Clapp IDEA Competition

Have an idea? Want to win up to $20,000 to launch your student start-up?

The Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation hosts the Clapp IDEA Competition annually. The competition provides you the opportunity to pitch your idea to investors who want to help you succeed.

Teams with innovative and well-thought-out business ideas compete in April each year to win up to $20,000. In addition, there are mentors to help you through the business planning process. All you need to start off with is an idea and the motivation to turn it into a business.

For detailed information, please refer to the important dates and links below. Register early so we can begin providing you with competition details.

2022 Vernon Clapp IDEA Competition timeline

  • Register by January 31​
  • Submit business plan by February 18 ​
  • Clapp IDEA presentations: April 1

Competition entry is free. If you have any questions, please contact


View submission requirements and instructions

Frequently asked questions

  • Monday, January 31, 11:59 p.m.: Registration closes
  • Friday, February 18, 11:59 p.m.: Idea plans due
  • Monday, February 28: Finalists notified
  • Thursday, March 31, noon: Final round presentations due
  • Friday, April 1: Clapp IDEA Competition

The competition is open to all Indiana University students (including graduate and undergraduate) in any course of study.

Yes! Part of the innovation process is iterating and changing. You are not locked into the idea you submitted for registration.

Yes, but the summary section will be sent on to the competition judges in its submitted form. It is recommended that you stay as close to the summary as possible after you submit your business proposal.

Once you are registered, we will pair you with a Kelley MBA coach to help you along the way. Business coaching will be on the following schedule by walk-in or by appointment. Please e-mail to schedule your coaching session.

Spring semester business coaching will be available:

1st seven weeks (January 10–February 25)

  • Mondays: noon to 2 p.m.                                   
  • Tuesdays: 1 to 3 p.m.                                                    
  • Wednesdays: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.                                           
  • Thursdays: 1 to 3 p.m.                                                   

2nd seven weeks (February 28–April 22)

  • Tuesdays: 9:20 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m.                
  • Wednesdays: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 1 to 3 p.m.          

It’s okay! The business proposal is designed to be as user-friendly as possible and your Kelley MBA competition coach will help you along the way.

  • 1st Prize: $20,000 with additional prizes awarded at the discretion of the judges

Sponsored by the Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation and Vern Clapp of Clapp Investment Ltd.

For additional questions, email