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Ultimate Guide to Startup Competitions

Startup competitions. The trial-by-fire opportunity that could launch your dream into reality.

You don’t have to win a startup competition to experience the benefits. Each competition that we have carefully researched offers networking and resource opportunities for every participant. But winning sure does come with its perks, too!

In total, the competitions below offer more than $3 million in fuel for your dreams. Ready to grab your piece of the pie?

Additions, Recommendations, and Media

For media, press or blog inquires, and to suggest new competitions for this guide, contact esiemasko@grasshopper.com.

This resource contains:

 


 

Huggies MomInspired Grant Program

ENTRY DEADLINE: 10/1/2013

ENTRY FEE: N/A

DESCRIPTION: The popular diaper company Huggies organizes a yearly grant award program specifically for startups and new product ideas inspired by the themes of moms and motherhood.

JUDGING CRITERIA: Originality and creativity (counts toward 50% of the judging process). Relevancy to the grant theme – solves an important parenting issue (counts toward 25% of the judging process). Potential commercial viability (counts toward 15% of the judging process). Stage of idea/business development (counts toward 10% of the judging process).Whether the applicant adheres to the Eligibility Rules stated above

Eligibility: Eligible applicants are 21 years of age or older and currently reside in the United States. Applicants with business partners are welcome to submit grant proposals as long as those business partners meet the above criteria as well and small businesses and product ideas that nurture the relationship between mother and child.

Awards & Prizes: $15,000 in seed money as well as business resources for further development

Sponsors: Huggies/Kimberely-Clark

Year Started: 2010

Previous Winners: Baby Elephant Ears, Grapple buggyguard, and many more

 


 

Y Combinator Winter 2014 Funding

ENTRY DEADLINE: 10/21/2013

ENTRY FEE: N/A

DESCRIPTION: Demo Day is the culmination of three months of intensive startup building and refinement. The sponsor, Y Combinator, invests a small amount of money in a selected group of startups, flies them to San Francisco, and provides work space, investor meetings, networking and other forms of assistance for the duration, after which – on DemoDay – each startup presents to a large group of well-vetted investors, VCs, angel investors, etc.

JUDGING CRITERIA: Most promising startups based on applications and interviews

Eligibility: Early Startups

Awards & Prizes: up to $20,000 dollars in rewards and the opportunity to present to the investors

Sponsors: Y Combinator, Reddit, Wufoo and many others

Year Started: 2005

Previous Winners: N/A

 


 

NYC Next Idea Competition 2014

ENTRY DEADLINE: 11/11/2013

ENTRY FEE: No fee

DESCRIPTION: The NYC Next Idea 2013-2014: Global New Venture Competition invites teams from around the world to submit their business ideas that can be launched and operated in New York City.

JUDGING CRITERIA: The judging panels, comprised primarily of New York City-based investors, will make their decisions based on which ventures they believe to be most promising and likely to succeed.

Eligibility: All US and international students welcome. Teams must have 2-5 members.  Teams must attest that all team members were actively involved in developing the business idea. All team members must be students or recent alumni (graduated no earlier than October 2012) of an institution of higher education (graduate or undergraduate), anywhere in the world. Teams may consist of members from different schools and/or countries. An individual cannot be a part of more than one team. No individual under the age of 18 is permitted to participate. Business plans must have a strong NYC operational component. Entries will be assessed for their viability in NYC. Teams must not have raised more than $100k in external funding, achieved more than $50k in annual revenue, or been in existence more than 1 year at the time of the entry into the Competition.

Awards & Prizes: Cash pool of over $35000

Sponsors: NYCEDC, Columbia Engineering

Year Started: 2009

Previous Winners: KISI, Stylsize, TaxiTreats, and many others

 


 

The Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership Business Plan Competition 2014

ENTRY DEADLINE: 1/14/2014

ENTRY FEE: 120

DESCRIPTION: The purpose of the Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership Annual Business Plan Competition is to guide you through the process of getting your thoughts about your business out of your head, on to paper, and into an actionable plan.

JUDGING CRITERIA: Based on many factors such as understanding the market, growth and sustainability planning, the development of competitive advantage, the availability of management and skill sets, the strength of vision, and well-defined goals.

Eligibility: Category: For-Profit: Primary business location in New Jersey, 51% active ownership by a minority, woman, or veteran OR primary business location in a New Jersey Urban Enterprise Zone, 2012 revenue < $1 million. No institutional third party investments (excluding bank financing). Category: Non-Profit: New Jersey based non-profit with 501(c)(3) status,2012 revenue < $1 million (exclusion for social ventures). For finalists: all businesses must remain in New Jersey for at least 1 year after the Winner Announcement, or prizes will be forfeited and returned.

Awards & Prizes: By entering the competition, you will not only be eligible to win thousands of dollars worth of prizes, but all finalists will receive a free year of the IFEL Accelerator membership

Sponsors: Trinet, Porzio Broomberg & Newman Attorney at Law, and many others

Year Started: 2006

Previous Winners: SASHE, The Power Breakfast, Gashie, and many more

 


 

Green Idea Factory Competition

ENTRY DEADLINE: 1/15/2014

ENTRY FEE: N/A

DESCRIPTION: By creating and hosting the Green Idea Factory Annual Competition, PiES partners with local high schools to establish an educational competition for students to raise their awareness about recycling, renewable energy, entrepreneurship and green industries.

JUDGING CRITERIA: N/A

Eligibility: N/A

Awards & Prizes: 7000$ is cash prizes and awards

Sponsors: N/A

Year Started: 2009

Previous Winners: N/A

 


 

Hatch Pitch 2014

ENTRY DEADLINE: 1/22/2014

ENTRY FEE: N/A

DESCRIPTION: HATCH pitch is the revolutionary pitch competition for startup companies making life better. We will select 12 finalists to present their business plans to a panel of corporate, angel, and venture investor judges in front of a well-connected audience at SXSW in Austin, TX in March.

JUDGING CRITERIA: N/A

Eligibility: A company’s product / service must have launched no earlier than January 1, 2011. A company’s product / service must have a planned launch no later than June 30, 2014. Companies will be allowed to submit only one product / service to HATCH pitch. Founders of the applying startup must retain some portion of ownership in the company to be eligible to participate. Have raised less than two million dollars in funding from combined sources. The presenter must actively participate in the educational and coaching components of HATCH pitch. Each startup is to be represented by two individuals who are in attendance at check-in time at the event venue. At the designated time, one person will present the startup while the other person will operate the accompanying slide deck. Startups are responsible for covering all costs to attend the event, including SXSW badges for both presenters. Present their pitch using the official software and laptop(s) designated by HATCH pitch. Sign any necessary video or similar releases. If you applied to the SXSW Accelerator, you are welcome to apply for HATCH pitch. However, if you are selected as a finalist or alternate for both events, you will have to choose one or the other. A company cannot present at both HATCH pitch AND SXSW Accelerator.

Awards & Prizes: N/A

Sponsors: Google Developers, ProTexting, Osha Liang LLp, Blue Lance, RQukku and many more

Year Started: 2012

Previous Winners: Distil Networks, Ridescout, Reality Mogul and many more

 


 

North of Boston Business Prize Competition 2014

ENTRY DEADLINE: 1/23/2014

ENTRY FEE: No fee

DESCRIPTION: Designed to encourage companies to start and grow in Essex County and the Merrimack Valley, The Business Plan Competition has a new, 21st century process! The 25- to 30-page business plan is gone! In its place is a new process that recognizes that the success of a business plan depends equally on the quality of the plan and the people who will execute it. Accordingly, our new process puts greater focus on the ability of participants to communicate their business proposition succinctly and effectively, both in writing and in personal presentation

JUDGING CRITERIA: N/A

Eligibility: Businesses with existing professional venture investment are not eligible. Any non-venture funded business is eligible. The business must have plans to grow by at least five full-time employees (FTE’s) in addition to the founder(s) or existing workforce within three years. Non-profit organizations are ineligible. Your business idea must be original work that you’ll be able to fully disclose.

Awards & Prizes: The first place winner will receive $5,000; the second place winner, $3,000; and the third place winner, $2,000.

Sponsors: People’s United Bank, Nixon Peabody, North Shore Bank, Eastern Bank and many more

Year Started: N/A

Previous Winners: The Bridge, Apptomics, Shady Oaks Organics, and many more

 


 

FastPitch competition 2014

ENTRY DEADLINE: 1/27/2014

ENTRY FEE: No fee

DESCRIPTION: If you are a STUDENT, FACULTY, or LOCAL ENTREPRENEUR with an innovative IDEA then FastPitch is for you! This concept allows for entrepreneurs to MAKE a 3-MINUTE PITCH of their innovative venture and be assessed as to the viability of the ventures by local community leaders, academics, and investors. COACHING and FEEDBACK will be provided before, during, and after to better prepare you, your idea, and your presentation of that idea

JUDGING CRITERIA: N/A

Eligibility: All ages, all levels of education, open to the entire South East region

Awards & Prizes: Prize money TBD: $1,000 grand prize is a minimum estimation, $3,000 total prize money is a minimum estimation

Sponsors: Georgia Institue of Technology, Armstrong, The Creative Coast, City of Savannah and many more

Year Started: 2011

Previous Winners:

 


 

Tufts 100k Social and Classic New Venture Competition 2014

ENTRY DEADLINE: 1/29/2014

ENTRY FEE: No fee

DESCRIPTION: The New Tufts Ideas Competition is designed for Tufts students who want validation and support for an early stage idea. This is a great way to test the waters before investing resources to work on an idea. If your idea is further along and ready for funding.

JUDGING CRITERIA: N/A

Eligibility: Applicants to the 2014 Tufts $100k Classic and Social New Ventures Competition must have actively participating executive members in major roles who are one, or more, of the following: Full-time Tufts University undergraduate student, Full-time Tufts University graduate student, Full-time student at Tufts partnership school (School of the Museum of Fine Arts or New England Conservatory) ,Full-time Tufts University faculty, Full-time Tufts University staff, Tufts University recently graduated alumnus (graduated 2008 and beyond).Team Size: The presenting team should not exceed five students. Non-Tufts team members: Non-Tufts team members may be part of the venture’s management team and may participate in planning the venture.  However, the Tufts team member(s) are expected to: Be the driving force behind the new venture, hold an executive role in the venture, own significant equity in the venture. Outside Funding: Teams should not have received over $100,000 in funding (excluding owners’ contribution

Awards & Prizes: $100000 in cash prizes

Sponsors: The Allied Mind, Savoir Media, The Capital Network, Burns Levinson, and many more

Year Started: 2004

Previous Winners:

 


 

The UC Berekely Startup Competition 2014

ENTRY DEADLINE: 1/30/2014

ENTRY FEE:

DESCRIPTION: The UC Berkeley Startup Competition (Bplan) is one of the foremost events for University-affiliated early stage startups. It provides entrepreneurs with the best possible resources – including education, networking, team creation, mentorship and new venture financing – to help turn innovative ideas into real businesses.

JUDGING CRITERIA: Throughout each round of the Competition, entries will be judged along the same five criteria: Attractiveness of business model – Quality of product(s), service(s) and/or solution(s) – Market opportunities and competitive positioning – Team qualifications and experience – Overall attractiveness of the venture.

Eligibility: At least one team member must be a current student, faculty, staff or an alumnus/aof either the University of California at Berkeley or the University of California at San Francisco. There are no restrictions on team size or the number of entries submitted by each person/team. In our experience, teams typically range from two to five people. One person on the team must be designated as the team lead at the time of the Executive Summary submission and thus is authorized to make all decisions on behalf of the team. Participants may be involved in as many teams as they see fit.  However, no concessions will be made by the competition to accommodate any complications, e.g. scheduling or conflicts of interest.  Such decisions shall be the responsibility of the participant. Any finalist team from previous Bplan competitions cannot enter again with the same business idea. I.e. any teams that were rewarded cash prizes are ineligible. However, past competition winners may enter with new business ideas.  Semi-finalists may re-enter with the same company. Teams may add additional members between the Executive Summary and Semi-Final rounds but only until Friday, April 18, 2014.

Awards & Prizes: SEMI-FINALS PRIZES: First place track winners awarded $5,000 each. Second place track winners awarded $2,500 each. FINALS PRIZES: Grand Prize of $20,000 plus the 2014 Grand Prize winner will earn an automatic spot at SkyDeck for six months, beginning in June 2014. PUBLIC FINALS: People’s Choice Prize of $5,000. Elevator Pitch Presentation of $2,500

Sponsors: DOW, UM, Javelin Venture Partners, Lowenstein Sandler, and many more

Year Started: 1999

Previous Winners: Resido Medical, Sweat Guru, Produk.me, and many more

 


 

2014 Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest

ENTRY DEADLINE: 1/31/2014

ENTRY FEE: No fee

DESCRIPTION: The mission of the Governor’s Business Plan Contest is to encourage entrepreneurs in the seed, startup and early growth stages of high-tech businesses in Wisconsin. The contest links up-and-coming entrepreneurs with a statewide network of community resources, expert advice, high-quality education, management talent and possible sources of capital.

JUDGING CRITERIA: BPC judges include investors, academics, experienced entrepreneurs and other professionals interested in the development of high-growth companies that will define Wisconsin’s future

Eligibility: Wisconsin residents 18 years old or older, and who have a business plan that employs or leverages technology. Examples of technology include an e-commerce platform, a life sciences application or an advanced manufacturing process or system. Wisconsin-based firm and/or plan to locate a business in Wisconsin, Have received less than $25,000 in private equity funding for an idea in its current form. For the purposes of this contest, private equity funding includes ONLY angel or venture funding. It does not include SBIR/STTR, bank loans or funding from friends or family who are not angels or venture capitalists.

Awards & Prizes: $100,000 in cash prizes

Sponsors: AT&T, Pieper Properties, Madison Gas & Electric, Cresa Madison and many more

Year Started: 2004

Previous Winners: V-Glass, Peter Petit, Balanz, David Buslee and many more

 


 

Pepperdine Business Plan Competition

ENTRY DEADLINE: 1/31/2014

ENTRY FEE: N/A

DESCRIPTION: Student teams of entrepreneurs face off for a chance to win cash prizes totaling $17,500: a $10,000 grand prize, a $5,000 second-place prize and a $2,500 third-place prize. The first-place winners will have the chance to represent Pepperdine in the California Dreamin’ Competition. A distinguished panel of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists will judge the competition and provide invaluable feedback and networking opportunities to the teams

JUDGING CRITERIA: N/A

Eligibility: http://bschool.pepperdine.edu/bplan/eligibility/

Awards & Prizes: Over $17,500 dollars in cash prizes

Sponsors:

Year Started: 2006

Previous Winners: Uncorked, Memoir Studios, Flynn Acquisitions, LLC and many more

 


 

TowsonGlobal Business Plan Competition

ENTRY DEADLINE: 2/2/2014

ENTRY FEE: N/A

DESCRIPTION: The TowsonGlobal Business Plan Competition is a region wide competition, open to anyone in the Baltimore-Washington area who has an innovative business idea. The goal of this competition is to encourage entrepreneurship, small business growth, and innovation within the region. The winner will receive membership in the incubator valued at $5,000, which includes office space, and mentoring and advisory services, along with a cash prize.

JUDGING CRITERIA: N/A

Eligibility: Pre-start up or early stage innovative businesses or entrepreneurs from the Baltimore-Washington, DC, region (including university faculty, staff and students and the broader community) - A fairly well developed idea or technology  – An interest in receiving practical support to develop the business and open to considering new ideas and suggestions from external advisers - In compliance with all federal, state, and local laws/regulations – Entrants may be submitted by individuals or teams (no minimum or maximum for the amount of people involved)  – Entries generating revenues are allowed to compete, as long as annual revenues do not exceed $500,000. Companies exceeding $500,000 in annual revenues are not eligible – Entries receiving institutional investment from venture capital firms or related professional investors are not eligible – Entries receiving limited grant funding, such as SBIR, TEDCO, or DBED grants, are eligible provided that funding does not exceed $500,000. 

Awards & Prizes: $5000 cash prize along with a 90 day membership at Towson Global

Sponsors: 99 Designs, Score, SC&H Group LLC and many more

Year Started: N/A

Previous Winners: N/A

 


 

New York StartUP! 2014 Business Plan Competition 2014

ENTRY DEADLINE: 2/3/2014

ENTRY FEE: N/A

DESCRIPTION: 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 analysis2) Effective use of business information and research3) Clear communication.4) Effective use and impact of the prize money5) Probability of successful launch6) Community Impact and job creation potential7) Quality and effectiveness of final presentation (in the event the applicant becomes a finalist and is invited to present)

Eligibility: You must be 18 years of age or older, live in Manhattan, The Bronx, or Staten Island as a legal resident or US citizen, and wish to start a business in Manhattan, The Bronx, or Staten Island.  Startup businesses only. Operating businesses that have earned revenue and/or have paid taxes are not eligible. Any business incorporated prior to October 13, 2011 is not eligible to enter. This competition is for For–Profit Businesses ONLY.  Non-profits are NOT eligible. 

Awards & Prizes: 1st Place Award:  $15,000.2nd Place Award: $  7,500 3rd Place Award: $  5,000  4th Place Award:  $ 1,500  5th Place Award:  $ 1,500  

Sponsors: Citi Foundation

Year Started: 2010

Previous Winners: Curatio HCS, Wheatless and Meatless, iEvoke and others

 


 

New Venture Competition 2014

ENTRY DEADLINE: 2/3/2014

ENTRY FEE: No fee

DESCRIPTION: NVC is the premier business competition in the Pacific Northwest. It was founded by the University of Oregon’s Lundquist College of Business to help graduate students make their business plans a reality. We invite students from the best MBA programs worldwide to gather in Portland for an opportunity to get feedback from our world-class judges and gain recognition amongst investors.

JUDGING CRITERIA: N/A

Eligibility: http://nvc.uoregon.edu/team-requirements/eligibility-rules-2/

Awards & Prizes: 50000

Sponsors: PaloAlto Softwware, columbia, Blue Star Gas, and many more

Year Started: N/A

Previous Winners: AGCEREZ, AWAIR,and others

 


 

William James Foundation Sustainable Business Plan Competition 2014

ENTRY DEADLINE: 2/3/2014

ENTRY FEE: $100-$250

DESCRIPTION: Presents an excellent opportunity for entrants to receive high end constructive comments on their sustainable business plans, as well as interact with mentors, make valuable connections, and compete for cash, in-kind prizes and various awards. Winners are selected from both Idea-Phase and Venture-Phase categories in this decade-old contest.

JUDGING CRITERIA: Judged on the quality of the business plan’s product/service, market, strategy, operations, financials, team, presentation, and social and/or environmental impact, along with overall viability.

Eligibility: For-profit companies with defined social and/or environmental goals. Company must be in the planning stage, or must be considering a significant change of direction. Idea-Phase entrants may have customers (or not), but are not (yet) seeking investment from anyone other than friends or family. Venture-Phase entrants should be operating and in search of professional investment.

Awards & Prizes: More than $100,000 in cash prizes

Sponsors: The Acacia Fund, Stiefel Family Foundation, Worldways Social Marketing and many more

Year Started: 2004

Previous Winners: LuminAID, DayOne Response, and many more

 


 

Husky Startup Challenge 2014

ENTRY DEADLINE: 2/5/2014

ENTRY FEE: No fee

DESCRIPTION: Over the course of five boot camps we’ll teach you about how to turn your very own idea into a real, profitable business. At the end of the semester, you will show off your company to the Northeastern community, investors and media at the 9th biannual Demo Day, where the winning teams will receive $5000 in prize money!

JUDGING CRITERIA: 5 days of bootcamp with one day of judging based on the originallity potential Criteria: Feasibility & market opportunity. Growth Potential, Quality and breadth of experience on the team, Ability to withstand and beat competitors, Originality of product, Overall presentation of the pitch, from the plan, to the deck, and the impression given at the time of the final pitch.

Eligibility: Northeastern Students and Alums only

Awards & Prizes: Over $5000 in cash prizes

Sponsors: N/A

Year Started: 2010

Previous Winners: Lens Caddy

 


 

MIT Clean Energy Prize 2014

ENTRY DEADLINE: 2/13/2014

ENTRY FEE: No fee

DESCRIPTION: The MIT Clean Energy Prize (CEP) is a multi-stage, student-organized business plan competitions in which teams compete for a $225,000 Grand Prize and category prizes. University teams from across the United States enter their business ideas in one of three categories: Energy Efficiency –Renewable – Energy Infrastructure & Resources .

JUDGING CRITERIA: If the business is successful, will it have a significant environmental impact? To what degree will the business idea affect the clean energy industry? Has there been a similar idea beforehand? Does the project offer new and creative solutions to solve existing problems in the field? To what extent does it improve existing products or business models currently in the market? To what degree does the business idea change the industry? Is the business model sound and realistic? Does the team have a coherent and well-structured execution plan? Are financial and business growth forecasts realistic? Does the business plan offer realistic assumptions on scaling production of the product? Does the team have clear and viable ideas about how to finance the company? Does the team already have a patent? / Is it viable that the team will acquire IP in the future? Does the team demonstrate thorough knowledge of the market they are entering (e.g. market size, competitive landscape, substitutes, stakeholders, regulatory and policy framework)? Was primary customer research carried out to support market assessment? Does the team demonstrate evidence of demand for product? Does the team understand the customers and their needs? Are there realistic plans to deal with possible competitors? Does the team have a long-term strategy? ·  Does the team have a well-balanced mix of expertise and backgrounds (e.g. technological, entrepreneurial, business, policy)? Are the team members working well together? Are responsibilities spread equally among the various team members? Does the team appear to be committed to stay together for the short to medium term? Does the team have a clear strategy to cope with future growth, including adding new members to the management team, as necessary?

Eligibility: http://cep.mit.edu/structure/rules-conditions-of-eligibility/

Awards & Prizes: Over $350,000 in cash and awards

Sponsors: Nstar, Us Department of Energy, Chevron, Shell and many more

Year Started: 2009

Previous Winners: PicaSolar, Sistine Solar, Upower and many more.

 


 

The UNM Business Plan Challenge 2014

ENTRY DEADLINE: 2/19/2014

ENTRY FEE: No Fee

DESCRIPTION: The UNM Business Plan Competition, held on April 11, 2014, offers students and alumni (since 2007) from UNM the opportunity to compete for a total of $75,000 in startup funds. Teams may compete in one of two tracks, Technology Ventures Track, for startups utilizing IP, and Entrepreneurial Track for generalist startups

JUDGING CRITERIA: N/A

Eligibility: The competition is open to all University of New Mexico students enrolled in at least one course during the summer 2013, fall 2013, or spring 2014 semester and UNM alumni who have graduated after January 1, 2007

Awards & Prizes: $25000 for the first place, $15000 for the second place and $10000 for the third place

Sponsors: U S Bank, NM Technology Council, Peacock Myers P.C, and many more

Year Started: 2007

Previous Winners: Don Chalmers Ford, City of Alberquerque Economic Development Department and many more

 


 

TechCrunch Disrupt ( Startup Battlefield ) NY 2014

ENTRY DEADLINE: 2/20/2014

ENTRY FEE: N/A

DESCRIPTION: On May 5-7, TechCrunch will be bringing Disrupt back to New York City to reveal an all new slate of outstanding startups, influential speakers, guests and more to the stage

JUDGING CRITERIA: Startups judged on their “wow” factor, innovation, and potential change for and growth in sector.

Eligibility: At time of application submission startups must be live for less than three months. Companies that have presented at other public launch events are not eligible.

Awards & Prizes: $50,000 prize and the “Disrupt Cup”

Sponsors: Younoodle, Sequoia Capitalm, Eventbrite, ChallengePost and many more

Year Started: 2011

Previous Winners: Mint.com, Dropbox, Yammer and many more

 


 

Rice Business Plan Competition 2014

ENTRY DEADLINE: 2/21/2014

ENTRY FEE: No fee

DESCRIPTION: The competition is designed to give collegiate entrepreneurs a real-world experience to fine tune their business plans and elevator pitches to generate funding to successfully commercialize their product. Judges will evaluate the teams as real-world entrepreneurs soliciting start-up funds from early stage investors and venture capital firms.

JUDGING CRITERIA: The judges are asked to rank the presentations based on which company they would most likely invest. 76% of judges surveyed considered investing in a team that presented at the 2013 RBPC or referred a team to a third-party investor.

Eligibility: http://alliance.rice.edu/Eligibility/

Awards & Prizes: Chance to receive mentoring from investors and experienced entrepreneurs, Scheduled opportunities to network with potential venture capitalists and other investors for three days, High caliber of judges, all senior level investors, entrepreneurs and industry leaders, Opportunities to receive individual feedback during 3 separate sessions, 2013: $1.5 Million + in prize money was awarded with all teams winning at least one cash award.

Sponsors: FORTUNE, Shell, NASDAQ, Mercury Fund, and many more

Year Started: 2001

Previous Winners:

 


 

The Amazing entrepreneur Contest 2014

ENTRY DEADLINE: 2/21/2014

ENTRY FEE: N/A

DESCRIPTION: The 4th Annual Amazing Entrepreneur Business Plan Competition is an initiative by Gwinnett Chamber Economic Development and The University of Georgia Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to foster new business development in Gwinnett County. Contestants enter their small business plan summaries for an opportunity to win big prizes to support their start up.

JUDGING CRITERIA: N/A

Eligibility:

Awards & Prizes: Cash prizes given out to the winner

Sponsors: Jackson Electric Membership Corporation, The Myers Group

Year Started: 2011

Previous Winners: Cubevibe, Eleven

 


 

Arch Grants Startup Competition

ENTRY DEADLINE: 2/21/2014

ENTRY FEE: N/A

DESCRIPTION: Arch Grants is a startup competition that awards $50,000 grants to startups that are in St. Louis or that are willing to relocate to St. Louis.

JUDGING CRITERIA: Each startup submits data via a quarterly report submitted to Arch Grants before additional disbursements are made. We track such things as jobs created, revenue generated, contracts closed, patents applied for/accepted, and capital attracted.

Eligibility: Yes, staff and board members of Arch Grants and their immediate family members (spouse, child, parent, sibling) are ineligible to apply for an Arch Grant.

Awards & Prizes: $50,000 grants to all winners

Sponsors: Bank Of America, World Wide Technology, Stifel and many more

Year Started: N/A

Previous Winners:

 


 

Innotribe Startup Challenge 2014

ENTRY DEADLINE: 2/23/2014

ENTRY FEE: No fee

DESCRIPTION: Launched by SWIFT, the Innotribe Startup Challenge introduces financial industry decision makers and early-stage investors to the emerging innovations poised to transform the financial services industry. The Challenge is a year-round program that features three regional showcases in the US, Asia, and Europe where participants gather for fast-paced company pitches, insightful discussion of emerging innovations, and social networking events.

JUDGING CRITERIA: Challenge Judges, who include angel and venture investors, fintech and financial services entrepreneurs and technology industry executives, as well as senior executives from the financial industry, bring years of experience working with startups and innovations in the financial industry

Eligibility: The Challenge is open to innovative technology and technology-enabled financial services companies from any geography and of any stage working in areas such as payments, securities, trading, social media tools, big data/data analytics, security, identity, b2b or b2b2c mobile, small business apps & services &/or IT infrastructure. Consulting and outsourcing firms are not eligible. Eligible ‘Startup’ companies will be less than 3-years old and have no more than $1M in combined revenue and investment in the last 12 months. Eligible ‘Innovator’ companies may be of any level of maturity, revenue or funding, but must be proposing products or services that are largely ‘under the radar’. All applicants must also: Be able to clearly explain why banks or other organizations in the financial industry are ideal customers or partners. Have a demonstrable “beta” product (no concept or idea stage companies, products or services).Have the financial resources required to cover the costs as described below. Applicants may be physically located anywhere in the world. Applicants not selected as semi-finalists for a given Showcase may reapply to be evaluated for subsequent Showcases.

Awards & Prizes: $50,000 in prizes

Sponsors: HP, SWIFT, SAP, Invest NI and others

Year Started: 2009

Previous Winners: Waratek, Playmoolah, Klickex and others

 


 

New York Young Entrepreneur Challenge

ENTRY DEADLINE: 2/28/2014

ENTRY FEE: No fee

DESCRIPTION: business pitch competition to win up to $10,000 in start-up funding, mentorship and additional support essential for starting a business.Online entries are judged by a panel esteemed entrepreneurs. Top scoring applicants will then be invited to present a live business pitch to a panel, after which one prizewinner is identified in each of the two competition tracks, Student and Entrepreneur.

JUDGING CRITERIA: N/A

Eligibility: Budding entrepreneurs aged 17-22 who either live in New York or are enrolled as an undergraduate student at an accredited New York college or university will be eligible to compete.

Awards & Prizes: Cash prize of $20,000

Sponsors: CapitalOne, Sprint, RiverRoad and many more

Year Started: 2013

Previous Winners:

 


 

2014 French American Entrepreneurship Award

ENTRY DEADLINE: 2/28/2014

ENTRY FEE: No fee

DESCRIPTION: The French-American Entrepreneurship Award – the sixth annual business plan competition that recognizes young francophone entrepreneurs launching businesses in the United States.

JUDGING CRITERIA: N/A

Eligibility: – Open to company founders who are 35 years of age or under and are fluent in both French and English- Geared to early stage projects (three years or less in business) – Project must offer a product or service that is commercially viable with a demonstrated ability to generate revenues

Awards & Prizes: $10,000 in cash prizes

Sponsors: French American Chamber of Commerce, Club 600, Deloitte, and many others

Year Started: 2008

Previous Winners: Poutsch, Tomi Otee, Les Caneles de Celine, and many more

 


 

The Big Sell

ENTRY DEADLINE: 3/1/2014

ENTRY FEE: N/A

DESCRIPTION: The top 50 applicants will be selected to pitch their idea on March 29th, 2014. Every applicant who is selected will have two minutes to sell their idea to a large audience that electronically votes for the best ideas and a panel of judges. Those that make it to the final round will have another two minutes to pitch their idea and the judges will have two minutes to ask the team questions. There will be two winners from each of the three categories that will share the prizes.

JUDGING CRITERIA: Innovative nature of the idea (why will your idea work?)Economic impact of the idea Likelihood that this idea will make it to market and what it will take (money, etc.). Credibility (knowledge and experience) of the presenters and their ability to bring the idea to market. All completed applications will be reviewed by a committee which will then select the top 50 ideas to compete on March 23, 2013

Eligibility: Ideas submitted to this competition may come from an individual or a team from anywhere in the United States. •There is no limit to the number of members on a team, but team entrants must select one team member (a spokesperson) to present the idea. Any area of business is valid. Must select under which category the team will compete. All ideas must be original work or an improvement upon an existing idea without infringements. •If the applicants are involved in an existing venture or company, the existing venture must have only been established for a year or less at the time of the competition

Awards & Prizes: total prizes over $120,000

Sponsors: The Idea Factory, Purdue University, Hammond development Corporation and many more

Year Started: 2011

Previous Winners: JT Wangercyn, Keith schroeder, Paul Foese, and many more

 


 

CU Clean Tech New Venture Challenge 2014

ENTRY DEADLINE: 3/2/2014

ENTRY FEE: No fee

DESCRIPTION: The spark of an idea is all it takes to start down a path that can make a real impact & difference in the world. The CU Cleantech New Venture Challenge can help foster the most creative and innovative ideas into viable business plans.

JUDGING CRITERIA: Market Validation & Analysis – Industry Attractiveness – Product Solution – Business Model – Risk Vs Talent – Presentation Quality.

Eligibility: 1) At least 50% of the team members must be current students 2) At least 20% of the company equity must be held by current students 3) Businesses must utilize a technology related to renewable energy or energy efficiency

Awards & Prizes: 100,000$ Cash and 40 hrs of commecialization for the winner who comes in first, 40 hours of commercialization and all fees waived for the NREL industry growth forum for second and third placed winners.

Sponsors: US Department of energy, Leeds School of Buiness, Navigant Consulting, and many more

Year Started: N/A

Previous Winners: Inviroment, EBULLIENT, Pure Current and many more

 


 

MIT 100k Entrepreneurship Competition 2014

ENTRY DEADLINE: 3/7/2014

ENTRY FEE: No fee

DESCRIPTION: The Pitch Contest (former Elevator Pitch Contest) is the first of three contests hosted by the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition. It’s about idea generation, connecting with others who have similar interests, and learning how to present your pitch to a potential investor in a moment’s notice. 60 seconds for a chance to win $5,000!

JUDGING CRITERIA: No info

Eligibility: Ideas that have won any money in any previous $100K competition are not eligible for re-entry. Entries must be the original work of the entrant. Entries are subject to the following funding requirements: By submitting a business idea, you represent and warrant to the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition that you have all right, title and/or interest in the business idea submitted and the information you present is accurate and complete. Teams must disclose any funding already received at the time of registration. Teams must not have accepted any institutional funding for the idea being presented (i.e. the team cannot have sold equity to anyone outside the team – including non-managing founders). Any source of funding that has an equity ownership component, including funding from non-managing founders, is considered institutional. Teams must not have accepted any non-institutional funding in excess of $15,000. Non-institutional funding includes contests, grants, friends and family, bank loans, etc., where there is no equity ownership associated with the funding, but an exchange of money or promise/contract to exchange has occurred. There are forms of funding that may fall into a “gray area.” In these cases, the MIT $100K Organizing Committee will deliberate on the eligibility and communicate the decision to the team. The decision of the Organizing Committee on the eligibility of the entrant is final and cannot be appealed. Failure to disclose any “gray area” form of funding for Committee approval will result in automatic disqualification from all rounds of the MIT $100K competition. By submitting to the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition you are not and will not be violating any contract or third party rights including any patent, copyright, trade secret, proprietary or confidential information, trademark, publicity or privacy right The Organizing Committee of the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition reserves the right to disqualify any entry that, in its judgment, violates the letter or the spirit of the Competition guidelines, processes and rules of the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition. The decisions of the Committee are final and binding. Max of seven people per startup and at least 1 MIT student per group.

Awards & Prizes: 100$ worth of prizes

Sponsors: BCG, WlimerHale, KPMY, MOO, Version 2.0 communications.

Year Started: 1990

Previous Winners: C-Create, Ksplice, SmartCells, Robospy, Balico and many more.

 


 

The Startup Challenge 2014

ENTRY DEADLINE: 3/10/2014

ENTRY FEE: No fee

DESCRIPTION: The Startup Challenge and our educational, government, business and institutional partners have put together a process that we hope serves you and your new or emerging business, and at the same time helps to showcase the vibrant start-up environment of the Monterey Bay Crescent and its tri-county region.

JUDGING CRITERIA: Judges will be a panel of experienced investors.

Eligibility: Anyone is aEligible but if they are under 21, their legal guardians must sign the entry form.

Awards & Prizes:

Sponsors: Peterson communications, Barich Business Services, Santa Cruz Tech Beat, and many more

Year Started: N/A

Previous Winners: N/A

 


 

N100 Startup Competition

ENTRY DEADLINE: 3/14/2014

ENTRY FEE: No fee

DESCRIPTION: Launched in 2013, N100 is a Startup Competition led by Northumberland CFDC in partnership with Spark Centre and a high-level Power Panel. Through three Rounds (The Pitch, Business Planning and Negotiation) N100 startups compete for $100,000 in investment capital to support key milestones in the development of their company, such as: prototyping, testing and validation. The process (from March to July, 2014) is designed to accelerate high growth potential startups and to position them for follow-on angel investment and venture capital.

JUDGING CRITERIA: The startups must have: 1) Large addressable markets. 2) Growth potential/scalability. 3) Competitive advantage.4) an excellent, credible team who will roll up their sleeves and make things happen.5) the potential to impact job creation, economic development and future prosperity in Northumberland, Ontario, Canada.

Eligibility: To compete, you must have an idea that involves a plan to commercialize a new product or service. Entries may be submitted by individuals, partnerships or corporations. No matter where you are located right now, you are eligible for the N100 Startup Competition. The winner must ultimately incorporate and establish operations in Northumberland in order to be eligible for the $100,000 investment.

Awards & Prizes: $100,000 in investment capital

Sponsors: Northumberland Community Futures Development Corporation

Year Started: 2013

Previous Winners: Unified Computer Intelligence Corporation

 


 

The Carnegie Mellon Venture Challenge

ENTRY DEADLINE: 3/18/2014

ENTRY FEE: No fee

DESCRIPTION: The Carnegie Mellon Venture Challenge is an annual undergraduate only business plan competition. This year’s competition will feature $12,000 in prizes and is sponsored by Meyer, Unkovic & Scott, The Pittsburgh Venture Capital Association, and CMU’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. 

JUDGING CRITERIA: N/A

Eligibility: The Carnegie Mellon Venture Challenge is open to all undergraduate students. There are no restrictions on major, school, or location.

Awards & Prizes: $12000 worth of cash prizes and legal services

Sponsors: Meyer, Unkovic &Scott, Pittsburgh Venture Capital Association and Carnegie Mellon University Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Year Started: N/A

Previous Winners: Midnight Madness Distilling, Ujuzi, Samambu, Set Trekand xerkie.com

 


 

Rhode Island Business Plan Competition 2014

ENTRY DEADLINE: 3/31/2014

ENTRY FEE: No fee

DESCRIPTION: The Rhode Island Business Plan Competition has been organized to promote entrepreneurship and the development of start-up and early stage companies in Rhode Island by encouraging submission of plans of original business concepts that will lead to the development of new growth businesses in Rhode Island.

JUDGING CRITERIA: The judges will rely on the following criteria in judging the Competition:1) The commercial potential of the business, with high-potential, growth oriented businesses likely to be viewed more favorably. 2) The innovative nature and technical feasibility of the idea. 3) The likelihood that the business described in the plan can achieve a sustainable, competitive advantage. 4) The credibility of the individuals behind the proposal.

Eligibility: Entrepreneur track — Open to any entrepreneur or would-be entrepreneur, 18 years of age or older.Student track — Open to any student, 18 years of age or older, enrolled in and attending an accredited college or university at the undergraduate or graduate level. All key members of the team must be students. Technology award — Open to anyone, 18 years of age or older, who is developing a technology related business

Awards & Prizes: Cash and in-kind services over $200,000 (last year)

Sponsors: University of RI, Davol Inc., Bank Of America, Bryant University, Brown University and many more.

Year Started: 2001

Previous Winners: Haverhill Inc., Azavy, TennisHub, and many more.

 


 

International Business Model Competition

ENTRY DEADLINE: 3/31/2014

ENTRY FEE: No fee

DESCRIPTION: The International Business Model Competition represents a radical departure from the past and the crest of a new paradigm in entrepreneurship. The IBMC is not a business plan competition. Participants won’t be rewarded for doing research, creating fancy graphs, writing an archaic business plan, or crafting the perfect VC investor pitch. Instead the IBMC rewards students for: 1. breaking down their idea into the key business model assumptions, 2. getting outside the building and testing their assumptions with customers, 3. applying Customer Development / Lean Startup principles to make sure they nail the pain and solution, and, 4. learning to pivot (change) until they have arrived at a customer-validated business model.

JUDGING CRITERIA: http://www.businessmodelcompetition.com/judging-criteria.html

Eligibility: STUDENT TEAM: Competing teams should consist of at least 2 and no more than 5 degree-seeking students who are enrolled part-time (minimum of 6 credit hours) or full-time in a semester during the competition year. In general, a member of the student team should be CEO, COO, or President of the venture, or members of the student team should occupy 50% or more of the functional area management positions that report directly to the CEO, COO, or President. OWNERSHIP: The student team must have a minimum of 20% ownership in the venture. CONTROL: The student team must control a minimum of 51% of the venture’s voting rights. The IBMC organizers recommend maintaining this control for at least 2 years beyond the date of the competition. REVENUE: Because revenue is often the best form of validation, minimal revenues gained in the process of validation are allowable for the competition. Excessive revenues will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the IBMC organizers. INVESTMENT: No more than $100,000 will be allowed from friends and family, debt (any source — convertible, venture, traditional), and accelerators. Any convertible debt must be in the form of a standard debt note with a separate agreement specifying the rules for conversion. Conversion cannot occur for at least 2 years from the date of the competition.  NATURE OF VENTURE: Ventures cannot be a buyout, an expansion of an existing company, a real estate syndication, a tax shelter, a franchise, a licensing agreement for distribution in a different geographical area, or a spin-out from an existing corporation. Licensing technologies from universities or research labs is encouraged, assuming they have not been commercialized previously. PRIOR ACTIVITY: Ventures may compete in the IBMC only once.

Awards & Prizes: $100,000 in cash prizes

Sponsors: Brigham Young University, Harvard University and Stanford University

Year Started: 2011

Previous Winners: XoomPark, Gamgnat, Adviral, SocialMed and many more

 


 

Shopify Build a Business

ENTRY DEADLINE: 3/31/2014

ENTRY FEE: $29-$179

DESCRIPTION: Shopify hosts a competition for online entrepreneurs to think up a product idea, create an online shop and then successfully market and sell the product. Entrants receive mentorship from four well-known, successful entrepreneurs as well as guidance and advice from the Shopify community.

JUDGING CRITERIA: The four Shopify stores that sell the most over a two-month period, through a certain date.

Eligibility: Shopify stores opened after during a certain time period.

Awards & Prizes: $50,000 in cash prizes plus an all inclusive trip to meet your mentor in New York and a complete Shopify Package

Sponsors:

Year Started: 2010

Previous Winners: Coffe Joulies, DODOcase, GameKlip, GoldieBlox and many more

 


 

MassChallenge Startup Accelerator 2014

ENTRY DEADLINE: 4/2/2014

ENTRY FEE: $49-$99

DESCRIPTION: MassChallenge connects entrepreneurs with the resources they need to launch and succeed immediately. It is the largest-ever startup accelerator, and the first to support high-impact, early-stage entrepreneurs with no strings attached.

JUDGING CRITERIA: Round 1 judging (online reviews, March and April) and Round 2 judging (in person, May) determine which teams get into the accelerator program.  Final judging occurs at the end of the accelerator in October and determines the winners.

Eligibility: Anyone can enter MassChallenge, with any startup idea, from anywhere around the world (including non-profits). Startups do not need to originate or headquarter in Massachusetts. To qualify, your company must be a seed- or early-stage startup. As we define it, this means you probably haven’t raised over $500K of investment, and probably don’t have more than $1M in annual revenue. You can still apply if you exceed these guidelines – a special judging panel will review your application to determine if you are ‘early stage.Teams are required to attend events and meetings in Massachusetts in person as part of the Accelertor Program. Therefore, non-US entrants will need to demonstrate viable accessibility to the United States for the duration of the Acclerator Program; i.e., access to visas and funding for travel starting in mid-June and extending through mid-October. MassChallenge can work with entrants to facilitate access to visas, sponsorship and/or local accommodations, but we make no guarantees.

Awards & Prizes: Winning companies receive grants in amounts of either $100,000 or $50,000

Sponsors: Verizon, Microsoft, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Fidelity and many more.

Year Started: 2010

Previous Winners: 99°Custom, Hemova Medical, AMS QI, 3dim, Moneythink and many more.

 


 

Qprize Qualcomm Venture Seed Investment Competition

ENTRY DEADLINE: 4/18/2014

ENTRY FEE: No fee

DESCRIPTION: QPrize™ is Qualcomm Ventures’ Seed investment competition. It’s designed to provide entrepreneurs their first level of funding so they can launch their idea into a successful start-up business. We are looking for bright, energetic and resourceful entrepreneurs who have a passion for bringing new technologies and services to market. Our goal is to have QPrize act as a catalyst for our winners, providing the initial capital to launch their great ideas and support the company to its first institutional funding round.

JUDGING CRITERIA: N/A

Eligibility: QPrize is open to all persons who are 18 years or older and who are citizens or legal residents in any country in any of the seven regions where the competitions are being held. Contestants may only submit one business plan and must select the region in which they will set-up and operate their business. Winners will be required to incorporate their companies prior to distribution of funds. Entrepreneurs and start-ups that have raised less than $2 million may apply to this competition.

Awards & Prizes:

Sponsors: N/A

Year Started: 2009

Previous Winners: Mighty Text

 


 

NH Startup Challenge 2014

ENTRY DEADLINE: 4/22/2014

ENTRY FEE: N/A

DESCRIPTION: The MYPN NH Startup Challenge is open to any granite state resident with an idea. Applicants must be a New Hampshire resident and an owner or founder of a business. Startup’s must be for-profit, have been in existence for less than three years, have raised under $100,000 in funding and generated under $100,000 in 2013 revenue.

JUDGING CRITERIA: Market Opportunity – is there a clear market need presented and way to take advantage of it? Distinctive Competence – company provides some novel/unique/special that gives it a competitive advantage in its market. Management capability – team can effectively develop the company and handle the risks associated with the venture. Financial understanding – team has a solid understanding of financial requirements of the business. Investment potential – business represents a real investment opportunity in which you would consider investing. Pitch – pitch performance.

Eligibility: The MYPN NH Startup Challenge is open to any granite state resident with an idea. Applicants must be a New Hampshire resident and an owner or founder of a business. Startup’s must be for-profit, have been in existence for less than three years, have raised under $100,000 in funding and generated under $100,000 in 2013 revenue.

Awards & Prizes:

Sponsors: Dyn, Cook Little Rosenblatt & Manson , GY&K, Good Leads

Year Started: N/A

Previous Winners: Gear Freedom

 


 

LeanStartup Challenge 2014

ENTRY DEADLINE: 9/14/2014

ENTRY FEE: 100

DESCRIPTION: Over a four week span, the Boston-based business plan competition sees selected entrants compete to grow their new or existing idea into marketable shape. The top five competitors then face off to demonstrate their knowledge and application of business methodologies.

JUDGING CRITERIA: Lean Startup Challenge is a six week business model competition in Boston for early to seed stage startups based on the Lean Startup Method by Eric Ries.

Eligibility: Early to seed stage start-ups.

Awards & Prizes: 20,000$ in cash prizes among the top three winners

Sponsors: Grasshopper.com, WorkBar, NorthBay Solutions and many more.

Year Started: 2011

Previous Winners: Avalanche Energy, Starfish, Offered Local.

 


 

Dell Social Innovation Challenge

ENTRY DEADLINE: 9/23/2014

ENTRY FEE: No fee

DESCRIPTION: The Dell Social Innovation Challenge is open year-round to new user profiles and student projects. The challenges have three rounds of competition: Entry round, Semi-Final round, and the Final round. All projects posted by the entry deadline will be reviewed for potential advancement to the Semi-Final Round. Projects posted after that are eligible for future competitions and our year-round resources.

JUDGING CRITERIA: The judging is based on: clarity of the innovation and significance of social impacts potentials, Demonstration of a high probability of success, Potential impact from winning DSIC.

Eligibility: You are 16 years of age or older; and if you are 16 years of age or older, but are considered a minor in your place of residence, then you should ask your parent’s or legal guardian’s permission prior to submitting an entry into this Competition you are actively enrolled as a student at an accredited educational institution that grants college/university (or equivalent) degrees at any time through May 31, 2013, or have graduated with a degree from an accredited educational institution in the fall semester of 2012; and you are not an employee or intern of the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service, the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin, Dell, Inc., or a Dell subsidiary; and you are not involved in any part of the execution or administration of this Competition; and you are not an immediate family member of (parent, sibling, spouse, child) or household member of an RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service employee, an LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin employee, an employee of Dell Giving, or a person involved in any part of the administration and execution of this Competition; and you are not a resident of any of the following countries: Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria.

Awards & Prizes: Over 350,000$ of prizes and awards

Sponsors: Dell Inc., Tomberg Family Philanthropies, MFI Foundation

Year Started: 2008

Previous Winners: The Bridge, Apptomics, Shady Oaks Organics, and many more

 


 

1776 Challenge Cup

ENTRY DEADLINE: Either October, December (2013) or January (2014) depending on the city

ENTRY FEE: No Fee

DESCRIPTION: The Challenge Cup is a global competition to identify and celebrate the most promising startups tackling the biggest challenges. The competition will center on startups innovating in four primary categories: education, health, energy and smart cities.

JUDGING CRITERIA: One winner in each category will be chosen in each of 16 cities around the world based on importance of the problem addressed, clarity & feasibility of solution and ability to implement and scale it with a reasonable financial plan. Those winners will advance to compete in Washington D.C.

Eligibility: Scalable product or service already in the market, evidence of traction (for example: active users, enterprise customers, or revenue), less than 3 years old, raised less than $1.5 million in capital, company fits in to health, energy, education, or smart cities

Awards & Prizes: $650,000 in total prizes and the overall winner will receive a $150,000 prize, all in forms of investments

Sponsors: American Airlines, Pearson, Microsoft and many more

Year Started: 2013

Previous Winners: No Past Winners

 


 

Spirit of Innovation Challenge 2014

ENTRY DEADLINE: 10/24/2014

ENTRY FEE: N/A

DESCRIPTION: The Conrad Foundation’s Spirit of Innovation Challenge invites high school students and their coaches (teachers, parents) to Get Their Genius On during its annual competition. Using science, technology, engineering and math skills, teams develop innovative products to help solve global and local problems while supporting global sustainability

JUDGING CRITERIA: N/A

Eligibility: The Spirit of Innovation Challenge invites students ages 13 – 18 from around the globe in teams of 2-5 members and one coach. All submission entries are completed on our online community. The final stage is then held in Houston, Texas at Nasa Johnson Space Center.

Awards & Prizes: $50,000 in cash prizes

Sponsors: PEPSICO, Mondelez, Griffin Communications Group and many more

Year Started: 2008

Previous Winners: Aerospace Exploration, Cyber Security and Clean Energy and many more

 


 

PASSHE Business Plan Competition 2013-2014

ENTRY DEADLINE: 11/30/2014

ENTRY FEE: No fee

DESCRIPTION: The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) Student Business Plan Competition Committee is looking for state system students who are interested in starting or growing their own business

JUDGING CRITERIA: N/A

Eligibility: A team of contestants must be comprised of 100% PASSHE students as described above, however they don’t all have to come from the same PASSHE institution the proposed venture may be either a for-profit or not-for-profit enterprise. An eligible pre-venture or early stage business is one that: Has been operating for three years or less, and has $25,000 or less in annual sales and cumulative sales over the last three years (2011-2013) of $75,000 or less. An individual or team who has previously received third-party funding must disclose the amount when completing the venture profile. The contestants must own the intellectual property they propose to make, distribute or sell in the venture profile.

Awards & Prizes: Over $17,000 in cash prizes for the top three places

Sponsors: F&M Trust, PSECU

Year Started: 2011

Previous Winners: N/A

 


 

The Hult Prize 2014

ENTRY DEADLINE: 12/17/2014

ENTRY FEE: No fee

DESCRIPTION: The Hult Prize is a start-up accelerator for budding young social entrepreneurs emerging from the world’s universities. Named as one of the top five ideas changing the world by President Bill Clinton and TIME Magazine, the annual competition for the the Hult Prize aims to identify and launch the most compelling social business ideas—start-up enterprises that tackle grave issues faced by billions of people. Winners receive USD 1 million in seed capital, as well as mentorship and advice from the international business community.

JUDGING CRITERIA: N/A

Eligibility: a team of 4 -5 students

Awards & Prizes: 1 million dollars in startup funding

Sponsors: Hult Business School, Clinton Global Initiative, and many more

Year Started: 2010

Previous Winners: Global Poverty, Clean Water Crisis, and many more

 


 

IdeaMSU

ENTRY DEADLINE: N/A

ENTRY FEE: N/A

DESCRIPTION: i.d.e.a.MSU is a competition designed to provide Midwestern State University students with a business idea the opportunity to hone their idea, get valuable advice and win some money to get started. The contest operates in two steps: During the first step, teams’ submit their four-page (maximum) business plan. From those plans the judges pick six finalists, who then make an oral presentation to the judges on May 9th. The judges pick the winners based on those presentations.

JUDGING CRITERIA: N/A

Eligibility: 2013-2014 (academic year) undergraduate and graduate students from all Midwestern State University colleges are invited to submit business proposals and compete for prizes.

Awards & Prizes: Over $3000 dollars of cash prizes

Sponsors: N/A

Year Started: N/A

Previous Winners: N/A

 


 

FAU business Plan Competition 2014

ENTRY DEADLINE: N/A

ENTRY FEE: No fee

DESCRIPTION: Welcome to Florida Atlantic University (FAU) Business Plan Competition. The competition is offered each spring semester. All students, faculty, and entrepreneurs within the community may be eligible to participate. The competition is hosted by the Adams Center for Entrepreneurship (ACE) and the College of Business in Boca Raton, Florida designed to impact the local economy through the spirit of entrepreneurism.

JUDGING CRITERIA: Go To Website

Eligibility: Go To Website

Awards & Prizes: Cash prizes and mentoring for the winners

Sponsors: Research park at FAU, Interactive, Gunster and many more

Year Started: 2009

Previous Winners: Stadson Tech, Reverb Music Supply, Shop-on-the-go.com and many others

 


 

International Startup Competitions

 

Axel Spring Plug & Play Accelerator

ENTRY DEADLINE: 14th of Febuary 2014

ENTRY FEE: N/A

DESCRIPTION: Launched in 2013, the Axel Springer Plug & Play Accelerator is a Berlin-based accelerator looking for digital entrepreneurs. They provide global opportunities from day one, through their international network in Europe and Silicon Valley.

JUDGING CRITERIA: N/A

Eligibility: N/A

Awards & Prizes: 25,000 euros in investment

Sponsors: N/A

Year Started: 2013

Previous Winners: 101 Media, Blogfoster and many more

 


 

Wayra UK 2014

ENTRY DEADLINE: 23rd of Febuary 2014

ENTRY FEE: N/A

DESCRIPTION: Wayra is Telefónica’s startup accelerator programme, created to find and nurture the best technological ideas and talent. Originally launched in 2011 in Latin America, Wayra Academies are now operating in the Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, Spain and the UK, offering state-of-the-art workspaces where entrepreneurs can develop their fledgling business and feed off each other

JUDGING CRITERIA: N/A

Eligibility: N/A

Awards & Prizes: €50,000 in financing, as well as mentoring, access to technology expertise within Telefónica and O2 and use of the new Wayra Academy in London.

Sponsors: Nokia, Microsoft, PayPal and many more

Year Started:

Previous Winners:

 


 

WOMEN IN BUSINESS CHALLENGE 2014

ENTRY DEADLINE: 1st of March 2014

ENTRY FEE: N/A

DESCRIPTION: The competition is open to women entrepreneurs of emerging countries who have created a business plan, which fulfills the eligibility and evaluation criteria. Receive feedback and support in writing your business plan – Access our coaching program – Win a business trip for training, b2b and investor meetings – Get access to a network of more than 50,000 like-minded entrepreneurs, coaches and investors -Compete for a €5,000 prize.

JUDGING CRITERIA: N/A

Eligibility: To participate in this competition, women entrepreneurs should submit a business plan online for a for-profit business. They should have a financial need of US$10,000 to US$1,000,000 over the next three years. Their business should have a positive social and/or environmental impact. The business should be located or have impact in an emerging market.

Awards & Prizes: 5,000 euros in prizes

Sponsors: ING, BID Netwrok, BID x and many more

Year Started: 2009

Previous Winners: reelfruit, BIOPRO, and many more

 


 

MENA 100 Business Plan Competition

ENTRY DEADLINE: N/A

ENTRY FEE: N/A

DESCRIPTION: the MENA 100 Business Plan Competition supports and inspires innovative entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North Africa. MENA 100 rewards innovative and feasible business ideas and connects the entrepreneurs behind them with sources of finance and business contacts in MENA and OECD economies. MENA 100 also encourages entrepreneurial spirit by putting regional talent into the spotlight and by exposing outstanding business initiatives.

JUDGING CRITERIA: competitors in the new business category are judged on the quality of their business ideas and potential for growth. Existing businesses are judged on the strength of their business models and evidence of high-growth strategies

Eligibility: http://www.mena100.org/eligibility-criteria.php

Awards & Prizes: $30,000 in prizes

Sponsors: Enterprise Financing Network, MENA, UNIDO, Bahrain Economic Development Board

Year Started: 2009

Previous Winners: Learning Arabia, Fascila Limited, Vastry and many others

 


 

Sanoma Startup Challenge

ENTRY DEADLINE: N/A

ENTRY FEE: N/A

DESCRIPTION: Innovation is altering our reality in every (un)imaginable way. We’re open to whatever may come and we’re very keen on supporting those startups that tackle issues that are outside the row of “usual suspects” (social media, corporate technology, etc.). We believe that the unexotic underclass needs innovation too and that entrepreneurs could do a great deal of good there. That’s why we wanted to let you know that there’s a startup challegne taking place in Amsterdam during The Next Web Conference, on 23rd-25th of April 2014, called: Sanoma Startup Challenge: Learning.

JUDGING CRITERIA: N/A

Eligibility: The competition is open to any EU based EdTech startups

Awards & Prizes: 25,000 euros in cash prizes

Sponsors: N/A

Year Started: 2013

Previous Winners: N/A