University of Portland
Contact: John Furey, Joe Kuffner

University of Portland to host fourth annual $100K Challenge Venture Competition Saturday, April 26

University of Portland will host the fourth annual $100K Challenge Venture Competition on Saturday, April 26 in Shiley Hall Room 301 on campus, 5000 N. Willamette Blvd. Preliminary rounds begin at 9 a.m. and final round presentations will be given from 1-3 p.m. The day will conclude with an announcement of the winners and a reception. The expanded business plan competition is hosted by the University’s Franz Center for Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation.

The $100K Challenge Venture Competition provides students with the opportunity to receive feedback from experts in the entrepreneurial community, win monetary prizes, and acquire legal services that will help advance an idea to the next stage.

Prizes for this year’s competition include $1,250 for 1st place (for-profit & Social Venture); $750 for 2nd place (for-profit) and $250 for 3rd place (for-profit). Sponsors include D&B, LivePlan, Lane Powell,, AARP, Portland Business Journal, and the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network (OEN).

In addition, finalists in the for-profit track will be eligible for an investment of up to $100,000 (half cash and half support services). The winner of the Social Venture will be eligible for a $2,500 grant and $2,500 in professional services. Investment decisions will be made by the Launch Pad committee.

The University of Portland Launch Pad Fund offers seed funding and incubation opportunities for student ventures. Funded by generous alumni, led by Rich Baek ’93 ’02 and supported by many others, the fund encourages business and non-business major to innovate and monetize their ideas.

Last year, University student Alex Calvert won the competition for his for-profit business plan. Calvert pitched the idea of opening a Portland franchise of Zoom Room, a high-end training facility and store for dogs and their owners. Calvert, along with his father Jonathan Calvert, secured the exclusive rights to have the franchise in eight locations in the Northwest. Their first store, located in the Pearl District, will open under the name Zoom Room Portland.

Student Alice Queirolo and her organization Project Agriculture placed first in the Social Venture category. Project Agriculture’s mission is to provide agricultural infrastructure development solutions to increase the income and crop production of small-scale farmers in Kenya. Queirolo, who was part of the University’s prestigious Entrepreneur Scholars program, traveled to Kenya for ten weeks to conduct more research and develop her business plan.

For more information, please contact Peter Rachor at 503-943-7782 or

The University of Portland is an independently governed Catholic university guided by the Congregation of Holy Cross. U.S. News & World Report ranks the institution as one of the top ten regional universities in the West. It is the only school in Oregon to offer a College of Arts & Sciences, a graduate school, and nationally accredited programs in the schools of business, education, engineering, and nursing.

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