Kogod School of Business

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Our Approach to Learning


Experiential Learning Opportunities

Annual Signature Events

Every year, the Veloric Center offers a number of cross-campus experiential learning opportunities open to all undergraduate and graduate students. These include workshops, panels, open houses, and competitions. We believe that competitions are an excellent way for students to dive into the entrepreneurial mindset, take a few (low-stakes) risks, build confidence, and meet new students, all while having a ton of fun!

Our annual signature events include:

Startup & Stand Out

Startup & Standout is an annual month-long virtual engagement with students who participate in a series of panel sessions with AU entrepreneurship alumni in the Entrepreneurship Journey Series and our Meaningful Change Pitch Challenge. Since our launch in 2020, over 500 students have participated.

Meaningful Change Pitch Challenge

Meaningful change often focuses on a “greater purpose” for addressing societal problems and needs. In this competition, student teams will create a new product idea or a service idea that solves a problem and provides meaningful change to society. Teams participate in three preparation training workshops in cooperation with Kogod’s Center for Professionalism and Communications and develop ideas into a two-minute pitch video. Judges score the videos with the top five teams moving on to the final round for a 7-minute live presentation and Q&A session with our judges. The top three winners split $10,000 in prize money. Since our launch in 2020, over 50 student teams have participated.

Pitch for Big Change Competition

In this quick-pitch competition, students present their ideas for making a social impact. They have one minute to explain their venture concept without the use of slides or props. This competition presents an opportunity for students to think productively about how to convert their passion into action while honing their oral communication skills and confidence. The top three competitors split $5,000 in prize money. In its first iteration in 2022, the competition attracted over 50 participants.

Venture Capital Investment Competition

The Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC) is an annual global competition sponsored by UNC Chapel Hill in which the globe's top 80 business schools compete. Students roleplay as venture capitalists to real companies seeking financing by preparing and negotiating a term sheet. The event includes an internal Kogod competition, regional competitions, and the global finals. Graduate and undergraduate students participate in separate competitions. This is a highly prestigious and visible event for Kogod. Since our participation launch in 2015, over 200 students have participated in the competition.

Sustainability Invent-o-thon Competition

In our Sustainability Invent-o-thon, student teams develop physical prototypes for games or toys designed to teach the UN Sustainable Development Goals to children. Teams are comprised of students from diverse backgrounds and academic disciplines. Prior to competition day, students do not know who will be on their team, or which goal they will be working to teach. All prototyping supplies (and briefing materials related to the Goals) are provided, and no external research is allowed. The top teams move onto the final round, where they are provided two weeks and full access to AU’s Design and Build Lab in order to upgrade their prototypes. The top three teams split $10,000 in prize money. In its first iteration in 2022, the competition attracted nearly 100 students.

Food Insecurity Competition

The Food Insecurity Competition gives AU students the opportunity to think critically about the ways in which they can affect fundamental improvements to our food system. Over the course of two months, teams explore both upstream and downstream challenges, ultimately presenting their research findings and recommendations in the form of a 20-minute pitch to leaders in the food systems/food policy community. Teams are supported by faculty mentors throughout the process. The top three teams split $10,000 in prize money.  

Workshop Sessions

We partner each year with the Intellectual Property Clinic of the Washington College of Law and the Kogod Tax Center to bring students important workshops on protecting intellectual property and preparing/finalizing taxes. We also offer workshops on subjects ranging from hiring and onboarding to effective staff leadership, to customer discovery, to financial forecasting.

Student Clubs

AU has two student clubs in the entrepreneurship area. One is the Entrepreneurship Club at AU and the other is the Private Equity/Venture Capital Club. Both clubs are strategic partners with the Veloric Center and we work closely with them for student experiential learning opportunities, workshops, and competition delivery.