Penn State Schuylkill announces fifth annual Business Plan Competition

Blueprint image with lightbulb schematic and text reading: "5th Annual Business Plan Competition" with the Penn State Schuylkill LionLaunch logo
Credit: Penn State

SCHUYLKILL HAVEN, Pa. — Penn State Schuylkill will host its fifth annual Business Plan Competition virtually at 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 22. The competition allows aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners to pitch their ideas to open or expand their small business for a chance to secure up to $5,000 in funding. 

The "Shark Tank"-style competition is open to aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners who live, work, volunteer, or go to school in Schuylkill County. Participants pitch their idea to establish or grow a small business to a panel of judges consisting of business and community leaders within Schuylkill County. Following the pitches, the judges deliberate in real time to determine which participants will be awarded funding, and how much they will receive. 

Business Plan Competition judgements are strategic ones, and not all participants are awarded funding in their first competition pitch. By withholding an award, judges allow competitors to polish their ideas and return to compete for a larger amount of funding in a future competition. 

Thus far, Penn State Schuylkill has awarded $69,000 to 21 small businesses in Schuylkill County through the Business Plan Competition. 

Penn State Schuylkill Director of Community Engagement Shannon Del Conte said, “This is always an exciting event, and we can’t wait to see what ideas Schuylkill County’s innovative entrepreneurs pitch at this year’s competition. Small businesses are a critical component of our region’s economy, and we are so proud to support them in this way.” 

Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, April 2. Participants in Schuylkill’s Business Boot Camp will have their $100 registration fee waived. Apply for the fifth annual Business Plan Competition here.

About the competition and Invent Penn State

Penn State Schuylkill’s Business Plan Competition is made possible by Invent Penn State, a commonwealth-wide initiative to spur economic development, job creation and student career success. Invent Penn State blends entrepreneurship-focused academic programs, business startup training and incubation, funding for commercialization, and University-community collaborations to facilitate the challenging process of turning research discoveries into valuable products and services that can benefit Pennsylvanians and humankind. Connect with the initiative at