With the establishment of the i2 Passport Program, the Peter T. Paul Entrepreneurship Center (ECenter) is offering students the opportunity to win a total of $15,000 to help pay off their student loans.
The ECenter, located in Madbury Commons at 21 Madbury Road, encourages undergraduate students to engage in various activities surrounding ideas, innovation and entrepreneurship on campus.
Each student who signs up and attends one of the program’s pre-determined activities will receive a “via stamp.” These stamps will equal to the credit and point value for their participation in the events they go to. At the end of the program, $15,000 in cash prizes will be distributed among the winners to pay off their respective student loans. The kick-off event for the competition will be on Feb. 12, and the final event, at which the winners will be announced, is scheduled for May 8.
There is a wide range of activities for which students can participate in that will lead them to receiving stamps.
The winner with the most visa credits will receive $8,000, while there will be an additional second place drawing of $3,500 for a student who reaches a minimum visa credit level.
Registration for the program is open and students can register via Wildcat Link.
According to ECenter director Ian Grant, 100 students have already registered for the program, while the goal is to have at least 400 participating students. However, he said that the participation turnout is expected to be at around 200.
“We are driving students to register before the kick-off event, but they certainly can register after it begins – through March,” Grant said.
The goal of the program is to not only offer students hands-on experience with entrepreneurship, but to also get the word out about the opportunities that the ECenter has to offer.
“I started December of 2015 and what I realized pretty quickly, because we’re not part of any one college, [was that] we needed something else to be able to get on students’ radars, then we looked around, like any good start-up,” Grant said.
Grant described the planning process of the program as “cumbersome.”
It there were to be a tie at the end of the semester, the two winners will split the money evenly, and if there happened to be more than two winners, then they are given the option to either to split it up or do a drawing.
“This is just the first one and in the future we’ll do more. We will continue to build on it as long as people want it,” Grant said in regard to future plans for the i2 Passport Program.