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Startup Competition

Spelpreneur Empowers and Inspires Collegiate Entrepreneurs

Saturday, March 20, 2021 to Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Spelpreneur is proud to host its popular 10-day Startup Competition once again. Who will be the winner?

Apply for Competition  Spelpreneur 2021 Events




In its continuing effort to foster entrepreneurship and innovation, the Spelpreneur program will kick off the Third Spelpreneur 10-Day Startup Competition March 20-30, 2021. Aspiring entrepreneurs at Spelman College will hone skills needed to advance through the process from problem identification to minimum viable product. In 10 days, students will form teams; identify a unique problem; demonstrate how their idea presents the best solution to the problem; build a mock-up and business case; and pitch “Shark Tank” style idea. 

Spelpreneur 10-Day Competition


How the Competition Works 

This program is like a hackathon spread over 10 days. In this fast-paced and immersive environment, student teams will be taught new startup concepts each day and will be expected to implement them immediately with the help of a combination of Spelman faculty/staff, Spelman alumnae entrepreneurs, and Atlanta-based women entrepreneurs who will serve as mentors. 

  • Teams will be composed of a minimum of two members or a maximum of four members
  • Teams are not limited to a specific category of problems
  • Team members must attend all required sessions to be eligible to compete on Pitch Night

If more than 10 teams are accepted to participate in the 10 days, then ONLY 10 teams will be selected to compete on Pitch Night based on their progress through day 8 of the competition

Competition Schedule

ALL SESSIONS ARE VIRTUAL (All times are tentative)

Day 1 | Saturday, March 20 | 2 - 4 p.m.

Day 2 | Sunday, March 21 | 2 -4 p.m.

Day 3 | Monday, March 22 | 6 - 8 p.m.

Day 4 | Tuesday, March 23 | 6 - 8 p.m.

Day 5 | Wednesday, March 24 | 6 - 8 p.m.

Day 6 | Thursday, March 25 | 6 – 8 p.m.

Day 7 | Friday, March 26 | 6 – 8 p.m.

Day 8 | Saturday, March 27 | 2 -4 p.m.

Day 9 | Sunday, March 28 | 2 -4 p.m.

Day 10 | Monday, March 29 | 6 -8 p.m.

Pitch Night | Tuesday, March 30 | 6 - 9 p.m.

blue-quote-leftEntrepreneurship and tech startups are all the rage for several different reasons, and so educational institutions have to prepare their students for the future," said Joey Womack, CEO of Amplify4Good, an Atlanta-based agency that produces hackathons and innovative programs to help organizations create social impact. Womack, served as producer and coach for Spelman’s startup competition, is correct. A 2014 Bentley University survey of millennials from ages 18 to 34 found that two-thirds are interested in starting their own businesses.End of Quote



Grand Prize - $1,000 per team

1st runner-up - $500 per team

2nd runner-up - $250 per team

10 Day Start-up Winners



  • Each team member needs to apply by Feb. 20, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. EST.
  • The competition is open to any student currently enrolled at Spelman College. All majors are welcomed.
  • Teams will be composed of a minimum of 2 members or a maximum of 4 members.  
  • Students must bring their own laptops or have access to a computer during the program.
  • If a student participated in the 10 Day Startup Competition in 2018 and/or2019, the student would need to identify a problem in 2021 that is different from the one(s) presented in prior years.
  • If a student is an existing business owner, the student business owner would need to identify a problem NOT related to her business.
  • Team members must attend all required sessions to be eligible to compete at Pitch Night.


Students Will Walk Away Empowered and Accomplish the Following:

  • Identify a specific, important and large problem
  • Know how to develop a hypothesis of their target customer and quality feedback from customers and industry experts
  • Develop a mock-up and landing page
  • Create a revenue model outline with the ability to be implemented across multiple markets
  • Connect with mentors and expand networks

Next Steps: After the 10-day Competition, Then What? 

The Spelpreneur program has no requirement of the team as well as no obligation to the team after the competition.

If students want to move forward with an idea after the competition, to create an actual startup, they are advised to seek independent legal counsel to ensure the appropriate steps to move forward are fulfilled (such as the formation of a legal business entity or the structuring and execution of a partnership or operating agreement to govern matters amongst members.)

An attorney (Georgia Lawyers for the Arts) would also be a resource to provide the students with direction in protecting intellectual property created and conducting intellectual property clearance searches (trademark, patents, etc.).