Michael Clouser


Student Ventures


+1.650.206.2158 – global phone number

Student Ventures launches the International StudVent Startup Stories Contest

PALO ALTO, USA – 17 April 2021: A desire to highlight the paths, throes and triumphs of startups led by student cofounders at colleges and universities, Student Ventures through its Academy and virtual entrepreneurship club has initiated a unique, first-of-its kind global contest. It will has the additional mission of showcasing the work of talented student writers, artists, photographers, and videographers, collectively known as “Student Storytellers”.

This effort will also add to publicly available visual content surrounding the theme of student entrepreneurship as all entries will be placed public domain under the Creative Commons (CC) license.

“Our research has found a shortage of student entrepreneurship visual content in the public domain, even in the private, for that matter.  We’d like to help fill that gap””


The winner will receive at least a $500 prize which will be awarded to the writer and artistic team directly or donated to a university or charity of choice. In addition, the winner will be recognized and interviewed for news articles and press releases.

To enter the contest, the Student Storytellers must be currently registered students at an accredited college or university anywhere in the world where such a contest is legal.  Undergraduate, postgraduate, Masters, Law, Medicine, MBA, MFA, and PhD students are all welcome to enter.

The student startups themselves that are the subject of these stories must also have at least 1 cofounding member that is a current student at an accredited college or university. Clouser defines a startup using the definition set forth by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) as being any new business that is less than three years old. Student Storytellers must be distinct individuals from the startup or startup teams that the cover. That is, startups can not submit stories about themselves – a 3rd party must tell the story in writing or video format.

Creativity is encouraged in capturing the spirit of student entrepreneurship at the higher education level. Participants are encouraged to stay safe, distant and wear masks when carrying out their work during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The inspiration for the International StudVent Startup Stories Contest came from Clouser’s own experience as a storyteller as an MBA student at Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management. During this time, he served as the CEO of Student Agencies Incorporated, a 100 year-old miniconglomerate of student-managed businesses that also incubates new student ventures. One of the clients of SAI was CourseInfo, which was cofounded by seven Cornell undergraduate students including Dan Cane. Clouser photographed the CourseInfo team and wrote a story about this aspiring student startup for the Johnson School’s MBA publication. The title of the article was “Silicon Valley in Ithaca”.  A few years later, CourseInfo, an elearning platform, would merge with Blackboard and proceed to conduct an Initial Public Offering (IPO) on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the symbol BBBB. Clouser reflects on this formative writing experience as “lots of fun and of benefit to the Cornell Community, too”. Thus he seeks to inspire the students of today to do the same, to get out and tell the stories of their fellow student entrepreneurs of their own universities.

The deadline for submissions is 01 November 2021.

More information and an application form can be found on the site here: