Learn everything you need to know about the Spring '14 MinutePitch Competition here!

Spring 2014 UMass MinutePitch Online Video Competition

Prizes:  $1,000 First Place; $750 Second Place; $500 Third Place; $250 Audience Prize 
Active Dates:  Thursday, February 13 until Monday, March 10, 2014 @ 11:59pm EST
Winners Announced:  Tuesday, April 1, 2014 @ 1:00pm EST

The UMass MinutePitch is hosted by the UMass Innovation Challenge each semester.  It is specifically designed to get you thinking about a novel business idea, and to help you gain feedback and find mentors. You can compete individually or as a team. Students from all majors can compete; you do not need to be enrolled in an entrepreneurial or business curriculum to participate. The competition is open to all current students from any UMass campus, as well recent alumni who graduate in or after February 2012. 

Each pitch will only be 60 seconds. Entrants need only submit a short online entry form and video for consideration.   All entries must be received (and video uploads complete) by 11:59pm EST on Monday, March 10, 2014. The judging panel will narrow down the submissions to the Top 10.  We will conduct online voting for the best pitch video from the finalists to determine the Audience Choice Winner.  The prize recipients selected by the judging panel and audience will be announced April 1. 

Key Dates

Open Dates to Submit Entries: Thursday, February 13 until  Monday, March 10, 2014 11:59PM
Announcement of Top10 Finalists: Monday, March 24, 2014 @ 12 noon EST
Online Audience Voting: Monday, March 24 until Monday March 31, 2014
Announcement of Winners: Tuesday, April 1, 2014 @ 1:00pm EST 

Applying to the Competition is Easy:

  • Record your video, making sure the pitch itself is 60 seconds, or less.  The video must feature you pitching your idea however additional visual aids (i.e. PowerPoint slides) are acceptable. Nothing fancy is required; a video of you talking to your webcam is perfectly fine. Do not include copyrighted music.
  • Upload your video to Youtube,Vimeo, UDrive or Dropbox.
  • Fill out the online application at http://tinyurl.com/UMassICSpring2014 before midnight on 03/10/14.This form will clarify idea ownership, team composition, and your business concept.  If upon review of your application we request verification of your student or alumni status, it is your responsibility to provide documentation, in the form of a student ID or degree, in order to prevent disqualification.

Rules, Guidelines and Submission Requirements

Entrants -- Teams competing in the MinutePitch are subject to the same eligibility rules, terms and conditions of all Innovation Challenge events http://www.umass.edu/innovation/compete, with the following exceptions

  • Ideas which have won more than $750 in previous Innovation Challenge competitions are not eligible for entry in a MinutePitch event
  • Teams selected to compete in the Spring 2014 Mini-Plan track of the Innovation Challenge are not eligible to compete in the Spring 2014 MinutePitch event.

Pitch Content -- In your video pitch you should quickly answer the following questions.  

  • Who are you/your team?
  • What's the PROBLEM your product or service addresses?
  • What's your SOLUTION?
  •  Who are your customers- how large is the MARKET?
  • Who is the COMPETITION?
  • What advantages make you so SPECIAL? 

Do not provide confidential details in your video/written submission.  Consult the Commercial Ventures and Intellectual Property (CVIP) office on your campus with questions.

Originality of Ideas -- The ideas that have the most potential to succeed in this competition will be novel, marketable, and scalable.  These businesses are typically, but not always, associated with new technology or a new business model. We are looking for business ideas with high growth potential.  To enter you must have authorization to use any intellectual property you will be pitching.

Judge Evaluations -- A point scoring system will be used only as a guide to assist the judges with determining the finalists. The final decision on prize recipients will not necessarily be based on the number of points scored, but rather on the judges' deliberations.  Clarity, credibility of assumptions, as well as the team’s passion and ability to make it happen are all factored into the decision. 

Prize Funds -- In the event that your team receives an award from the judges, equal shares will be paid to each individual on the team. It is understood that these winnings may be subject to federal and state taxes.  UMass Amherst students will receive funds as awards in SPIRE or in graduate student paycheck.  All others will be required to fill out paperwork and will be paid with a check from UMass Amherst Accounts Payable Office.


Click on the Attachment Below to Download the Fingertip Guide for the Competition! 

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