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Keith Block Entrepreneurship Competition

Competition Description

Keith Block is a proud alumnus of two of Carnegie Mellon University’s esteemed colleges: the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy. In 2018, Block and his wife, Suzanne Kelley, established the Block Center for Technology and Society at Carnegie Mellon through a generous gift to the university. The center focuses on seeding societal futures through technology, policy, and analytics. In this spirit, we are holding a competition this semester to foster new business ideas in the tech and society space.

The Contest

Proposals are expected to be entrepreneurial ventures that solve a problem in the marketplace and apply technology to address a societal need. A proposal should have the potential of being a viable and possibly transformative, growth-oriented startup company.

Students from any part of the university are welcome to participate in this competition. Note, the competition is for CMU students only, outside co-founders or pre-established startups are not accepted. We expect you to form teams of 2 to 5 students (no solos) to present your idea.

All proposals will be reviewed, and the finalist teams will move on to deliver a ten-minute recorded presentation for a chance to win the grand prize and resume asset.

Grand Prize: $5,000

The presentation and accompanying PPT deck should address the following questions:

  • What is the societal need?
  • What is your proposed solution?
  • Who is the target market?
  • What is the business model for the proposed venture (how will it be sustainable)?
  • What is the competitive landscape?


Teams must register and submit proposals for the competition by November 1st (11:59pm) using the REGISTRATION PORTAL. Teams chosen to participate in the final round will be contacted Wednesday November 3rd to submit a ten-minute video presentation by Monday, November 8th (11:59pm).

A panel of Faculty/Industry Partners will review presentations and the winner will be announced by Friday, November 12th.

Please reach out to Brittany Foster ( or Sean Beggs ( with any questions.