Registration Open for SBCC Virtual Scheinfeld New Venture Challenge – Win Awards for Your Best Business Idea

There’s still time for college and high school students throughout Santa Barbara County to submit their entries to the virtual 11th annual Scheinfeld New Venture Challenge business plan and pitch competition hosted by the Scheinfeld Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at SBCC. The call for entries opened on March 1 and the deadline for submission is midnight on Thursday, April 15.

 “We’re excited to host the Scheinfeld New Venture Challenge for our 11th year, and we’ve made some exciting changes to this year’s event to adapt to the digital experience. We look forward to shining the spotlight on Santa Barbara student entrepreneurs as they showcase their best business ideas,” said Scheinfeld Center Director Julie Samson. Finalists will pitch to judges via Zoom and the event will be live streamed on the Scheinfeld Center’s YouTube channel for our entire community and the world to enjoy. 

The Scheinfeld New Venture Challenge is divided into two separate tiers: One for high school students and another for college students. A preliminary panel of judges will review business plan entries to identify the top ten finalists in each tier who will compete for over $15,000 in cash awards and in-kind startup support during the pitch competition on April 23. “The competition promotes youth entrepreneurship and career development, and provides an opportunity for local students to interact, network, and further educate themselves on the process of creating a business plan and pitching their concept,” said Samson.

Six pitch competition judges have been appointed to choose the winners. The collegiate tier judges are military veteran Mark Harper, President and CMO of We Are The Mighty; Mateo Neri, Partner at Emerald Peak Private Equity; and Nitin Pachisia, Founding Partner at Unshackled Ventures. The high school tier judges are Rita Mounir, founder and Chief Operating Officer of Allthenticate; Ronnie Rich, Founder of FITBANKER Limited; and Warren B Ritter II, Financial Advisor with Wealth Management Strategies and President of Santa Barbara Young Black Professionals.

The two primary sponsors of the cash awards are Union Bank, providing $10,000, plus an additional $4,500 for the military Veteran Business Startup Award. “We encourage student military veterans throughout Santa Barbara County to submit their entries.” said Samson. Additionally, Women’s Economic Ventures and the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Cathy Feldman Fund is providing $2,500 toward the cash awards overall. “Now, perhaps more than ever, entrepreneurship helps students envision and create a bright future. We look forward to an exciting competition and invite our community to join us in celebrating the next generation of entrepreneurs!” 

The Scheinfeld New Venture Challenge submission deadline is April 15, 2021. Finalists from each tier will be announced on April 20, and the pitch competition will be held April 23—live streamed on the Scheinfeld Center YouTube channel. Entry and submission is a one-step process. To enter, visit Fill out the registration form, obtain required signatures, and prepare necessary attachments including your business plan. Questions? Contact the Scheinfeld Center at  

About the Scheinfeld Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation
The SBCC Scheinfeld Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation is a hub for entrepreneurial development within the South Central Coast community and is a resource for model programs for other California community college districts. The Scheinfeld Center, part of the Jack & Julie Nadel School of Business & Entrepreneurship at SBCC, trains globally competent entrepreneurs using a comprehensive approach that includes academics, hands-on experience, and support. Participants can build their business in the classroom and shore up gaps in their entrepreneurial skill set through the Scheinfeld Center’s distinctive combination of coursework, business plan and pitch competitions, industry internships, no-cost business consulting, mentoring, networking, and post-startup support. To learn more, visit

About Santa Barbara City College
Founded in 1909, Santa Barbara City College currently serves approximately 15,000 students each semester who enroll in courses for transfer preparation, career education, and foundational skills. SBCC was the 2013-2015 national co-winner of the prestigious Aspen Institute Prize for Community College Excellence. The college was recognized for its quality and focus in four areas: facilitating underrepresented and minority student success, student learning outcomes, degree completion and transfer rates, and labor market success in securing good jobs after college.

Our Mission: As a public community college dedicated to the success of each student…
Santa Barbara City College welcomes all students. The College provides a diverse learning environment and opportunities for students to enrich their lives, advance their careers, complete certificates, earn associate degrees, and transfer to four-year institutions. 

The College is committed to fostering an equitable, inclusive, respectful, participatory, and supportive community dedicated to the success of every student.


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.