IdeaFest is a fun, fast-paced Business Pitch Competition with $10,000 in prize money.
Twenty entrepreneurs will take the stage to pitch an original business idea to a panel of business experts and an audience of other entrepreneurs, small business owners, potential investors, students, and business and community leaders. You have 2 minutes to pitch your idea followed by 3 minutes of Q&A with a panel of expert judges.
The top three competitors, as selected by the judges, will be awarded $5,000 for first place, $3,000 for second place, and $1,500 for third place. The live audience will vote to select the winner of the $500 Audience Choice Award. All competitors will gain access to free business consulting and prototype development through The Launch Place.
The competition is judged by a panel of business development and startup experts representing startup communities throughout Virginia and North Carolina.
Entry and Registration
Space is limited to 20 pitches, which will be selected from the pool of registrants by the IdeaFest Organizing Committee. Late applications will not be considered. Applicants will be notified two weeks prior to the competition if you are selected to pitch.
Anyone who has an entrepreneurial idea for a startup company who would like to pitch to a panel of judges for the purposes of receiving feedback, potential prize money, and/or possible seed funding may register.
Submissions may be entered as individuals or teams.
The maximum number of team members for a single pitch is limited to 5 persons.
Each individual or team pitching may enter one idea or concept.
Pitch competitors may participate on multiple teams.
Only the pitching individual or the pitching members of a team may pitch to the panel of judges or answer questions from the judges and/or audience.
You will be notified ahead of time if you are or not selected to pitch.
If you are not selected to pitch, you are still encouraged to attend IdeaFest. You’ll still have the opportunity to network with like-minded entrepreneurs and learn about the business development resources available in the Danville region.
Ideas and concepts pitched must be in the initial stages of development. Individuals or teams must disclose any funding already received at the time of registration. There is an allowance for an idea or concept to be already funded before this competition by personal or family funds, small amounts of seed capital from outside investors, or modest amounts of funding stemming from institutional or research grants. In no case may an idea of concept be funded from any source more than $25,000.
The pitched idea or concept must be the original work of the individual or team pitching it.
Ideas and concepts deemed by the IdeaFest Organizing Committee to be fake, insincere, offensive, immoral, or unethical may be screened and disqualified.
The IdeaFest Organizing Committee has the sole discretion to disqualify and/or remove any individual or teams for any reason that it deems appropriate before and/or during the pitch competition for violation of these rules. All decisions regarding an individual’s or team’s removal and/or disqualification from the pitch competition are final.
The objective of the pitch is to simply define the idea or concept by explaining a product, service, or value proposition in short duration of time (2 minutes).
Note: Pitch competition is not a “sales pitch.” Although, the judges want to see passion and energy from the entrepreneur(s) pitching, please DO NOT try to “sell” the product or service to judges. Judges are not thinking about buying the product or service, but understand the value proposition of the idea or concept.
Introduce or open the pitch with an interesting question or statement that spikes the interest of the judges and the audience. Follow the introduction by showing how the question or statement relates to the product or service. Keep the audience’s attention alive. If there is no observable passion about the idea or concept, chances are the judges or the audience will not have passion for it either.
Remember, the pitch is simple summary of the idea or concept, i.e. the product or service, and how it addresses pain points in the market. Within the time limit, it should cover the following:
i. Product or Service – Briefly describe the product or service.
ii. Value Proposition – How is the product or service going to add value for customers?
iii. Target Market – Who will be buying the product or service?
iv. Market Size – How big is the target market?
v. Differentiation – How is the product or service different from existing competition? What is the competitive advantage? (patent, algorithm, unique service model, etc.)
vi. Revenue Model – How will the product or service generate revenue? (sales, subscription, advertisement, etc.)
vii. Revenue Estimate – How much to expect to sell in the first year of business?
Time is of essence. There are two (2) minutes allocated to each individual or team pitching an idea or concept. There are three (3) minutes allocated for a Q & A session with the judges. In total, each individual or team pitching will have five (5) minutes maximum; two (2) minutes to pitch the idea or concept and three (3) minutes to answer questions from judges and get valuable feedback. Time will begin when the presenter begins to speak.
5) Other Guidelines:
The use of PowerPoint or slide presentations is not allowed at IdeaFest. Individuals or teams can display/share/show their prototype, samples, or posters. Materials may not be distributed to the judges or the audience during the pitch.
Confidentiality is not guaranteed in any way. Do not include confidential material in your submissions. There is no way for IdeaFest or its Organizers to enforce a prohibition of other competitors, audience members, or judges who see and hear a pitch competitor’s materials from sharing the idea and/or materials.
Non Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) between a competitor and the judges and/or audience members will not be required or allowed.
Sharing your idea or concept may be deemed a public disclosure, so if you are interested in filing a patent, you may need to consult with a patent attorney before entering the competition.
IdeaFest or its Organizers are not responsible for any confidentiality issues that may occur during the course of the competition and will not be involved in any way with disputes arising therefrom.
IdeaFest or its Organizers may take photographs and/or video of any materials used or made available by pitching individuals or teams during the competition for public relations purposes. Any content presented by a competitor should be considered public knowledge.
Competitors may exclude any proprietary information or materials that the competitor feels is at risk of disclosure.
Teams that win prize money will have the prize money allocated in equal shares to each individual member of the winning team.
The individual recipients of prize money will be responsible for the tax implications of their winnings. IdeaFest treats prize money payments as income to the individual(s) or team members receiving the prize money. To receive tax money, a tax ID must be provided.
IDEAFEST AND ITS ORGANIZING COMMITTEE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO DISQUALIFY ANY ENTRY IN ITS’ JUDGEMENT THAT VIOLATES THE RULES OF THE COMPETITION OR IS NOT ALIGNED WITH THE PURPOSE OF THE COMPETITION.
IDEAFEST AND ITS ORGANIZING COMMITTEE ASSUME NO RESPONSIBILITY TO ENSURE THE CONFIDENTIALITY OF ANY INFORMATION DISCLOSED DURING THE COMPETITION.