The startup crowd that will descend on Boston this October as part of Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit might just leave a bit richer.
On Monday, organizers of the summit announced that several high-profile venture capitalists, including actor and investor Ashton Kutcher, will be awarding $1 million in prize money to young entrepreneurs during a pair of “Change the World” pitch contests during the Oct. 16-19 event. The funds will be divvied up among nonprofit and for-profit companies that have founders younger than 30.
Kutcher and the partner at his Sound Ventures investment firm, Hollywood producer Guy Oseary, will be joining Rough Draft Ventures, the Boston-based student venture arm of General Catalyst, to run the contest for the for-profit businesses. And the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation of Tulsa, Okla., will underwrite the nonprofit contest, which will award funds to startups working on educational efforts.
Boston College students and faculty will serve as judges, winnowing down the field to four top contenders per category, said Jere Doyle, who runs BC’s Shea Center for Entrepreneurship. “There’s no better way to learn about entrepreneurship than to see what’s going on in the world and be a part of the judging,” he said.
Applicants can apply online through Sept. 6.
The pitch contest is one of dozens of events planned for the weekend summit, and Kutcher is just one of many celebrity investors scheduled to attend. He has been dabbling in investing in startups since at least 2010, when he was among the early investors in Uber.
Actress Jessica Alba, who founded the Honest Company, author Deepak Chopra, and chef Bobby Flay will also be on hand to offer their secrets to success.Janelle Nanos can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @janellenanos.