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Have you ever dreamed of starting your own business?
Do you have the entrepreneurial spirit it takes to turn your dream into reality?
Ivy Tech Community College Northeast's New Venture Competition is a business plan competition that offers students and alumni the chance to earn $35,000 in capital to launch a new business.

How it works

  • Over the span of a sixteen (16) week lab, students will create a business plan.
  • Community mentors will work with each student concurrent with the lab.
  • During week fourteen (14), the three best business plans will be chosen by a committee of Business Administration faculty to move on for final presentations.
  • Community mentors will help the remaining contestants refine their business plans.
  • The three finalists will present their business plans to a panel of college and community judges.
  • One champion will be chosen to win at least $35,000 to launch their dream business.
  • Be sure to review the complete New Venture Competition contest details.

Who is eligible?

The New Venture Competition is open to Ivy Tech Northeast students and alumni who are interested in starting their own business. If you have the passion, we can give you the tools to help you succeed.

Requirements for eligibility in 2017:
  1. Students must have completed 12 credit hours at Ivy Tech Community Northeast prior to January 1, 2017, with a GPA of 2.5 or higher and a completion rate of 70 percent or more.
  2. Former students within the last five years (who have achieved alumni status) are eligible, providing that their Ivy Tech Community College Northeast transcript has a GPA of 2.5 or higher and a completion rate of 70 percent or more.

  3. Must have passed ENTR 101, Entrepreneur and Enterprise before the sixteen (16) week lab begins or must be taking the course during the sixteen (16) week lab.

  4. Alumni of the competition.

How to enter

Students are admitted to the competition and 16-week lab by inquiring and making application to Jim Tolbert, School of Business faculty, by calling 260-480-4249, emailing jtolbert12@ivytech.edu or visiting Coliseum Campus Room CC2329.


Jim Tolbert, School of Business faculty, at jtolbert12@ivytech.edu or 260-480-4249.

Presenting sponsor
JB Tool and Die logo

Awards dinner sponsor
ProFed logo

Also made possible by the Edward M. and Mary McCrea Wilson Foundation

For sponsorship information, contact Kelli Brandenberger at 260-481-2243 or kbrandenberger@ivytech.edu.

Congratulations to our 2016 winner, Jamal Robinson!

Jamal Robinson won $35,000 on Sept. 22 at Ivy Tech Northeast’s 2016 New Venture Competition, in its sixth year. Robinson is the founder of DESIAR Eyewear. From left: James Tolbert, Ivy Tech Northeast business administration assistant professor; Robinson; Karen Potter, ProFed Credit Union assistant vice president, commercial services; Doug Wood, PNC Bank regional president; and Jerrilee K. Mosier, Ivy Tech Northeast chancellor.


Guadaleupe Callejas
Guadalupe Callejas
Metro Striping and More
Metro Striping and More is a line striping company that also offers the Fort Wayne regional area with commercial and interior painting and stenciling, from handicap stenciling or stenciling a basketball court onto a cement slab.
Jamal Robinson
Jamal Robinson
DESIAR Eyewear
DESIAR Eyewear designs, distributes, and manufactures handcrafted sunglasses and optical eyewear. Its customers are individuals and boutique and international retailers.
Andrew Smittie
Andrew Smittie
Green E-Waste Miracles
Green E-Waste Miracles is a materials recovery company that focuses on environmental waste material that is no longer accepted by trash collection companies or landfills, including all electronic waste, batteries, bulbs, and tires.




For more information about the competition:

James Tolbert

2014 Winner

2016 Champion
Jamal Robinson video

2015 Champion
Morgan Williams video

2014 Champion
Beth Scholer video

2013 Champion
Robert Bibbo video

2012 Champion
Jon-Paul Capito video

See more photos on Flickr.


2011 Champion
Olivia Fabian video