The Competitions & Format

MinutePitch (Fall & Spring Semesters)

View this as a fast-paced, zero risk trial! The UMass MinutePitch is a new event hosted by the UMass Innovation Challenge. It is specifically designed to get you thinking about a novel business idea, and to help you gain feedback and find mentors. If you do not have an idea, but think you may want to join a team for future event, come join us in the audience.

Each pitch is only 60 seconds - no slides, prototypes, or written business plans. Up to 12 finalists will be selected to pitch their ideas to an audience and panel of judges. Presenters will be judged on their passion, completeness, and relevance.

Participation in the UMass MinutePitch is not required in order to compete in other Innovation Challenge contests. That said the experience will be invaluable if you choose to fine-tune your idea and enter the Executive Summary and Elevator Pitch Competition in the Fall.

Teams competing in the MinutePitch are subject to the same eligibility rules, terms and conditions of all Innovation Challenge events, with the following exceptions:

  • Ideas which have won more than $750 in previous Innovation Challenge competitions are not eligible for entry in the MinutePitch event.
  • Teams who are selected to compete in the Spring Mini Plan track of the Innovation Challenge are not eligible to compete in the Spring MinutePitch event.

Executive Summary &
Elevator Pitch Competition (Fall Semester)

Come on-board for the Executive Summary & Elevator Pitch Competition by submitting your Intent to Compete Formby the deadline. If you already competed in the Fall MinutePitch, then just email your interest in continuing by the deadline to declare.

Teams that are selected to compete will be asked to submit a two or three page executive summary and a business model. The judges will review these documents prior to the competition. Mentoring will be available for developing your written documents as well as your pitch.

The night of the competition, each team’s "leader" will have the opportunity to present a two-minute Elevator Pitch to the judges. The judges will ask questions following each team’s presentation. There will be no PowerPoint slides permitted during this competition. Prizes will be made at the discretion of the judges. In past years $10,000 has been awarded to teams during this event.

Mini Plan Competition

Participation in the Spring is independent of participation in IC Fall events. In other words, you need not have competed in the Fall MinutePitch or Executive Summary & Elevator Pitch events in order to participate in the Spring Mini Plan round.

Come on-board for the MiniPlan Competition by submitting your Intent to Compete Form by the deadline. If you already competed in the fall, then just email your interest in continuing by the deadline to declare.

Teams that are selected to compete will be asked to submit a Mini Plan to the panel of judges.  Mini Plans use the provided templates and are less than 5 pages in length. Judges will listen to team pitches and screen the Mini Plans in a closed door setting. This will allow each team the experience of interacting with the judges and the opportunity to receive immediate feedback. No more than 5 teams will be selected to move forward into the Final Business Plan Competition.

Final Business Plan Competition

ONLY the teams selected to move forward from the Mini Plan Competition will compete in the final competition.

At the event, each team will give an 8 minute PowerPoint presentation to the judges and audience members and will display a team poster during the reception. The judging panel will announce prizes at the end of the event. A cash prize of a least $50,000, along with additional prizes, is divided among the top teams as deemed by the judging panel.