The annual Draper Competition for Collegiate Women Entrepreneurs hosted by Smith College is designed to hone the skills that undergraduate women need to advance from idea to venture creation. Through multiple rounds of competition, students demonstrate an understanding of a problem, why the problem requires a new venture to address it, and how their idea presents the best solution to the problem. Since 2013, the Draper Competition has grown from a single institution business plan contest to a national business model competition with the largest prize pool specifically for female-founded ventures.
Rising NC State junior and co-founder of Sani, Ritika Shamdasani ’23, tied as a Grand Prize winner at this year’s Draper competition taking home $25,000. “We could not have won this competition without the support and guidance of NC State Entrepreneurship and specifically Jennifer Capps and Lewis Sheats. We are so excited to continue growing Sani with the resources and network from the Draper Competition. Having others believe in our goals with Sani means so much and also fuels us to keep going,” said Ritika.
Principal sponsors Melissa Parker Draper and Tim Draper also awarded every finalist team leader a full scholarship to attend the Draper University Heroes Training in Silicon Valley this summer. This marks the first time an NC State team earns the grand prize at the Draper Competition. “We’ve been incredibly impressed by Ritika and Sani’s ability to adapt to unprecedented changes over the past year. We knew Sani was a strong concept when we first met Ritika, but she and her co-founder have really turned a challenging time into a true opportunity to shine. We are thrilled to support companies like Sani and students like Ritika,” said Jennifer Capps, Interim Vice Provost for NC State Entrepreneurship.
More About Entrepreneurship Competitions
NC State offers a variety of entrepreneurship competitions for students looking to throw their ideas into the ring. Students from all academic departments can participate and have access to events, workshops and mentoring that enable them to test and refine their pitch skills. Besides the possibility of earning the funding needed to launch and scale their startups, joining a startup pitch competition gives students a platform to increase awareness or visibility of their venture in front of fellow students and judges. NC State’s annual competitions include:
To learn more about NC State’s entrepreneurship competitions and to get a list of external competitions open to NC State students, check out the competitions page on the NC State Entrepreneurship website.
This article was originally published by Entrepreneurship News.