Kevin Plank, the CEO of Baltimore-based athletic apparel maker Under Armour, is accepting submissions for the 2016 Cupid’s Cup Entrepreneurship competition.
Now in its 11th year, the competition enters a new chapter by partnering with a consortium of more than 20 top universities, business schools and entrepreneurship centers from across the country. In addition to the longstanding partnership with the University of Maryland, the academic institutions participating in the new consortium include: Auburn University, Babson College, Boston College, Clemson University, Duke University, Georgetown University, Harvard University, James Madison University, Johns Hopkins University, Northwestern University, Ohio State University, Temple University, Texas Tech University, University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA), University of California – Berkeley, University of Cincinnati, University of Notre Dame, University of Pennsylvania, University of South Carolina, University of Texas at Austin, University of Tennessee and University of Virginia.
“Nothing energizes me more than meeting passionate young innovators who have the entrepreneurial drive and conviction to take a risk and start a business,” Plank said. “I am excited to expand the Cupid’s Cup competition to include some of the world’s best thinkers and to provide even more resources to help the next generation of leaders reach their potential.”
The competition is open to undergraduate and graduate students currently enrolled at accredited colleges and universities or recent alumni of those institutions, 30 years old or younger and must be running a legal business entity that has demonstrated proof of traction. There is no fee to apply.
The winner will receive $100,000 in total cash prizes, access to Plank’s professional network and the Cupid’s Cup title.
Applicants should go to www.cupidscup.com to apply for the competition. The deadline is Jan. 5, 2016. Semifinals are scheduled for Feb. 19 at the Under Armour headquarters in Baltimore. The finals are scheduled for April 7 at the University of Maryland’s Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center.
The event was named for one of Plank’s first businesses – Cupid’s Valentine Rose Delivery – an enterprise that he started as a student at the University of Maryland to sell roses on campus. Those profits eventually became the seed money he used to launch Under Armour.