Applicants must be currently enrolled at FIT as a full-time or part-time student. This includes: undergraduates expecting Bachelors or Associates degrees as of Spring 22 and Fall 22, graduate students, and non-matriculated students, including CCPS enrollees, with 3-5 years of professional experience. Please note: Fall 21 graduates may apply!
International students are eligible to apply and subject to comply with all applicable governmental requirements, such as visas.
Eligible applications include business and concept for-profit business proposals which have a focus on art, business, design, mass communication and technology connected to the fashion industry.
Start-up businesses are eligible for inclusion in applications as for-profit ventures if the company has earned less than $10,000 in funding, historically.
A team is comprised of 1-3 individuals.
Each person on the team will complete an application.
There is a space on the application to notate the names of the team members you are applying with.
Students may participate on one team only.
The team will be selected in full or declined in full. Ex: if 3 applicants apply to be on a team together and the award evaluation committee determines that 1 of 3 applicants is extremely weak, the team of 3 will be declined.
Team member names must be identified in the application to be considered. Applications may be modified to include or exclude team member names through April 15, the application deadline. Beyond April 15, the application may not be revised.
Team composition may change only after the 10 teams have been chosen, in a defined scenario. The scenario relates to an applicant who applies as an individual, team of one, and is accepted to compete in the PETE Prize. If this person, through the network of PETE Prize competitors is invited to join a team of 1-2 people and it becomes evident that this is a unanimous decision made by all potential team members, the individual applicant may join the existing team. Similarly, two individuals may form a team of 2. An example follows:Sally is a business school student, whose application was submitted and accepted to compete in round 1 as an individual team of one. Sally’s business idea is to launch a web-based rental model for multiple fashion brands. Fred and Wilma are both fashion design students whose applications were submitted and accepted to compete in round 1 as a team of two. Their business idea is to develop a sustainable fashion brand. Their mission is to incorporate recycling/upcycling into their business model and launch an app to promote the sustainable products distinguishing their designs. During the workshops held in round 1 Sally meets Fred and Wilma, and recognize that their business ideas are aligned and that through the merger of their two teams into one they will gain the ability to leverage the creative and business aspects of their backgrounds. Combining teams and business concepts becomes an opportunity to be stronger as one company competing for PETE’s Prize than as two separate companies. It makes sense to re-align as a new team of three.
Approved team formations shall be based on consideration of the level of expertise each group evidences, encompassing creative and technological development, marketing and brand development, business operations and management.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTYIntellectual Property (IP) rights exist to protect the expression of your ideas and allow you to control the ways your ideas are utilized. The PETE Prize Award competition will be governed by the FIT Intellectual Property Policy.CONFIDENTIALITYNDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement): All participating students are required to consent to the NDA and MAY NOT share startup materials with anyone outside of their team, including faculty and staff, advisors and coaches. Only the team members may see the decks and any other materials shared by the startups. You can ask advisors and coaches about the industry, the market fit, etc., but you may not share any specific proprietary information from the deck, in particular but not limited to revenue projections, valuation expectations, previous fundraising and cap tables. Participant's executive summaries and business plans will only be seen by the award review committee. Neither of these documents will be distributed unless explicit permission is received from the team. As the competition is an open event, FIT is not able to require audience members to sign non-disclosure agreements. However, faculty mentors and industry partners leading workshops and clinics are required to sign NDA’s and may not discuss student presentations and business concepts outside of the award review committee and judging panel. GRAND PRIZE AWARD DETAILSThe winning team's business receives a $30,000 award which will be issued to a duly registered business entity. Evidence of lawful business formation and registration in New York is required for prize dispersal to the grand prize-winning team. Business formation may take any lawful form related to a New York business entity or identity including a local D/B/A or state-level corporate structure such as an LLC, C corporation, partnership, etc. FIT will be identified as a minority investment participant with an equity interest of five (5%) percent. FIT will have a limited ownership interest in the winning team’s legal entity but will not be permitted to have a controlling interest. In the event that additional capital is subsequently infused into the business entity after the grand prize award is distributed, FIT has the right, but not an obligation, to invest an amount up to the amount needed to maintain its equivalent pro-rata percentage equity interest. The prize-winning team receives 50% of their award upon the completed registration of the business entity. Distribution of the 50% award balance will be made as the winning team achieves agreed-upon milestones. Milestones will be developed within six (6) weeks of the award announcement. If all requirements for the grand prize are not met within twelve (12) months of the award announcement, the award will be forfeited. All awards are subject to applicable taxes and withholdings. The winning team will be provided office space in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, or such other location that may subsequently be made available available to them. Possession of the office space is for a period not to exceed one year. Operational, financial and creative expertise shall also be provided to the winning team.
Evaluation PanelJudging panels are composed of a mix of investors and industry experts including venture capitalists, angel investors, investment bankers, experienced entrepreneurs, and leaders from the business community. Judges who have mentored or otherwise engaged with any competing teams are not eligible to participate on any level of the competition. Applicants will be disqualified if they attempt to approach a judge, or have someone do that on their behalf, in connection with the competition. The decisions of the judges are final, including interpretation of the rules and allocation of prizes.Evaluation Criteria1. Application Round - The evaluation criteria is a combination of the applicant's personal qualities (Passionate, Empathetic, Tenacious, Enthusiastic), experience and vision (personal and professional), in combination with the articulation of a business proposal. The proposal represents a for-profit business idea, distinctive in the demonstration of creativity and imaginative qualities. The idea includes a focus on art, business, design, mass communication and technology connected to the fashion industry and promotes FIT's core values of innovation, sustainability and diversity.2. Fellowship Program - Demonstration of the market opportunity; a clear market need and a plan to take advantage of the need. Competitive Advantage: The product or service is something unique that has a protectable competitive advantage in the proposed market. Management Capability: The team has the potential skills and experience to develop this venture and address the associated risks. Financial Understanding: The team has a solid understanding of the financial requirements of the venture. Roadmap/Growth Strategy: The team has engaged in short- and long-term planning and has considered strategies for growth. Sustainable Business Model: The team understands and can communicate their core business model. They are likely to develop a sustainable venture.3. Grand Prize Award - Multi-tiered evaluation criteria is applied to topics: creativity, execution and financial strategy, market and customer knowledge and team composition:
Does the project offer new and creative solutions to solve existing problems in the field?
To what extent does the business proposition improve existing products or business models currently in the market?
To what degree does the business idea change the industry?
Are potential risks and threats identified?
Execution and Financial Strategy / Assessment of the plan for the execution of the business idea and for financial funding:
Is the business model sound and realistic?
Does the team have a coherent and well-structured execution plan?
Are financial and business growth forecasts realistic?
Does the business plan offer realistic assumptions on scaling production of the product?
Does the team have clear and viable ideas about how to finance the company?
Market and Customer Knowledge / Assessing the reflection of market and customer knowledge in the business plan:
Does the team demonstrate thorough knowledge of the market they are entering (e.g. market size, competitive landscape, substitutes, stakeholders, regulatory and policy framework)?
Was primary customer research carried out to support market assessment?
Does the team demonstrate evidence of demand for product?
Does the team understand the customers and their needs?
Are there realistic plans to deal with possible competitors?
Does the team have a long-term growth strategy?
Team Composition, Chemistry and Commitment / Assessment of the team's strengths, weaknesses, and viability:
Does the team have a well-balanced mix of expertise and backgrounds (e.g. technological, entrepreneurial, business, creative)?
Are the team members working well together?
Does the team appear to be committed to stay together for the short to medium term?
Does the team have a clear strategy to cope with future growth, including adding new members to the management team, as necessary?