Hofstra University’s Center for Entrepreneurship and digital media holding company CPXi have launched the 2016 Hofstra/CPXi Venture Challenge, which will help students transform innovative ideas into businesses by working through the early stages of venture creation. Students will compete for a total of $50,000 over the course of the competition, including ‘Shark Tank’-style presentations and straight pitch contests, culminating in the one-day Venture Challenge Competition on April 21, 2016.
Applications are due on February 19, 2016. Application, rules, and frequently asked questions can be found at www.hofstra.edu/cpxichallenge. All Hofstra students are encouraged to apply. There will be separate competitions for undergraduate and graduate students.
The Hofstra/CPXi Venture Challenge is sponsored by Hofstra alumnus and Board of Trustee member Mike Seiman, CPXi’s chief executive officer. CPXi is a digital media company that Seiman launched while he was still a student at Hofstra in 2000. The company has grown steadily and is now a major player in the crowded online advertising landscape, serving billions of ad impressions in more than 65 countries every day.
As part of this year’s competition, the Center for Entrepreneurship will administer an accelerator program, which will provide students and student teams with valuable mentorship and training from entrepreneurs-in-residence designed to assist the students with ideation, customer validation, development of a business model, and formation of the product pitch. The entrepreneurs-in-residence and students will participate in brainstorming sessions, workshops related to entrepreneurship, and pitch preparation. As part of the accelerator program, participants will have the opportunity to compete for smaller cash prizes in ‘Shark Tanks’ and pitch competitions.
“This competition is an extraordinary opportunity for our students to get real-world experience about how to take an idea from the classroom to the boardroom,” said President Stuart Rabinowitz. “This initiative, led by Hofstra’s Center for Entrepreneurship, will help make the University a magnet for the region’s young entrepreneurs.”
“It is especially gratifying that this competition come from one of our own graduates, Mike Seiman, CEO of CPXi, whose vision and generosity is inspiring to a new generation of Hofstra innovators,” President Rabinowitz said.
Said Seiman: “We are thrilled to once again be partnering with Hofstra to discover and develop tomorrow’s brightest entrepreneurs. The ability to give back to the community that played such a large role in my success is immensely gratifying on a personal level and exemplifies a core value that I have instilled in the CPXi family. I am looking forward to seeing how these great young minds leverage this opportunity.”
The Center for Entrepreneurship was established in the fall of 2015 and its mission is to provide Hofstra University’s students, faculty, staff and alumni with the education, skills and training necessary to become accomplished entrepreneurs and to establish Hofstra University as a leader in Long Island’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. The Center for Entrepreneurship is led by Executive Dean Mark Lesko.
CPXi is a digital media holding company, providing technology, services and processes that make digital more efficient and effective. Distinct divisions have evolved in parallel with emerging digital media capabilities to meet the myriad challenges faced by marketers and content providers. These divisions operate both independently and in concert, and include: bRealTime, providing programmatic solutions for both supply and demand side partners; AdReady, providing best-in-class programmatic technology and managed media services to brands, agencies and performance marketers; Consumed Media, creating unique content opportunities for today’s evolving digital media ecosystem; Hatched.at, serving as an internal incubator to solve tomorrow’s advertising challenges. CPXi is a privately held company.
Photo caption: President Stuart Rabinowitz and CPXi CEO Mike Seiman with the winners of the 2014 Hofstra/CPXi Venture Challenge.