The Eagle Startup Challenge promotes the creation and development of entrepreneurship ventures by ANY EWU student. Cash prizes are awarded at the end of each of the 4 stages to winning teams for them to use in further R&D of businesses.

Get Funding to Start Your Business!

This year, we have over $72,500 in prize money to give away!

The Eagles Startup Challenge is a free collaborative startup competition for EWU students of any major, experience, and class standing! Students who compete will have access to money, and resources, gain valuable weekly mentoring, and a resume-worthy experience. In 2020, 10 teams earned over $1,000, and one team earned $16,500. Videos View Challenge Events


Challenge Events

Throughout the Eagles Startup Challenge, you’ll have access to weekly learning sessions and workshops taught by members of the Spokane entrepreneurial ecosystem. These weekly sessions will prepare you to compete in the four main challenge events.Stage 1: The Idea & Value Proposition Challenge

February 22nd, 2024 | 2-minute elevator pitches: speed dating format

  • Expectation: An idea and a clear value proposition
  • All participants receive a prize!
  • Free food and drinks!
  • All participants receive a certificate of completion for Stage 1 of the Idea & Value Proposition Challenge!
  • Winners of the elevator pitch get $250 for the trade show in Phase II

Top teams will advance to Stage 2, gaining access to 3D printing and other prototyping resources in the Center for Entrepreneurship Maker Space.Stage 2: The Product/Service Design ChallengeExpand

April 4th, 2024 | Trade show presentation

  • Expectations:
    • Visual display and poster session presentation
    • Knowledge of market
    • Basic Feasibility analysis
    • Winners of the Trade Show receive $1000 to register a business and proceed to Phase III
  • Mentors available for on-the-fly assistance
  • All participants receive a certificate of completion for Stage 2 of The Product/Service Design Challenge

The top 10 teams will advance to Stage 3. Teams may submit proposals for up to $2500 in prototype, product/service development, market research, etc. support.Stage 3: The Business Design ChallengeExpand

May 16th, 2024 |”Shark Tank” style finals

  • Expectations:
    • Mini business plan or full executive summary
    • Prototype or well-developed design for business/product/service
    • Evidence of customer discovery interviews
    • Proof of concept is desirable
  • All participants receive a certificate of completion for Stage 3: The Business Design Challenge
  • $55,000 of prize money will be awarded

Every team from Stage 3 is eligible. Businesses must be legally formed to enter. Stage 4: The Startup Challenge FinalsExpand

May 16th, 2024 | $10k Seed Capital Round: Winner Takes All

  • Expectations:
    • Evidence of progress throughout the competition.
    • Plan for using the $10k along with evidence this is an efficient and strategic use of funds to get the business going.
  • Applicants will ideally gain access to one or more mentors who have developed an interest in the project.
  • At least two members of the team will be invited to attend a Spokane Angel Alliance lunch.
  • The entire team will be invited to attend the Spokane Triangle Expo at no cost.
  • All participants receive a certificate of completion for the Eagles Startup Challenge and are recognized on the Center For Entrepreneurship website

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Access to: 3D printing, sewing, laser engraving, Ideation Lab, and the environment to conduct extensive product development and experimentation!

2021-22 Finalists

Congratulations to our 2021-22 finalists! Kinetic Kitchens took home the first-place People’s Choice Award and later received roughly $200,000 from an outside investor after the challenge. E-zevis took runner-up.

Six months later, all seven of our final businesses are still active! All 2021-22 Finalist Videos


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