Syracuse University Blackstone LaunchPad Freelance and Small Business Challenge Returns on Friday, October 13

The Syracuse University Blackstone LaunchPad Freelance and Small Business Competition returns on Friday, October 13 from 12:00 – 2:30 p.m. with $2,000 in prize funding. Open to all designers, creators, producers, artisans, and small business owners to apply here before Friday, October 6.

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 a link to their 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 a total of four winners: first place prize of $1,000, second place prize of $500, third place prize of $400, and a fan favorite prize of $250.

Applications close for the competition on Friday, October 6. 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 organizer, Christy Ying Liu ’24 (Maxwell) at

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.