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2020 Competition

Due to COVID-19 and ensuring the safety of our community related to the 2020 Competition, all events will be held virtually. These are the changes, with details, related to this year's competition:

Pitch Practice replaced with virtual video submissions

 In previous years, we have held a pitch practice event for competitors to practice and gain invaluable feedback on their pitches before the main event. In an effort to provide that feedback opportunity to competitors virtually this year, contestants will be able to submit their pitch video for the judges to view and comment on.

Submit your video for feedback here!

NEW THIS YEAR - qualifying round!

Details are in the works, but this year pre-recorded pitch videos will be submitted for judging. The top 5-8 pitches (based on judge’s scores) will qualify to pitch in the final round. In the case of a tie in the qualifying round, we reserve the right to increase the number of finalists who compete on pitch day. 

A minimum of two competitors from each category (tech and non-tech) will need to make it to the final round in order for judging to take place in the two categories. If a minimum of two from each category do NOT make it to the finals, equal awards to first place and second place score winners may be implemented instead. This will be communicated to competitors prior to pitch day. 

Final event - November 14th - 9:30am - 11:30am

Over $20,000 available in prize money!

Final Round - Pitches will take place "live" on zoom on pitch day. Each competitor will pitch one at a time to ensure the safety of all. The pitch room will be basically empty. Requests to bring a small number of family members or friends to provide support while pitching may be discussed on a case by case basis. 

To ensure the health and safety of everyone, judges and attendees will be working/viewing “virtually” and watching as pitches are presented, then conversation via video conference to answer clarifying questions will occur. 

When your pitch is complete and you’ve answered the judge's questions, you (and your support person(s)) will be allowed to move to an office within the bank building to watch the rest of the competition and be present when awards are announced. OR if you are more comfortable, you may leave the bank and participate from a remote location. 

The pitch location will be Peoples State Bank on 24 HWY in Manhattan. In the case that another state-wide shutdown occurs and we are unable to host this event as described here, the backup plan will be to use the videos which were previously submitted for the qualifying round. 

Lead-up events 

Contestants are strongly encouraged to participate in the lead-up events prior to the competition. 

  • September 24th, 4:30-5:30 PM - Perfect Your Pitch -Enrique with Great Paper Straws (2019 StartUp MHK Winner) will be giving his pitch live on Zoom, followed by advice from past pitchers and Q&A.
  • October 14th - Virtual Pitch Feedback - Competitors will have the opportunity to submit their recorded pitches for real feedback from the judges several weeks before the final submission date. This step is optional but highly encouraged. Pitch videos may be submitted beginning now - 9th. Individual feedback will be provided on or before October 14th. 
  • October 23rd - Pitch Video Submission, Qualifier Round - All pitch videos are due for the qualifying round by 11:59 pm Friday, October 23rd. Pitches will be viewed and scored, and 5-8 qualifiers will be selected for the final round. All competitors will be notified of their qualifying status on November 2nd.
    (in the case of a tie in the qualifying round, we reserve the right to include additional finalists on pitch day) 
  • November 14th - Virtual Final Event - 9:30 AM - Only the predetermined finalists will present their business ideas at Peoples State Bank - Hwy 24 location. The pitches will be live-streamed for the judges and the general public to view and score each competitor. Scores for the technical and non-technical divisions will be given by the judges, while the public will vote for People’s Choice. 
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