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PitchIT. Six Opportunities to Hone your Pitch in 2017.

Pitching your business is a bridge every entrepreneur has to cross. Entrepreneurs who think their idea has to be fully polished before entering a business plan/pitch competition do themselves a huge disservice. Pitch and Business Plan competitions provide a platform to gain exposure, connect to resources, expand networks, and refine the message. Every entrepreneur, whether seasoned or just starting, should enter a pitch competition sometime during the early life of their business.

Finding the right competition is important. There are a number of business plan competitions coming down the pike over the next two quarters of 2017. Here's our short list of business competitions and business accelerators to add to your watchlist.

New York StartUP! 2017 Business Plan Competition

Entry Deadline: 6/6/2017

Entry Fee: N/A


The New York Public Library in conjunction with its sponsor, Citi Foundation, is proud to announce the 5th Annual New York StartUP! Business Plan Competition for New York-based startup entrepreneurs with cash prizes totaling over $30,000. Entrants gain practical insights about starting and growing a business, while using the comprehensive small business resources at NYPL’s Science, Industry and Business Library (SIBL).

Judging Criteria:

The judges will evaluate each Business Plan based on the following:

1) Content of the plan, including the thoroughness and quality of the analysis 2) Effective use of business information and research

3) Clear communication.

4) Effective use and impact of the prize money

5) Probability of successful launch

6) Community Impact and job creation potential

7) Quality and effectiveness of final presentation (in the event the applicant becomes a finalist and is invited to present)


You must live in Manhattan, The Bronx, or Staten Island. Your business must be in Manhattan, The Bronx, or Staten Island. All businesses must have ideas or business models in the start-up phase and have earned less than $10,000.

Awards & Prizes: Cash prizes of up to $15,000


Citi Foundation & New York Public Library

Year Started: 2010

Previous Winners: Harlem Chocolate Factory, Just Jazzy Cakes, Field & Clover, and many more

Contact Person:

Anne Lehmann


Phone: (917) 275-6975

StartupFEST $200K Investment Prize

Entry Deadline: 7/14/2017

Entry Fee: No fee


We’ve taken the $100k prize, and doubled it. So the investment prize is now $200,000. The best part? One startup may walk away with all of it, or two may split it. It’s up to you to convince the judges

Awards & Prizes:

Up to $200,000 in investment


Service Affaires, Intuit QuickBooks, Fasken Martineau, and many more

2017 U.PITCH

Entry Deadline: Fall 2017

Entry Fee: No fee


U.Pitch brings together the best students from a cross-section of universities in this ultimate elevator pitch competition.

Judging Criteria: N/A

Eligibility: Students

Awards & Prizes: Up to $5,000

Sponsors: Future Founders, Capital One, Accenture, and many more

Year Started: 2014

Previous Winners: Seed Slide, Cocavana, HUK TV, and many more

Contact Person: N/A


Pitch Distilled

Entry Deadline: Varies

Entry Fee: No fee


Pitch Distilled is a multi-city live pitch competition that brings this spirit to life, pairing aspiring entrepreneurs with a diverse cast of judges tasked with helping them kickstart the next big idea. After all, even a great idea could use a little distilling. And with a $5,000 grand prize on the line, the pressure is on.

Judging Criteria: N/A

Eligibility: N/A

Awards & Prizes: $5,000 plus promoted across WIRED channels

Sponsors: WIRED, Jack Daniels, and many more

Year Started: 2017

Previous Winners: N/A

Contact Person: Katie McNally


Global Startup Battle. Powered by Google for Entrepreneurs.

Entry Deadline: Varies

Entry Fee: No fee


GSB was created by the community and serves the community. It's your chance to stand up and show the world what you're all about. Rep your city, rep your region, bring home startup glory, and join a legacy of amazing GSB winners.

Judging Criteria: N/A


Awards & Prizes:

Sponsors: YouTube, Mr. Coffee, Branch Metrics, and many more

Previous Winners: Caleche, Smart Case, Tactile Eyesight, and many more


Getting ready for the pitch.

Pitching is important, but how does one get ready for their moment on stage? One way to be ready is to join an accelerator.


PowerMoves takes a comprehensive approach by supporting entrepreneurs of color from the concept stage all the way through the process of growing a profitable business prepared for an acquisition.

Program Components:

Early Stage Startup Bootcamp - 6-week intensive bootcamps take a learn-by-doing approach through providing 20 - 30 startup founders with the information, guidance, and network necessary to build viable business models designed for exponential growth.

Accelerator for Maturing Companies - annual accelerator supports up to 6 maturing companies with a founder-friendly investment, free office space, coaching, networking, and expert mentorship.

Growth Stage Company Showcase - top entrepreneurs compete for cash-prizes in a room full of potential partners and investors to accelerate their fundraising efforts.

Prospectus / Walker's Legacy

Walker’s Legacy, a global professional collective for women of color, is an organization committed to engaging and equipping career-driven women of color to success in business and entrepreneurship.

PROSPECTUS focuses on providing both the trainings and resources needed to build and scale businesses founded by women-of-color. Applicable business owners can register for the program here.

SCORE Business Mentors

SCORE offers free business mentoring at a location close to you. SCORE volunteer mentors are successful current and former executives and business owners representing many skill areas and industries. Headquartered in Virginia, SCORE has chapters in cities across the U.S., including Chicago, Phoenix, San Francisco, Colorado Springs, New York, Miami, etc.

Click here to find a chapter near you.

#Financing #PitchCompetitions



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