The Competitions & Format

Minute Pitch (Fall & Spring Semesters)

View this as a fast-paced, zero risk trial! The UMass Minute Pitch is a new event hosted by the Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship. 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. 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 Minute Pitch 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 Seed Pitch Competition in the Fall.

Teams competing in the Minute Pitch 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 Minute Pitch event.

Seed Pitch Competition (Fall Semester)

Come on-board for the Seed Pitch Competition by submitting your application by the deadline. Within the application, teams will be asked to submit an up to two page executive summary and a completed business model canvas. The judges will review these documents and choose finalists for the competition. A workshop will be available for developing your written documents prior to the deadline. 

The day of the competition, each team will have the opportunity to present five minutes to the judges: a two-minute Elevator Pitch, two-minute description of the team, one-minute explanation of the "ask." The judges will have 10 minutes for 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. Up to $15,000 will be awarded to teams during this event.

Semi-final Round Pitch 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.

Selected teams present their business concepts to a panel of judges behind closed-doors and compete for a slot in the final competition.

Come on-board for the Semi-final Round Pitch Competition by submitting your application (available Spring Semester) by the deadline. 

Judges will select finalistto compete in a closed door setting for a slot in the final Final Shark Tank Competition. 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 Shark Tank Competition.

Final Shark Tank Competition

ONLY the teams selected to move forward from the Semi-Final Round 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.