UNCG Research

College students: Two minutes could net you $1,000

Posted on Monday, September 17th, 2012 by UNCG Research.

The N.C. Entrepreneurship Center (NCEC) at UNCG will host its annual “2 Minutes to Win It” business idea contest in October, and this year they have opened the competition to all Greensboro students. UNCG, NCAT, Greensboro College, Guilford College, Bennett College, Elon University, and Guilford Tech students, 18 and older, may participate and win prizes including $1,000 for first place, $500 for second place, $250 for third place, and $250 for best presentation.

Entering is easy. Students develop original ideas for any type of business or social entrepreneurship venture and submit those ideas to http://entrepreneur.uncg.edu by Oct. 12. Students can even submit multiple ideas (though ideas cannot include franchises or ventures already started by the student).

“We ran the contest last fall at UNCG and got tremendous response. This year, we want to make the opportunity available to more students,” says Bryan Toney, director of the NCEC. “To enter, a student simply needs to come up with a catchy name, a brief description of products or services offered, a definition of target customers, and a reason the idea will be successful. It’s that simple.”

2011 contest finalists

In 2011, only half of the “2 Minutes to Win It” contest finalists were business students.

A team of independent judges will select the best 20 ideas. Judges will review all entries through a blind process where only the idea is revealed. “We want to make sure that the idea itself is evaluated and judges aren’t influenced by a student’s year in school, major, or any other personal information,” Toney says. “Last year, half of our finalists were non-business students.”

This year, the contest is open to students throughout Greensboro.

Contest finalists receive notification by Nov. 1 along with an invitation to attend an exclusive workshop on making successful elevator pitches. Then on Nov. 15, each of the 20 finalists will have two minutes to pitch his or her idea to a small panel of entrepreneurs. The panel will deliberate and announce winners and prizes at a reception the same day. This final stage of the competition occurs during Global Entrepreneurship Week in conjunction with the Capital Connects! event hosted by the Greensboro Partnership Entrepreneurship Initiative.

“We see a new, high impact synergy developing between these events. Students have proposed interesting, practical businesses with growth potential. We aim to connect the students to the capitalization process that will help ensure their business dreams come true in Greensboro,” says Kathy Elliott of the Greensboro Partnership.

“2 Minutes to Win It” is a great way for students to validate those ideas they’ve considered for awhile, no matter how big or small. In addition, finalists have an opportunity to network with the judges, making valuable contacts to help them move forward. As Toney says, “It’s all about taking a shot. Get that idea out of your head and get some feedback. And remember, if you’re not in it, you can’t win it!”


The North Carolina Entrepreneurship Center provides co-curricular and outreach programs to help entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses and serves as a catalyst for the creation of sustainable and globally competitive enterprises in the Piedmont Triad, North Carolina, and beyond.

For more information, visit the NCEC website at http://entrepreneur.uncg.edu or call 336-256-8649.