J Terrell Brown Venture Challenge

lsu's LARGEST live pitch competition

Pitch it for a chance to win startup capital in the J Terrell Brown Venture Challenge. This system-wide business plan competition is open to all on-campus LSU students and alumni (graduated within the last year) no matter their majors. Three finalists are selected to pitch for a share of startup cash in the final round in this Shark Tank-style event.

For more than a decade, the J Terrell Brown Venture Challenge has helped LSU students launch and grow businesses. Whether you are operating a business or developing an idea but don't have business experience, this competition is for you.

The competition has played a pivotal role in launching successful businesses. Mallard Bay, an online marketplace for hunting and fishing trips, earned third place in 2021. The company recently announced the closure of its $4.6 million funding round. Suds Laundry Service, an app that offers the pickup and delivery of quick laundry services for commercial and residential customers, won second place in 2019. Suds received $75,000 at the 2023 Demo Day, an event hosted by Pharrell Williams' nonprofit Black Ambition.

For questions about the event or to be added to an email list about optional preparatory workshops and events, please contact Fahimeh Abbasi

2024 Venture Challenge Results

Students hold giant cardboard checks and smile with excitement as prizes are distributed on stage at the 2024 J Terrell Brown Venture Challenge.

First place: FarmSmart
Prize: $20,000
Student Founders: Grant Muslow (BS Computer Science and Computer Engineering), Julius Pallotta (BS Biological Engineering), Colin Raby (BS Mechanical Engineering) 
FarmSmart is an AI-powered platform connecting modern professional farming and recreational gardening communities alike to specifically tailored, high-quality information on how to best manage their crops.

Second place: Eternal Exchange
Prize: $10,000
Student Founder: Ellen Frye
Eternal Exchange redefines the burial plot market with a direct, streamlined platform, ensuring clients have a simplified and dignified transaction experience. 

Third place: Flickleball
Prize: $5,000
Student Founder: Joseph Wampler (Bachelor's Interdisciplinary Studies)
Art Director: Delaney Peppito (BFA Studio Arts)
Game Development Director: Connor Pittenger (BS Natural Resource Ecology and Management)
Flickleball is an immersive tabletop football game with an elevated and tilted realistic football field using cups and foam footballs to create realistic football scenarios. 


competition details

Round I: Application and video pitch submission. Submissions are generally accepted from late January through February.

Round II: Semi-finalists will submit a five-page executive business plan and pitch deck 

Round III: Three finalists will present live in-person pitches at the Business Education Complex, typically in April. Each finalist will receive a share of the $35,000 prize. The minimum prize is $5,000; the maximum prize is $25,000.

Competitors are required to meet all submission deadlines and guidelines.  

  • Applicants must be current LSU-system students (undergraduate or graduate) or alumni who graduated within the last year.
  • Entries must be on-campus students (not LSU Online); alumni must have completed an on-campus degree program.
  • Individual or team submissions are welcome.
  • Applicants cannot be part of multiple teams. 
  • Competitors must be present during the entire competition and the final presentation.  
  • LSU student(s) must represent at least 51% of company ownership. 
  • Ventures cannot exceed $150K in lifetime revenue and/or $250K in lifetime equity investment.
  • Finalists must have an LLC for their venture before funds are dispersed from the final pitch competition.
  • Use of funds awarded through the J Terrell Brown Venture Challenge is solely at the discretion of the finalists. 

Contact Us

Fahimeh Abbasi

Director, Stephenson Entrepreneurship Institute
2230 Business Education Complex South