The Class of ’51 Entrepreneurship Fund
Class of 51
The Class of ’51
Got Ideas? Got Passion? Got Time? Need $eed Money?

One of Rensselaer’s most active, generous and supportive alumni groups – the Class of ’51 sponsors an annual competition for undergraduate and graduate students to encourage early development of entrepreneurial ideas.

Early development grants are awarded to the first ($2,500), second ($1,500) and third ($1,000) place individual or team entries which are determined by the judges to best meet the competition criteria.

Video   Winner Announced
  2013 Winners Announced View Detail  View Detail
  2012 Winners Announced View Detail  View Detail
Winners' Video Interviews View Detail  Watch Video   2011 Winners Announced View Detail  View Detail
  2010 Winners Announced View Detail  View Detail
      2009 Winners Announced View Detail  View Detail
      2008 Winners Announced View Detail  View Detail
Submission Criteria

Only entries that meet the criteria below will be considered by the judges:

  • Entries must be submitted online by no later than midnight on the published TBA submission date – the acceptance function shuts down at 12:01 a.m.
  • Every entry/idea must have an identifying title.
  • The title and your name must appear on every entry document and attachment.
  • Each entry must include a clear‚ summary description (elevator pitch) of no more than one–single–spaced page that answers the following questions:
    • What is the problem you are solving?
    • Who are you solving it for?
    • How are you solving it?
    • How does your solution differentiate from already existing solutions?
  • Enough details should be provided to demonstrate that your solution is feasible.
  • Overall written submissions/supporting descriptions should be no more than 3 pages‚ not including diagrams‚ sketches and appendices.
  • Any data or statistics used should be source referenced.
  • Project and describe the need for expected funding and how the Class of ’51 award funds will be used for services, materials and expenses.
Judging Tips:

Judges include experts and entrepreneurs who review each entry and make recommendations to the Vice Provost for E*ntrepreneurship. In reviewing several years of winning entries‚ there are some general tips that entrants should consider:

  • All judges are not necessarily professors‚ scientists or engineers‚ so it is the student’s responsibility to be certain that their entry is clearly articulated for general understanding.
  • Clear‚ concise elevator pitch summaries are preferred – they are important in getting initial notice and understanding for an idea.
  • Without DIAGRAMS‚ SKETCHES and VISUAL SUPPORT‚ your entry will be at a definite disadvantage in providing clarity for the judges.
  • Some definition of the customer/market opportunity for the idea is recommended.
To submit your Class of ’51 idea online