Application Instructions

The Competition consists of three stages that are detailed below.  

Stage 1

  • First, start by familiarizing yourself with the competition Tracks and grading criteria here.
  • Submit your application with a team of 2-5 people.
  • Applications will be reviewed by faculty at SHA and leaders at Student Wellbeing, and shortlisted teams will continue to Stage 2.
  • All applications are due by 11:59 pm on February 19, 2024. Teams that are selected to proceed to the next stage of the competition will be notified on February 23, 2024.

Stage 2

  • The teams selected to participate in Stage 2 will receive coaching and mentoring from members of the BUild Lab, Student Wellbeing, and hospitality leaders to advance their ideas and work towards creating a robust business plan. 
  • On March 18, 2024, each team will make an 8-minute pitch to judges, followed Q&A. Five teams from each track will be selected to move to Stage 3, the Finals, and will be notified on March 21, 2024.

Stage 3

  • The top five teams in the Student Wellbeing Track will present to judges on April 1, 2024 at CDS, and the winners will be selected but not announced at that time.
  • The top five teams in the Open Track and the Social Impact Track will present their business ideas to a live audience as well as potential investors and judges at the Hospitality Leadership Summit on April 4, 2024. The top five teams in each track will present for 8 minutes, followed by Q&A.
  • The top three winners for each track will be announced at the Hospitality Leadership Summit.
  • The winning teams will receive cash prizes, publicity, feedback from industry leaders, and access to investors for potential investments.

    Questions? Please see our FAQ page.

    The winning teams across all tracks agree to two conditions:

    1. Participate in quarterly check-in meetings with the School of Hospitality Administration and the BUild Lab to share progress with their ventures.
    2. Present in the Finals of the 2025 Poyiadjis Hospitality Innovation Competition and share their journey with their ventures since they won the Competition in 2024.


    SHA’s Innovation Competition is open to all students currently attending Boston University and alumni who have graduated in 2023. Teams will have a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 5 members. All members must be in good academic standing with a minimum GPA of 2.5.    

    Teams are not required to have an operating venture or a full business plan to apply; any team with a great idea that is hospitality-related can apply. They must, however, use their time in the competition to work on their idea and refine it during the next two stages.  


    The following requirements apply to all applications submitted for the Student Wellbeing Track: 

    1. Ventures must be non-clinical concepts that support student wellbeing. 
    2. Ventures must be student-facing, meaning the end users are current BU students. 
    3. Ventures must be original and cannot be a remix of an existing initiative at BU. 
    4. Teams must identify a primary campus sponsor who has agreed to facilitate the delivery and execution of the venture to facilitate continuity should students graduate during the delivery period. 
    5. Delivery timeline: Deliverable in Summer 2024 or during the 2024-2025 academic year. 

    The three winners of the Student Wellbeing Track agree to two conditions: 

    1. Complete the Student Wellbeing Program Feedback Report once the venture has been completed. 
    2. Participate in monthly check-in meetings with the Director of the Wellbeing Project leading up to the delivery of the venture.


    Innovation Competition Homepage