Apply to become a Pike Fellow

The Pike Engineering Entrepreneurship Fellows Program (Pike Fellows Program) provides support, guidance, and mentorship for University of Virginia student entrepreneurial projects that are based on developing or commercializing some form of novel technology by leveraging the existing resources of the surrounding UVA and Charlottesville network. Student projects will be well-positioned for pursuing further development, including external funding or participation in an accelerator or incubator.

The program is available to three- to five-student entrepreneurial teams. The highly selective program develops each team’s entrepreneurial potential and leadership skills through hands-on experiences, networking, mentoring and workshops on key topics in entrepreneurship. Each team will receive up to $5,000 in funding. At the programs core is access to top-tier mentor and indusrty experts.  Teams will also participate in a course design specifically for them on venturing.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicants must be UVA undergraduate and graduate students in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, Darden School of Business, McIntire School of Commerce, School of Law, and the College and Graduate School of Arts and Science
  • Applicants must have a market-ready technology
  • It is recommended that each team include at least one undergraduate or graduate engineering student
  • Applicants must be full-time, degree-seeking undergraduate or graduate students
  • A compete application is required for consideration.

Selection Process

  • Three to five teams will be selected on the basis of:
  • Entrepreneurial intent
  • Strong team relationships
  • Product-market fit

Final Competition

A final competition will be held on a date to be announced. The Pike Fellows will present their projects to a panel of prominent judges. Teams will submit a visual presentation and a Business Model Canvas (details to follow). Teams will be judged on idea viability and business model using the following criteria:

  1. Idea: validity, novelty, market-ready technology and potential impact
  2. Business model: Value proposition, cost structure, key resources, customer discovery and validation (marketability and market size), and product or service development strength
  3. Entrepreneurship: Future vision, team commitment and culture, team expertise and knowledge and pitch delivery.
  4. Probability of becoming a successful business: Competitive advantage and probability of receiving investment

Key Dates:

  • Submission deadline:  Monday, Oct. 15, 2018 at 5 p.m. EST
  • Pike Fellows Announced:  Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018

Additional Benefits:

  • Up to $50,000 in Pike Award(s) for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Networking opportunities that include unique access to investors and business leaders
  • Cohort and close community with current and past Pike Fellows
  • Hand-picked top-tier mentors for each participating team
  • Mentoring and guidance from entrepreneurial faculty and staff, business community members, investors, and C-level executives
  • Guidance and preparation help for internal and external entrepreneurship competitions


For more information, contact Elizabeth Pyle, who oversees entrepreneurship programs for UVA Engineering and the Department of Engineering & Society.

Complete your application for the Pike Fellows Program.