Learn, Compete & Win Funding!

The Avista Entrepreneurial Competition (AEC) is open to all students of Eastern as well as their peers at all other local universities, colleges, and high schools in the Inland Pacific Northwest. Per the request of the founder Herbert B Jones Foundation, and sponsor Avista, the AEC has been revamped by emphasizing completeness of business in the vein of the Eagles Startup Challenge. The AEC strives to help entrepreneurs enter the local economy with a complete and functional business that will succeed in the real world.

Funds, mentoring, and facilities are provided to assist participating teams move through the program and gain valuable insight on various aspects of running a business, such as prototyping, contacting potential customers, and the legal requirements of registration and opening a corporate bank account

Videos View Competition Phases

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Cash Prizes! Gain a resume-worthy experience, learn from experienced entrepreneurs, and launch your business!

Important Dates

Trade Show Competition
April 15, 2023
Spokane Public Library, 3rd Floor
906 W Main Ave, Spokane

Learn More

Have questions?
Email us at entp-center@ewu.edu.

Competition Phases

Throughout the Avista Entrepreneur Competition, you’ll have access to weekly learning sessions and workshops taught by members of the Spokane entrepreneurial ecosystem. These sessions will be hosted at the Downtown Spokane City Library and telecast via Zoom for those unable to attend in-person. Sessions begin in February 2023 and will prepare you to compete in the main phases of the competition:Phase I – $250 for Each WinnerExpand

Month #1 | 2-minute elevator pitches: speed dating format

  • Expectation: An idea and a clear value proposition
  • All 50 participants receive a prize!
  • Free food and drinks!
  • All participants receive a certificate of completion for Stage 1 of the Idea & Value Proposition Challenge!

Top 20 teams will advance to Stage 2, gaining access to 3D printing and other prototyping resources.Phase II – $1,000 for Each WinnerExpand

Month #2 | Trade show presentation

  • Expectations:
    • Visual display and poster session presentation
    • Knowledge of market
    • Basic feasibility analysis
  • Mentors available for on-the-fly assistance
  • All participants receive a certificate of completion for Stage 2 of The Product/Service Design Challenge

Phase III – $55,000+ Prize PoolExpand

TBD | “Shark Tank” style finals

  • Expectations:
    • Mini business plan or full executive summary
    • Prototype or well-developed design for business/product/service
    • Evidence of customer discovery interviews
    • Proof of concept is desirable
    • Evidence of progress throughout the competition.
    • Plan for using the $10k along with evidence this is an efficient and strategic use of funds to get the business going.
    • Applicants will ideally gain access to one or more mentors who have developed an interest in the project.
    • At least two members of the team will be invited to attend a Spokane Angel Alliance lunch.

Sponsored by Avista

This entrepreneur competition is made possible by generous support from Avista. We’re grateful for their dedication to promoting growth and innovation in small businesses!