The Entrepreneurship Club at Missouri Southern State University will host their first student pitch competition from 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 25, in the North End Zone Facility.

The competition is open to all Missouri Southern students who have an idea to pitch to a trio of judges.

“The idea can be for a product or service,” said Kenneth Surbrugg, director of the university’s Center for Entrepreneurship. “They’ll have 90 seconds to pitch their idea.”

Judges will evaluate each pitch based on its feasibility, the impact it could have, how it will serve the market, and the quality of delivery. The top three winners will split $500 in prize money and have the opportunity to attend the Collegiate Entrepreneurship Organization’s Midwest Entrepreneurship Conference, which will be held April 3-4 in Omaha, Neb.

Serving as judges will be Loni Smith, director of small business incubation at the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce; Aaron Smith, owner of the Joplin business Sprout Faster; and Douglas Myers, a management instructor at Missouri Southern.

Surbrugg says he hopes to see the pitch competition become an annual event.

“We want to help build a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, and build that culture up,” he said. “I think this is something that would interest a lot of students because there’s not really an outlet for it. Pitch competitions can lead to other opportunities.”

There is no registration fee for students to participate. The event is sponsored by the Center for Entrepreneurship and the Robert W. Plaster College of Business.