Institute for Entrepreneurship


“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Thomas Edison

Competitions play an important role in the entrepreneurial learning process. Participants hone the skills they acquire in an academic setting, familiarize themselves with the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and are encouraged to pursue their ideas effectively.

John Cabot University designs competitive formats and partners with other organizations to offer students and alumni a variety of opportunities to grow personally and professionally.

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Elevator Pitch

An Elevator Pitch is a quick way of putting across the fundamental elements of a project, a business idea, a social cause, or even one's professional qualifications and capturing the other person's attention to prompt him/her to action. The JCU Elevator Pitch Competition is a one-minute, no-visuals presentation testing students in skill. Intimidating as it might seem, the Elevator Pitch is an opportunity for students to become better speakers in a world that requires a high level of persuasive abilities.

Triggering Change

Triggering Change - how to use creativity and engagement to inspire action on sustainability 

This is a two-tiered event that culminates in a two-minute pitch aiming to develop creative processes that inspire action on sustainability. Participants in the pitch will first benefit from four Prep Sessions aimed at developing their understanding of two selected SDGs that change every semester and at honing their communications skills. For more information on this pitch, please see the Triggering Change page. 

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Startup Lab 

The Startup Lab is the entrepreneurship program by Roma Tre University open to all university students, former students, and professionals who want to experiment with their entrepreneurial skills and validate a business project. Participation in the program gives access to a European community of talented professionals, as well as a network of mentors, investors, accelerators, and startups. Participants will learn about team building, problem statement, customer discovery, business modeling, creating a minimum viable product, and pitching to an investor.

Note: counts towards the Certificate in Entrepreneurship.

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BENGIS Challenge 

Organized by the Bengis Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (Ben-Gurion University, Israel), the Challenge is an open-innovation platform. A global company presents a real-life challenge it is facing and asks students for their best ideas to solve the problem. Students from any discipline can submit their best idea for a chance to win prizes, tackle real-life problems and of course, have fun! In the process, they will gain knowledge about social impact, impact investing, triple bottom line, circular economy, the UN’s 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs), corporate social responsibility (CSR), and creating shared value (CSV).

Note: counts towards the Certificate in Social Innovation.

Enactus JCU Logo


The university has created a chapter of ENACTUS, an international, student-driven nonprofit organization that uses entrepreneurship to create social change. In its first year of existence, the JCU Enactus team won the national competition presenting "Our Common Thread," a project aiding people in need in the Trastevere community in Rome, offering them a job in tailoring through the refurbishing of second-hand clothes, leveraging the 75kg of clothing per year that visiting students leave behind.

International Space Apps Challenge


International Space Apps Challenge

The International Space Apps Challenge is a global hackathon promoted by NASA and focused on space technology and its terrestrial applications. It’s held each October over the course of two days. The I.S.A.C. is part of the Open Government Initiative launched by former US President Barack Obama.

Competitions for high-school students

Italy Starts is a Peer-to-Peer Entrepreneurship Mentoring Program in English. Participating JCU/partner university students (Mentors) volunteer to work with Italian High School Students (Mentees) to solve real business problems or develop business models for their business or social venture idea. Mentees will be required to deliver (via video recording) a short PowerPoint presentation at the end of the program. This program is aimed at third and fourth-year students enrolled in Italian high schools as part of the Percorsi per le Competenze Trasversali e per l'Orientamento program (40 hours). 

Italy Pitches is a national English-language pitching competition for Italian high-school students. Participating students will select an Italian organization with a strong corporate social responsibility and will create an advocacy video that will effectively promote the values the organization stands for. The project is articulated as a self-administered program that will cover the following topics: the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals; Corporate Social Responsibility, Impact Investing and the Triple Bottom Line; the Essentials of Video-Making. The winners will receive a €500 prize to be divided among the members of the team. This activity offers 30 hours for Percorsi per le Competenze Trasversali e per l'Orientamento (PCTO).