How It Works

The PETE Prize experience provides opportunities for students to build and extend their relationships with established venture capitalists and industry experts through a series of workshops.

The PETE Prize is inspired by Peter G. Scotese, Chairman Emeritus of the FIT Board of Trustees, and a pioneering entrepreneur.

Funding for the prize is provided by Edwin A. Goodman, former Chair of the FIT Board of Trustees, and a partner of Activate Venture Partners.


Jan 29
Applications open
Feb 14
Business Partner Match-Up event
Feb 21
Applications deadline
Feb 27
Announcement of 10 teams chosen to compete
Feb 29
Welcome meeting
March 5
Business Development Workshops and Clinics begin
May 9
Grand Prize Award pitches
May 10
Winning team announced
June 1
1-year Innovation Incubator begins
Fall 2024
Award ceremony

Competing As A Team

To form a strong and thriving company culture that is financially successful, it is mission critical that leaders understand and value people. Choosing your leadership team for PETE gives you the ability to craft a combination of critical skill sets - creative, marketing/digital marketing, finance & business operations - as well as behavioral sets - passion, empathy, tenacity, enthusiasm - as you envision and launch your business. As a leader who believes people are the most important asset, selecting your team is the first step towards becoming a successful entrepreneur.

Business Partner Match-up

The PETE Prize competition workflow begins with the Business Partner Match-up event, where students can meet potential co-founding partners who possess complementary creative and business skill sets. Applicants require a team of 2. (Yes, a team may consist of a maximum of 3 students.)

Join our Business Partner Match-Up event on February 14, Dubinsky 8th floor, from 6 to 8 pm.

Competition Round

Ten (10) teams are chosen to develop their business ideas while attending workshops. Final pitches culminate in the Grand Prize Award, announced at the end of Spring semester. The 1-year Innovation Incubator begins in June and the PETE Prize Award Ceremony is held in Fall 2024.

Evaluation Criteria

The evaluation criteria is a combination of the applicant's personal qualities (passion, empathy, tenacity, enthusiasm), experience and vision (personal and professional), in combination with the articulation of a business concept and 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 creative industries and promotes FIT's core values of innovation, sustainability and diversity.

Workshops & Clinics

The PETE Prize is a part time commitment.  Structured learning sessions and workshops are scheduled every Tuesday and Thursday from March 5-May 9, from 1:00pm-2:00pm at the DTech Lab (C110), according to the availability of the speakers.  The workshops are planned as in-person learning experiences and are mandatory.  (No workshops are held during Spring Recess).

Be the next FIT changemaker!

Past Winners