Boston University School of Hospitality Administration Launches the $50k Poyiadjis Hospitality Innovation Competition

(updated February 3, 2023) Boston, MA – Boston University School of Hospitality Administration (BU SHA) is proud to announce the inaugural $50k Poyiadjis Hospitality Innovation Competition. The competition is open to all BU students and BU alumni (classes 2021 and 2022). The application deadline is Monday, February 20, 2023.

With cash prizes totaling $50,000 for the top three teams, the aim is to embolden students to kickstart their innovative ideas and transform them into real ventures within the hospitality industry. Competing teams will work with advisors and mentors to further refine their ideas throughout the process. The competition culminates with final presentations and the cash-prize awards in front of a panel of judges and a live audience at the annual Hospitality Leadership Summit on Friday, March 24, 2023, 8am-6pm, at the Hotel Commonwealth in Boston.  

 For information and team registration: $50k Poyiadjis Hospitality Innovation Competition
Applications are due on February 20, 2023. 

  “Our greatest responsibility at SHA is to inspire and prepare the next generation of hospitality leaders for a rapidly changing world,” said Arun Upneja, Ph.D., Dean of Boston University School of Hospitality Administration. “At BU School of Hospitality Administration, we create opportunities, such as this competition, to encourage our students to dream big and turn aspirations into reality.”  

 This year’s launch of the annual $50k Poyiadjis Hospitality Innovation Competition demonstrates SHA’s entrepreneurial vision and spirit. The Competition is made possible by the generous support of Roys and Donna Poyiadjis. Roys Poyiadjis is the Founder of Platinum Capital Partners, Inc, a family office that focuses on technology investments, traditional private equity activities, real estate, and special opportunities. Donna Poyiadjis is involved in a number of philanthropic initiatives. This competition, which will reoccur annually, offers Boston University students an opportunity to pitch ideas for new ventures within the hospitality industry that embrace innovative ways to solving problems and creating value for all stakeholders. The top team will receive a cash prize of $25,000, the team in second place will receive $15,000, and the team in third place will receive $10,000.   

 As we face increasingly more complex challenges around the world, there is an urgent need to rewrite the playbook and create new innovative solutions to the issues of the present and the future,” said Roys Poyiadjis. “Given BU SHA’s commitment to furthering innovation and entrepreneurship in the hospitality space, we are delighted to sponsor the Hospitality Innovation Competition at SHA with the mission of teaching students to think like entrepreneurs, to embrace innovation, and use their learning to present new ideas and ventures that have the potential to positively impact the hospitality industry.”  

 In addition to very attractive prize money for the top three teams, all participants will benefit from a multi-dimensional learning experience through a combination of group classes, one-on-one mentoring, and access to experienced advisors and investors, helping teams further their business ideas and create a better future for the next generation of hospitality. 

Competition Mentorship and Guidance Process: 

  • Stage 1: Participants offered a concept feedback session with BU alumni and faculty to improve their venture and re-apply for next year’s competition.  
  • Stage 2: Teams featured on the Innovation Competition website and receive publicity on BU SHA social media channels.    
  • Stage 3 – Final Round: Teams offered ongoing professional workshops and mentoring to refine their ideas and business plans even after the competition ends. In addition to presenting live in front of an audience of students, faculty, industry professionals, and SHA alumni, teams also receive visibility with potential investors through press releases and social media campaigns.  

    Key deadlines for the Competition:

    • Monday, February 20, 2023: Applications Due 
    • Tuesday, February 14, 2023: Announcement of teams selected to move to Stage 2  
    • Tuesday, February 28, 2023: Stage 2 teams make a three-minute pitch to judges  
    • Friday, March 3, 2023: Announcement of teams selected to move to Stage 3 – Final Round 
    • Friday, March 24, 2023: Final teams present their ventures to a live audience consisting of Boston University students, alumni, industry professionals, potential investors, and judges at the  Hospitality Leadership Summit  

    For Competition application information, visit $50k Poyiadjis Hospitality Innovation Competition  


    Photos and interviews available upon request.
    Contact: Mara Littman, Co-Chair of the Hospitality Leadership Summit and Director of Corporate and Public Relations, at