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The Brewed Ideas Challenge

The Brewed Ideas Challenge is Marquette's annual pitch competition that follows a series of bootcamp workshops where student founders, mentored by leaders from Brady Corporation, take their concept from an idea to a pitchable business proposal. 

Finalists pitch in one of two tracks - Traditional Business or Social Impact where the compete for their share of $24,000 in seed money!

Read more about the Brewed Ideas Challenge in Marquette Today and checkout the write up on the 2024 winners here! The 2024 pitch event was even covered live by CBS58!

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The Brewed Ideas Bootcamps


The Mentor Breakfast

The official kickoff of the Brewed Ideas Challenge is the Mentor Breakfast. Finalists for the first time, meet their mentor in-person. The guidance provided from these leaders and experts from Brady are crucial to the success of the Challenge and the relationships formed between mentors and mentees are one of the hallmarks of the Challenge. 

Business Model Canvas

The first bootcamp is the Business Model Canvas (BMC) workshop lead by entrepreneur extraordinaire Tom Avery. During the application process, students submit a draft of their BMC. Tom then pushes them to fully develop their ideas on the Canvas. The BMC itself "...allows you to describe, design, challenge, invent, and pivot your business model." - Strategyzer 


Branding w/ Epic Creative

MU Alumni Dan Augustine the Creative Director of Epic Creative takes finalists through the importance of developing a genuine and sincere brand, image, logo and voice. 

Law and Entrepreneurship

Law professor and director of the Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic Nathan Hammons helps finalists understand their different options in forming a business (LLC, 501c3, etc.). Professor Hammons and his Clinic students provide much needed legal guidance for the finalists throughout the Challenge. 


The Day @ Brady

Relatively new in the Brewed Ideas Challenge is the Day at Brady. Finalists get first-hand exposure to the innovative processes at Brady and guidance from Brady experts in the areas of Social Responsibility, Customer Discovery and Value Propositions. There is also dedicated mentor time!

2024 1st and 2nd Place Winners!

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Every year, a 'Mentor of the Year' is recognized for their outstanding commitment and contribution to their mentee.

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Here is what these finalists said about the Mentor of the Year:

Theresa, our mentor, should win Mentor of the Year because she was very hands on this whole process. She showed dedication to Black Mindz by showing up consistently to our biweekly meetings and giving us constructive feedback. She also gave us access to resources like PowerPoints and information regarding any questions we had. And if she didn’t know an answer, she went out of her way to ensure she found someone at Brady who did. She has helped us grow in our ideas and has made our business even better. She brought excitement, constant encouragement, and even brought us together with shared laughs throughout our time with her. Black Mindz couldn’t have asked for a better mentor.

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  • Early February -

    • Applications Open​

  • Mid February - 

    • Applications Close

    • Finalists Notified
    • Mentor Breakfast​

  • Mid/Late March​ - 

    • Brewed Ideas Bootcamp​s

  • Early/Mid April -

    • Practice Pitches

    • Day at Brady 

  • Late April -

    • Live pitch event @ the 707 Hub

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