Eligibility Criteria for the Leonsis Family Entrepreneurship Prize:
The Leonsis Prize will be open to all current Georgetown undergraduate and graduate students from all Georgetown schools including the McDonough School of Business, College of Arts and Sciences, School of Foreign Service, School of Nursing and Health Studies, McCourt School of Public Policy, Law Center, Medical Center, Graduate School, and School of Continuing Studies. The prize will also be open to young Georgetown alumni (within six months of graduation) including those who recently participated in the Entrepreneurship Initiative Summer Launch Program. Candidates for the prize may be nominated as individuals or as teams.
The prize will be awarded to Georgetown’s most promising young entrepreneurs who have recently launched or are preparing to launch new business ventures. These businesses should be developed beyond the idea phase and must also demonstrate market viability.
Criteria by which Leonsis Prize winners will be selected may include:
- Viability of the nominee’s venture, including current stage of development and assessment of market opportunity and competitive landscape
- Proven passion and initiative in the active pursuit of their entrepreneurial venture
- Commitment to innovatively solving problems and creating value in communities through entrepreneurship
- Superior business and entrepreneurial acumen
Awarding the Leonsis Family Entrepreneurship Prize:
Recipients of the Leonsis Prize will be selected through a rigorous nomination, application, and review process open twice per year in concurrence with the biannual meeting of the Entrepreneurship Initiative Advisory Group.
Nominees for the fall cycle may have participated in the Summer Launch Program which provides resources—including workshops, mentoring, and incubation—for aspiring entrepreneurs working to accelerate new ventures. The spring application cycle will likely conclude in late April to coincide with Georgetown Entrepalooza, a celebration of entrepreneurial excellence at Georgetown which includes a pitch competition and entrepreneurial excellence awards.
The selection process will generally follow the same structure during each awards cycle:
- Nominations — Six weeks prior to the fall or spring meeting of the Entrepreneurship Initiative Advisory Group, Georgetown faculty and Entrepreneurs-in-Residence will be invited to nominate promising candidates for the Leonsis Prize, based on the above-described criteria. Candidates may be nominated as individuals or as teams.
- Applications — Nominated individuals or teams will be given two weeks to complete a detailed application. Nominees will be asked to describe their business and the impact the Leonsis Prize would have on their ability to advance their venture, as well as their own personal qualifications.
- Internal Committee Review — An internal committee of faculty and Entrepreneurs-in-Residence, including Entrepreneurship Initiative Director Jeff Reid, will review applications and select an elite group of finalists.
- Presentations — Finalists will be given three weeks to prepare presentations for the internal committee and the Entrepreneurship Initiative Advisory Group. During this time, our Entrepreneurs-in-Residence will serve as key mentors and advisors to the young entrepreneurs, helping them design their presentations and consider the challenges and opportunities the prize may present to their ventures. Finalists will make their presentations during the Group’s fall or spring meeting.
- Board Ratings — Following the finalist presentations, the Advisory Group shall rate the full group of finalists and provide these ratings to the internal committee of Georgetown faculty, staff, and Entrepreneurs-in-Residence which will select the prize winner(s).
- Final Selections — Taking under advisement the suggestions of the Advisory Board, the internal committee will select the individual and/or team recipients of the Leonsis Prize. The committee will be given discretion to select the total number of recipient(s) each cycle as well as the size of each prize within an annual limit of $100,000. The committee will not be required to award a prize in a given application cycle. After the prize is awarded, Georgetown’s Entrepreneurs-in-Residence may continue to provide mentorship to the Leonsis Prize winners as they advance their entrepreneurial activities. Prize recipients may be asked to present their progress to the Advisory Group at future meetings, and may also be asked to give a public presentation at events such as Entrepreneurship Day or Entrepalooza.