Students to participate in ZuVenturez


Students promote ZuVenturez on Cougar Walk.
Courtesy: ZuVenturez

On Tuesday, April 22, final contestants will present their pitches as part of ZuVenturez, an entrepreneurial competition with a grand prize of $15,000 to fund the launch of the winner’s idea.

The new event, which will offer students the opportunity to present to outside investors, has been launched by APU’s Center for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

The project is a part of Department of Psychology Chair Annie Tsai’s sabbatical research on models of innovation and entrepreneurship. It is co-led by Janice Orlando, a member of the School of Business advisory board. Students, however, have been at the forefront of the program’s efforts.

“They were the leaders, coordinators, supporters and actual brains and muscles that actualized this from idea to reality on a weekly basis in the midst of their heavy workload,” Tsai said. “They are amazing and I’m super proud of them.”

These students include senior marketing major Josh Torok and MBA candidates Matthew Chormann and Nathaniel Durkin. Under the leadership of Orlando, the students created a marketing campaign for the competition which included the creation of a website, video, T-shirts and other promotional materials.

“It was really cool to see how it all panned out and the excitement we got back from the students and how many people actually showed up, considering how little branding we had done with two weeks from the time of conception to launch date,” Torok said.

The event is sponsored by the Office of the President with collaborative support from Executive Vice President David Bixby and Provost Mark Stanton.

Workshops and training have been offered to students prior to the final pitches to learn about finding vision and passion for their enterprise, writing a business plan, budgeting, pitching and more.

Pitches will be made in Wilden Lecture Hall at 7:30 p.m on April 22. The presentations are open to the APU community.