Purdue University Northwest wants to play a larger role in building an entrepreneur culture among the Region’s high school students and has found a statewide partner to further that mission.
The university and the Society of Innovators at PNW announced Feb. 15 a partnership with Innovate WithIN, a pitch competition for high school students meant to encourage youth entrepreneurship.
“All students deserve a world-class, well-rounded education and entrepreneurship is an integral aspect of this,” said Sheila Matias, executive director at the Society of Innovators and Leadership Institute at Purdue Northwest. “That is why the Society of Innovators hopes to break down barriers to innovation and entrepreneurship (and) It is critical for our Region’s 21st century economic success that all students are not just prepared to take jobs, but to create them,”
Innovate WithIN, now in its fourth year, gives students the opportunity to create their own business plans and showcase entrepreneurial ideas throughout the state. The overall winners each receive a $10,000 cash prize, $10,000 toward one year of in-state tuition, college scholarship award opportunities, internship opportunities and mentoring services.
Purdue Northwest is offering additional scholarship prizes and benefits to participants and winners of Innovate WithIN who enroll at PNW:
- A one-year (non-renewable) full tuition scholarship will be offered to first place winners (at the NWI regional competition), once the winner is enrolled as a full-time, degree-seeking student at PNW.
- A one-year full tuition and room and board scholarship will be offered to first place winners at the state competition, once the winner is enrolled as a full-time, degree-seeking student at PNW.
- A $250 book scholarship will be offered to any IWI participant who registers as a full-time student at PNW.
All students will also be eligible to apply for other scholarships available to PNW students.
Students whose teams place (first, second, or third) at the regional and/or state competition will have an opportunity to intern with the Society of Innovators at Purdue Northwest or the Northwest Indiana Small Business Development Center, if they enroll as a degree-seeking student at PNW.
“We’re eager to see the Innovate WithIN program grow and develop in our region as part of our university-wide effort to grow and support a thriving youth entrepreneurship ecosystem in Northwest Indiana,” said Matthew Wells, director of external engagement and partnerships at Purdue Northwest.