Pitt to launch new student innovation contest (Pittsburgh Business Times)

University of Pittsburgh student entrepreneurs will soon be able to compete for $18,000 in prizes.

The Kuzneski Innovation Cup is a student innovation pitch competition aimed at commercializing Pitt research in areas outside of health care. Started by Laurie and Andy Kuzneski, the competition will award $18,000 in annual funding — $10,000 for the first place winner, $5,000 for second place and $3,000 for third place.

“We are excited to introduce the Kuzneski Innovation Cup as a new vehicle for supporting students who are passionate about translating their discoveries into innovations that can impact humanity and contribute to the growth of our regional economy,” Laurie Kuzneski said in a statement.

The competition will operate in conjunction with the Michael G. Wells Student Healthcare Entrepreneurship Competition, which focuses on health care-related ideas. Both competitions will be a part of the Pitt Ventures Student Challenge, which is run by the Innovation Institute at Pitt.

The Kuzneski's are serial entrepreneurs who have founded and run a variety of companies in the Pittsburgh region. Andy Kuzneski currently runs Kuzneski Financial Group, where Laurie is the director of marketing and wellness.

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