e-Fest Undergraduate Business Competition
Inspiring the entrepreneurial spirit
e-Fest is a three-day undergraduate business competition hosted by the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. The competition is unique in that it offers cash prizes, impactful connections, innovative workshops and media coverage to help young entrepreneurs pursue the next level and inspire the entrepreneurial spirit.

– project highlights –

New logo & style guide

StoryBrand messaging

WordPress website development

Website content & copywriting

Lead generator design

Email integration (MailChimp)

WordPress Website & Rebranding Project

e-Fest website

e-Fest is a business competition for young entrepreneurs designed to inspire the entrepreneurial spirit. The organization had a previous WordPress website and logo but wanted to refresh the brand identity and make the website clear and scalable. The project included a new logo, messaging foundations and full website development in WordPress. Integrated MailChimp to deliver the Lead Generator PDF.

e-Fest’s old WordPress website was out of date and had custom theming which prohibited the organization from making meaningful changes or updates. Additionally, the website navigation was confusing to users, and the content was disparate. The organization wanted to update their website’s look and feel, add in advanced functionality, and implement easier back-end management for their administrative staff.

In addition to the website project, the organization wanted a brand refresh. This included a logo and new brand-messaging to better capture the target audience and invite students and staff to have e-Fest become part of their story as an entrepreneur.

Visual branding.

The logo was done largely as a working “done-with-you” design project. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t. For this client, the outcome was brilliant (pun intended).

e-Fest’s new logo gives a nod to the old design by retaining the lightbulb and captures the essence of innovation with the emerging E and opportunity through the use of the color orange and more stylized look.

A comprehensive style guide was also developed to guide visual brand presence in marketing applications from social media postings to official documentation.

Brand messaging.

When it comes to branding, the words on the page matter as much (or more, some may argue) as the visual design. This is why messaging is an essential component of any rebranding project.

As part of the messaging work, e-Fest received the StoryBrand messaging package which included a 7-part messaging framework that can be used across all marketing initiatives, a fully transcribed brand story, and a one-liner intended to incite curiosity from users and draw them into the e-Fest story.

Undergraduate start-up competitions are hugely competitive and often restricted to a few select students from select universities. e-Fest changes that. We believe your venture deserves the opportunity to be showcased on a national stage. That’s why we offer cash prizes, connections, workshops and media coverage to help young entrepreneurs pursue the next level of their business and discover their inner entrepreneur.

Advanced forms.

Using the versatile Gravity Forms plugin, a number of forms were developed that not only unified the user experience but simplified the event administration bringing most types of submissions into a similar flow within the website.

Forms and functionality include:

  • Email Sign-up with MailChimp integration to automate adding users to email lists and avoid manual uploads
  • Development Grant Application to allow student advisors to apply for grants through the e-Fest website rather than being directed to a Microsoft form
  • Finalist Intake Form to allow e-Fest admins to easily collect required information and forms from finalists and and advisors before the event
  • Share Your Story form to allow alumni to share stories from their experience, testimonials, and post-event success

Lead nurturing asset.

e-Fest applications are only open for a small period of time. Therefore, it is important to capture user emails so e-Fest can communicate to keep them informed. To do this, e-Fest uses a pop-up which loads a few seconds after the first time a user visits the website.

In exchange for a user sharing their information, e-Fest offers a “lead nurturing asset”, also called a “lead generating PDF”, containing tips students can use when they create their pitch presentation.

The pop-up form is generated by and integrated with MailChimp. Submission of the form triggers an email automation to send the user the PDF asset. Users are also tagged in MailChimp for future segmentation and targeting of email communications.