Createur sign on stage

Createur Conference & Pitch Competition

April 15-16, 2024!

Createur sign on stage

Olivet Nazarene University’s McGraw School of Business hosted its inaugural Createur Conference & Pitch Competition April 13-14, 2023. It was a tremendous success with hundreds of conference attendees throughout the two-day event, including faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members.

Pitch Competition

College students and Olivet alumni entered the pitch competition and gave their professional pitch and business ideas to Alumni venture capitalists who desire to foster the next generation of entrepreneurs. $10,500 was awarded to the winning presenters to help start or grow their business ideas. The event was held on the campus of Olivet Nazarene University, 1 University Ave., Bourbonnais, IL 60914.

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Winning Contestants

The goal of the Createur Connect & Pitch Competition was to award thousands of dollars in capital to help students and alumni catalyze and grow their business.

Createur Conference 2023 winners

  • Sierra Harris | KMH Series    $4,000
  • Lextin Willis | CordPuck    $3,000
  • Faith Markley | Daisy Hill Fragrances    $2,000
  • Wade Frances | Godspeed Supplements    $1,000
  • RW Rienow | Tribal    $500

Spark Sessions & Keynote

Attendees personalized the event by selecting from over 15 different spark sessions where they heard from proven entrepreneurs and industry leaders exploring the topics that interested them most. Students networked with their peers and business leaders during the evening dinner sessions with keynote speaker, Steve Green, president of Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

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1. Connections – Build relationships with like minded, faith-driven peers and professionals.
2. Opportunity recognition – Discover how to identify potential new products or serviced that may lead to promising ventures.
3. Entrepreneurial alertness – Gain a readiness to act on existing but previously unnoticed business opportunities.
4. Find your calling – Explore how God can use you to solve problems and serve people through entrepreneurship.
5. Cash Prizes & Recognition – The prize pool for 2024 will total $6,500

2023 Highlight Video
*Video produced by the McGraw School of Business

Anyone who is curious, looking to grow, or challenge themselves, aspiring leaders, and those wanting to network with community leaders. All visitors are welcome to be a part of our Createur Conference and participate in our live audience for the Pitch Competition.

  • High school students
  • College students
  • Olivet alumni

We invite students to participate in our First Annual Createur Conference & Pitch Competition. The competition will include keynote speakers, expert panels, and networking opportunities. Students will give their professional pitch and business ideas to Alumni venture capitalists who desire to foster the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Participation offers students a unique opportunity to take what they learned in the classroom and apply it to real life. The competition provides personal and professional development by building skills including leadership and teamwork.

Pitch Competition Details

Application Submissions, Dates TBD

  • Submit your application.
  • Submit answers to application questions.

Round One: Online Judging, Dates TBD

  • A remote judging round based on the application questions.
  • Judges will evaluate on concept, deliverability, how the company solves a problem, business model, and investability.
  • Up to 20 teams will be notified if advancing to the semi-final round.

Round Two: Semi-finals, Date TBD

  • Selected semi-finalists (up to 20 teams) will be notified by March 24, 2023.
  • Each semi-finalist will pitch their ideas to a live panel of investor judges on campus.
  • Judging will be based on a 5 minute pitch, pitch deck, and 5 minutes of Q&A.
  • The top two teams from each group will advance to the Finals.

Round Three: Finals, Date TBD

  • Finalist teams will present to a panel of judges.
  • Order of presentation will be randomly selected.
  • Teams will get 5 minutes to pitch and 5 minutes of Q&A

Winners Announced, Date TBD
The 2024 prize pool will total $6,500

  • College & Career Division $4,750
    • The total amount will be split among the top 3 winners in the Business as Mission track as well as the For-Profit Business track and the Tiger Spirit award. Only current Olivet students are eligible for the Tiger Spirit Award.
  • High School Division  $1,750
    • The total amount will be split among the top 3 winners as well as the winner of the Nazarene Youth Award. Only high schoolers affiliated with a Nazarene church are eligible for the Nazarene Youth Award.

Currently, we are seeking applications for Foundeurs in the following stages:
1.  Idea Stage:
You are only getting started with your business if you are in the “Ideation” stage. You preparing to introduce your first product to the market, or you might have a functional prototype or pilot.
2.  Pre-revenue Stage:
If you are in the pre-revenue stage, you may have a prototype, pilot, or first product, but you may not yet be making money from clients.
3.  Early Stage:
You have a product or service, you’re making money, and you’re trying to scale if you’re at the early stage of proven demand.

All currently enrolled college or university students and Olivet Nazarene University Alumni are eligible to compete. Affiliation with the business school is not required. Pitches can be from individuals or teams.

All business concepts must be created, managed, and owned by the participant/team who is registered for the competition. (At least 50% ownership is required by a college or university student or  ONU Alumni)

Team Rules:
Teams may consist of 2-6 students or Alumni. At least one participant is required to be a currently enrolled student or have graduated from ONU.

Teams are to designate one person to be the team lead. This team member will be the point of contact for the competition.

Competition Rules:
Round One will take place online. All participants who meet the submission criteria by the deadline will compete in the online round. Participants advancing to the next round will be notified.

Round Two Semi-finals will take place live on ONU campus. Participants will be divided into randomly selected competition tracks with a separate panel of judges. The 5 minutes to pitch and 5 minutes of Q&A will be strictly enforced. The top two teams from each track will advance to the finals. Feedback will be provided and then may be used to revise final presentations.

Round Three Finals will have the top teams pitch live to judges on the main stage.  The 5 minutes to pitch and 5 minutes of Q&A will be strictly enforced. The team’s presentation order will be randomly chosen.

Teams may have up to two presenters for the final presentation.

Judging is based on but not limited to: originality, concept feasibility, business model, market opportunity, competitive advantage, presentation and well-researched.

Fees and Expenses:
There is no charge to participate in the competition or to attend. Participants are responsible for their own travel, meals and housing.

Faculty/Staff/Outside Advisors:
Participants are encouraged to seek outside advice. Advisors may attend the event and must register separately.

Olivet Nazarene University does not assume any responsibility nor can provide any guarantees in regards to confidentiality. All sessions and competitions are open to the public which may include radio, television, or internet.
Judges will use discretion with information, but cannot guarantee non-disclosure.

All affiliates and organizers of the conference may use photographs, video/audio in any book or other printed materials and any digital or physical medium that they produce.

These Rules and Guidelines may be updated at any time.

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WHere Faith & Business Meet

Createur Podcast

The Createur Podcast is a dynamic and inspiring Christian entrepreneurship podcast that aims to empower young professionals to unleash their entrepreneurial potential. With a focus on innovation, growth and personal development, The Createur Podcast is dedicated to providing valuable content at the intersection of faith and business

The podcast is hosted by Spencer James, undergraduate student, and Karli Byrd, graduate assistant. Anyone with a faith-driven entrepreneurial mindset can listen to it on all the major streaming platform. The first episode is available now with new episodes every week

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