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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.)

Online registration – contestants must register online at https://www.startupmhk.com/sign-up Registration closes October 4, 2019 at 5:00pm. (No day-of “walk ins” will be accepted)

Digital presentations –An HDMI cord as well as an Apple TV with airplay capabilities will be provided. Competitors are responsible for bringing their own device (laptop, tablet, etc) from which to play presentations. The day before the practice pitch as well as the day before pitch day, the pitch room will be open and available to competitors to come in and test their technology. It is highly encouraged to test tech prior to the event as there is a limited amount of time scheduled between pitches and technical difficulties will not be permitted to delay the competition.

Start-ups only – Business or business idea must be under 3 years old. Established businesses that have been in operation longer than 3 years are not eligible to compete.

Previous contestants – Non-winners from the 2017 and 2018 competitions are eligible to compete again.

One person, one entry, one pitch – the same person cannot pitch for multiple businesses or ideas. One person may pitch one idea.

Lead-up events – contestants are strongly encouraged to attend at least one lead up event prior to the competition. 8/28 – panel discussion, 9/21 – practice pitch day

Judging Criteria – Click here for a PDF of the judging criteria. Judges decisions are final.

Categories – There will be two competition categories: technical and non-technical. There will also be a People’s Choice category. Technical and non-technical winners will be determined by the judge panel. People’s Choice will be limited to only those that are in attendance spectating at the event. Each person in attendance will have one ballot with which to vote.

Winners – checks will be presented to winners of the competition immediately following the event. There will be an equal prize presented to the winner of each of the technical and non- technical categories. Winners of the judged categories are eligible to win People’s Choice.

Pitch and transition times – Pitches must be 4 minutes or shorter. Time will be closely monitored, and competitors will be cut off at the 4-minute mark. Judges will then have 2 minutes to ask questions for clarification.

Time/Location – The pitch competition will take place on Saturday, October 12, 2019 beginning at 9am. The event will occur at Peoples State Bank located at 9370 E. US Hwy 24 Manhattan, KS 66502.

Day-of – Each contestant will have a pre-assigned time their pitch will begin. Contestants should check in no later than 15 minutes prior to their assigned pitch time. Contestants should wait either inside or in the general vicinity of the pitch room no less than 5 minutes prior to their assigned pitch time. NO time-swapping among contestants allowed.

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 or likeness 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 in order to fill your pitch position with someone else. Day-of dropouts are logistically very difficult for organizers. Please sign up to compete only if you intend to pitch.

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