PSU Shenango Accepting ‘Big Ideas’ for Pitch Challenge

SHARON, Pa. — Penn State Shenango’s VenturePointe Innovation Hub business incubator, the eCenter@LindenPointe, and Penn Northwest Development Corp. are now accepting applications for the annual “Shark Tank”-style “What’s Your Big Idea?” Challenge on April 7

The challenge is scheduled in conjunction with Penn State Startup Week from April 4-8, according to a press release. Pennsylvania residents, students, alumni, entrepreneurs and innovators are invited to enter the challenge.

Community members with innovative ideas can submit their application to the committee and read more information about the challenge online at Submissions are due Feb. 18.

“’What’s Your Big Idea?’ is a challenge to make you think creatively – to expand your innovative skill set,” said Georgia Macris, assistant teaching professor and VenturePointe coordinator. “Plus, it’s a great exercise to expand your social and professional networks.”

Up to six contestants will be selected to pitch their idea live in April. Contestants will receive assistance to perfect their pitch before the presentation.

After winning the challenge in 2017, Ali Izzo-Linton and Holly Master went on to launch Purpose Therapy Subscription Box, a gift box for older adults that features useful products and personalized items.

To submit an idea in person, paper forms can be brought to Penn State Shenango’s Student Affairs office, located in Sharon Hall 103, or at the eCenter@LindenPointe in Hermitage. Physical submissions are due by end of business on Feb. 18.

The April 7 competition will be live-streamed on the Penn State Shenango YouTube channel at 5:30 p.m. For more information about Penn State Startup Week or VenturePointe, contact Macris at

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.