurship. We’re excited to meet the next generation of collegiate entrepreneurs!
Learn more about the new Crossroads Collegiate Pitch Competition.
Learn more about the flagship Crossroads event.