Introducing Syracuse University Blackstone LaunchPad Freelance Challenge Friday, April 21

The Blackstone LaunchPad at Syracuse University is pleased to invite all designers, creators, producers, artisans, and small business owners to apply to its first Freelance & Small Business Competition on Friday, April 21st from 12-3pm with $600 in prize funding. 

This competition is specifically designed for students who are building a career or side hustle providing services or creating products. The competition will be judged in two different categories: Freelancing and Small Business. Freelancing includes individuals specializing in services such as graphic design, web development, videography, photography, software development, writing, and any other professional service. Small Business focuses on artisans hoping to sell their artwork, craft, and creations of all forms. 

The application asks students to submit an executive summary of their business (templates found here) with a portfolio or photo examples of their work.

The competition asks students to present a 4 minute pitch of their business, focusing on their previous work and the unique value they bring to their product or service market. While competitors are not required to have an established business before entering in the competition they are expected to show previous work. Competitors will be asked to present a plan for the awarded funds in the case of winning the competition.

Judges will pick winners based on categories of professionalism, targeted market focus, portfolio, creative ability, and unique market value. There will be two winners in the Freelancer category and two winners in the Small Business category, with each winner receiving up to $200!

Applications close for the competition on Friday, April 16th. The application can be submitted here, and further competition information will be forwarded to all applicants. Please visit the LaunchPad on the first floor of Bird Library if you would like mentorship while preparing your executive summary or pitch. 

For any additional information or questions please contact competition directors Sasha Temerte or Claire Howard

The LaunchPad is the university’s resource center and accelerator for students looking to pursue owning their own business or building a side hustle. We warmly welcome all student freelancers and artisans to enter the Freelance & Small Business Competition for a chance to showcase their talent and receive funding for their future. 

Story by Claire Howard ’23, LaunchPad Global Fellow; photo supplied