HUSTLE Entrepreneurship Program


HUSTLE Incubator is a program that aims to help undergraduate students at the University of South Florida develop their leadership and entrepreneurship abilities. This ten-month program centers around a college-oriented competition where students will create and launch their businesses. Selected teams will receive funding, resources, and mentorship to support their ventures. The ultimate prize for the winning team is $100,000 in Series A funding to develop their business further.


Here's a breakdown of the program's phases:

Program Details

Phase 1: Applications

The initial application will consist of:

  • Students can apply online by clicking here as a team, summarizing their business idea. Students can also apply on this page by hitting the Apply Now button.
  • Each team member must be a current USF student during the application process, and students who will graduate in Fall 2023 can also apply.
  • The application requires a concise business operations plan, budget, and market analysis.
  • The application period is from September 1, 2023, to October 23, 2023.
  • A team of professionals will review the applications, conduct interviews, and select the finalists.
  • Hustle Bootcamp will take place from October 30, 2023 thru Nov. 1, 2023

Phase 2: Final Selection

  • The ten most qualified teams will be invited to a 3-day business boot camp.
  • The boot camp will cover essential topics like creating an LLC, market research, basic accounting, and business plan development.
  • Student teams will be required to create a business plan and business model canvas. 
  • Teams will create a professional presentation and pitch their ideas to a board of judges, including David Chessler.
  • The presentations will be assessed based on various criteria, including business strategy, team dynamics, marketing approach, and financial planning.

With the help of entrepreneurs, professors, and assigned mentors, teams will put together a professional presentation that will be assessed based on:

Business summary/strategy

  • Why/how will your business be successful?
  • What is so unique about your business idea?
  • What problem does your product or service solve, and how significant is this problem in the market?
  • What is your business model?


  • Is each member determined, hard-working, and qualified?
  • Does your team work well together?
  • Does each team member have a specific job?

Marketing/sales approach

  • Who is your target audience?
  • How will you market to your target audience?
  • How do you plan to create product/service awareness and generate leads for your startup?


  • How do you plan to monetize your product or service?
  • What is your pricing strategy?
  • How will you distribute your budget?

Teams will make their presentations no later than October 15, 2023 to the judging panel."

Phase 3: Competition

  • Two to three teams with the highest potential will be awarded $30,000-$50,000 each to start their businesses and officially enter the competition.
  • The program will be conducted in a shared space where teams must regularly attend and collaborate.
  • Regular guest lectures and mentors will assist the teams in building their companies.
  • Teams will have access to a Canvas course with additional resources to support their business development.
  • Teams are required to submit weekly updates on their progress throughout the program.
  • Monthly board meetings with the Chessler Holdings Board of Directors will take place, where teams report on their progress and receive guidance.
  • The winning team will be granted $100,000 in Series A Funding to continue their business.

Program Rules:

In the case that a team member(s) is under performing, the other members may present this information to the board of judges and request to have said member fired. If the board of judges agrees, the said member will be fired and disqualified from the competition. In this situation, the team can choose to recruit a new member, with the board’s approval. Throughout the course of the competition, teams may not disclose any financials with outside members (i.e. the opposing team) until the winner has been announced.


For additional questions contact:

Magdelena Harrah
Hustle Program Director

USF Nault Entrepreneurship Center

Frank Nunez
USF Nault Center for Entrepreneurship Program Planner