The following rules have been established for the pitch competition.
(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.
Online Registration - Contestants must register to compete online
Registration is now open and must be completed by 11:59 pm on October 14, 2022.
Registration closes October 14, 2022.
Application/Qualifying Round - Competitors must submit either a formal written business plan OR complete the online application form in its entirety - https://www.startupmhk.com/sign-up
Applicants may also choose to submit a recorded video of their pitch as a supplement to their application materials. Video pitches must be a maximum length of 4 minutes, and should otherwise follow the general rules and judging criteria provided.
Qualifying finalists will be selected from the application pool, reviewed by judges and invited to compete in person at the final competition.
Final Pitch Competition - Pitches will take place in real-time and live streamed on Facebook Live Pitch Day - November 12, 2022, at Peoples State Bank, 9370 E US HWY 24 Manhattan, KS. This event is open to the public. 9:00am
Pitch and transition times – Pitches may be a maximum of four minutes. Judges will 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 2020 and 2021 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 2021 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.
Competition Categories - There will be two judged competition categories: technical and nontechnical. 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.
In the event not enough businesses register to compete in each category, it will be considered to have one category of all businesses. In this event, first and second place will be awarded instead.
Judging Criteria – Judges use a 7-point Likert scale to grade 6 questions. Judges’ decisions are final. Download the judging criteria questions here.
Tie Breaker - In the event of a tie, a second vote will take place including only the tied competitors. 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.
$10,000 Technical winner, $10,000 Non-Technical winner, $5,000 People’s Choice winner.
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.