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The following rules have been established for the pitch competition.Ā 

(Organizers reserve the right to amend/add rules in advance of the competition. Any changes will be communicated with registered competitors as well as judges in advance of pitch day.)

Start-ups only – Business or business idea must be less than three years old. Established businesses that have been in operation longer than three years are not eligible to compete.

Pitch Day - November 14, 2020, at Peoples State Bank, 9370 E US HWY 24 Manhattan, KS. This will not be open to the public; they are invited to view online.

Pitches - Competitors will present their business ideas both online and in-person, dependent on the pitching round.

  • Qualifying Round *new this year* - All pitches must be pre-recorded and uploaded. More details to come.
  • Final - Pitches will take place in real-time and streamed via webcam on pitch day.

Pitch and transition times – Pitches may be a maximum of four minutes. Judges will then have three minutes to ask clarifying questions. Time will be closely monitored and cut-off at the specified time markers.

Who may pitch?

  • Judge category winners from the 2018 and 2019 competitions are NOT eligible to compete again.
  • Previous non-winning competitors who meet the under three years in business requirement ARE eligible to compete again.
  • People’s Choice award winner from 2019 IS eligible to compete again.
  • One person or team, one entry, one pitch – The same person or team cannot pitch for multiple businesses or ideas.

Online registration – Contestants must register online at Registration is now open and must be completed by 11:59 pm on October 23, 2020. Registration will close October 24, 2020.

Competition Categories - There will be two judged competition categories: technical and non-technical. During registration, you must select the category in which your business belongs. A third category of “People’s Choice” will also be awarded. This category winner is chosen by the public viewing the event, and is also awarded a cash prize.

Judging Criteria – Judges use a 7-point Likert scale to grade 6 questions. Click to view full judging criteria.  Judges’ decisions are final.

Winners - Winners of the technical and non-technical categories will be determined by the judging panel. Checks of equal prize amounts will be presented to each of these categories. Winners of technical and non-technical categories are also eligible to win People’s Choice.

Total prize money still being determined. 2019 prizes were: $8,000 Technical winner, $8,000 Non-Technical winner, $4,000 People's Choice winner. We anticipate comparable prizes this year.

Interest in becoming a SPONSOR? Contact us!

Media Release – Contestants understand that they are publicly pitching their business or idea and in agreeing to do so, they agree to their name, image, likeness, and idea appearing in promotional materials (print, video, photography, etc.) for this, and future events.

Removal from the competition – If for any reason you need to remove yourself from the competition, we ask to be notified as soon as possible.

Downloadable 2020 Competition Rules

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