Advice for Young Entrepreneurs

Startup advice for young entrepreneurs.

Note: I originally published this back in November of 2015 on Medium. Reposting it here on my personal blog. My writing style has changed over the years, so please be nice.

Let your curiosity grow into an obsession.

If you’re going the route of doing this crazy thing and starting a company, that’s got to be the product of some obsessive-compulsiveness around the idea.

It’s like falling in love.

Falling in love is great, but you want to think through everything. A lot of entrepreneurs are love-struck with their idea, but lack the passion to push through when the times get tough.

Spoiler: hard times are inevitable.


Become obsessed with useful things.

Artists can become obsessed with paintings they want to create, musicians with songs they want to write, and that’s wonderful.

However, as an entrepreneur, you’d better have your obsession tuned to things that are of use to people.

This is not about do-gooderism, it’s about making stuff that people need and like. This reminds me of the Y Combinator motto: make something people want.

You can tinker with ideas that are technologically interesting, or artistically interesting, but that’s not enough.


Don’t flock to watering holes; dig wells.

There are lots of watering holes out there, but if all the sheep are running toward the same one, it’s going to run out pretty fast.

Good entrepreneurs are going to say, “it doesn’t matter what everyone else thinks. Where are the sheep not going?”

If you’re a good entrepreneur, it’s like being a shepherd.

You’re finding a place that people didn’t know about and leading the herd there, instead of following everyone else.

Five Tools I Use Daily To Run My Startup

Five tools and resources I use everyday to run my startup.

I use a lot of tools on a daily basis to run my startup. Every day, I have someone asking me, “Chase, what do you use for this?”

Instead of replying to each email individually, I decided that I would create an online resource that I can reference with a collection of every tool that I use.

Note: I spend less than $50/month on tools and resources, so most of the tools I use are free. However, there are some paid versions. If I did decide to use the paid version of a product, there is usually a reason for it. 


Canva is a free graphic-design tool website, founded in 2012. It uses a drag-and-drop format and provides access to over a million photographs, graphics, and fonts. It is used by non-designers as well as professionals.


Wave delivers innovative financial services and award-winning free software to small- and micro-businesses around the world. By providing access to capital (Lending), improving cash flow (Payments), delivering money to employees (Payroll), helping businesses get paid (Invoicing), preparing for tax time and providing business insights (Accounting, Receipts), Wave covers the spectrum of a small business owner’s financial life, and helps businesses grow and thrive.


Pipedrive is a sales management tool designed to help small sales teams manage intricate or lengthy sales processes. Back in 2010, two of our co-founders, both seasoned sales managers, realized that the CRM landscape was populated by software designed to please the top brass while ignoring the needs of the people doing the actual selling. So they partnered with talented developers to create a CRM that puts the needs of salespeople first. Grounded in the philosophy of activity-based selling, the result is Pipedrive, a tool now used by over 50,000 companies around the world.


Asana is a web and mobile application designed to help teams track their work. It was founded in 2008 by Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and ex-engineer Justin Rosenstein, who both worked on improving the productivity of employees at Facebook. It focuses on allowing users to manage projects and tasks online without the use of email. Each team can create a workspace. Workspaces contain projects, and projects contain tasks. In each task, users can add notes, comments, attachments, and tags. Users can follow projects and tasks and, when the state of a project or task changes, followers get updates about the changes in their inboxes.


Webflow is a professional drag and drop tool built for designing websites using responsive web design best practices. Webflow is a cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) that allows designers to build production-ready, responsive websites without any coding knowledge required. It allows designers to accomplish most aspects of web development and website distribution through a visual editor that provides the pixel-for-pixel design precision found in desktop graphic design applications such as Adobe Photoshop.



What tools and resources do you use on a daily basis? Leave a comment or share them with me via email:

hello [at] chasedittmer . com

2018 Startup Pitch Competition Guide

Guide to the best startup pitch competitions in 2018.

The startup landscape is competitive. High stakes and even higher potential for disruptive growth and success are lucrative rewards for those unafraid of the challenge, but this also makes the competition particularly fierce.

Winning a pitch competition can yield anywhere from $100 to $100,000 in cash and professional services.

Win or lose, entering a contest is a clever way to meet investors and industry experts with whom you couldn’t rub elbows otherwise.

Each competition that we have carefully researched offers networking and resource opportunities for every participant.


Competitions are listed in no particular order.

As information changes and new competitions are created, I will make every effort possible to update this list. Create an alert for this page so you will be notified every time this page is updated.

Do you know of other startup pitch competitions which aren’t on this list? Shoot me an e-mail at hello [at]

Last Updated: 1/17/2018

Arch Grants Startup Competition

Entry Deadline: Applications Open February 1st

Description: The Arch Grants Global Startup Competition awards $50,000 equity-free cash grants and pro bono support services to innovative, scalable, and job-creating startups that agree to locate their business in St. Louis for at least one year.

What You Can Win: $50,000 in equity-free funding.

Location: St. Louis, Missouri



G-Startup Worldwide

Entry Deadline: 2/1, 2/1, 3/1, 4/1, 8/1, 8/1, 8/1, 8/1

Description: G-Startup Worldwide is a global startup competition held around the world to find the most innovative, early-stage startups, invest $1,000,000 in them, support them with a global network and enable them to change the world.

What You Can Win: $250,000

Location: Dubai, Tel Aviv, Beijing, Riyadh, Silicon Valley, Sao Paulo, Jakarta, Bangalore



Hello Tomorrow Challenge

Entry Deadline: N/A

Description: As a global not-for-profit created by deep tech entrepreneurs, our mission is to highlight, empower and connect the most promising deep-tech enterprises across the globe to accelerate the transfer of breakthrough technologies into real-world solutions.

What You Can Win: €100,000

Location: Paris



MIT 100k Entrepreneurship Competition – Launch

Entry Deadline: N/A

Description: MIT Launch is a comprehensive business plan competition in which teams compete to plan, prototype, and prepare their venture for the marketplace. Semi-finalists are expected to present not just prototypes but full business plans. They receive funding and elite mentorship along the way, and finalists present onstage to a 1,200+ live audience from Cambridge, Boston, and beyond.

What You Can Win: $100,000

Location: Boston



New York StartUP! 2018 Business Plan Competition

Entry Deadline: N/A

Description: The New York Public Library, supported by the Citi Foundation, is proud to announce the 8th Annual New York StartUP! Business Plan Competition for New York-based startup entrepreneurs. Entrants can win up to $15, 000 to start their business, as well as gain practical insights about starting and growing a business, while using the comprehensive small business resources at NYPL’s Science, Industry and Business Library (SIBL).

What You Can Win: $15,000

Location: New York



Quick Pitch 2018

Entry Deadline: N/A

Description: The Quick Pitch Competition is one of the most recognized angel investor events in the nation showcasing talented entrepreneurs who are given 2 minutes each to pitch their business to an expert panel of judges, and a large audience of investors, business executives and community leaders who select the winners. The judges are given 3 minutes each to provide feedback on the pitches, which in turn helps influence the audience in their voting decision. Our 10 company finalists will receive invaluable coaching, and the top 3 winners will be awarded a combined amount of $50,000 in cash, plus additional business services from some of our generous sponsors.

What You Can Win: $50,000

Location: San Diego



Startup Battlefield – Dubai

Entry Deadline: 1/18/2018

Description: Startup Battlefield brings the world’s top early-stage startups together on one stage to compete for the coveted Disrupt Cup, a $50,000 prize, and the attention of media and investors. The judges include TechCrunch editors as well as top VCs and entrepreneurs, and past winners include names like Vurb, Dropbox, Mint, Yammer and many more. Participation is entirely free and open.

What You Can Win: $50,000

Location: Dubai



Startup Festival 2018

Entry Deadline: 7/10/2018

Description: The $100k Investment Prize is the most coveted title at the event. We bring together a group of fantastic angel investors, and in a matter of 48 hours crown the title of the $100k Investment Prize winner. This prize is open to ANY startup at the event- no pre-registration required.

What You Can Win: $100,000

Location: Montreal



TechCrunch Disrupt

Entry Deadline: N/A

Description: TechCrunch Disrupt is the world’s leading authority in debuting revolutionary startups, introducing game-changing technologies and discussing what’s top of mind for the tech industry’s key innovators. Disrupt gathers the best and brightest entrepreneurs, investors, hackers, and tech fans for on-stage interviews, the Startup Battlefield competition, a 24-hour Hackathon, Startup Alley, Hardware Alley, and After Parties.

What You Can Win: $50,000

Location: San Francisco, CA



The Startup Conference

Entry Deadline: 4/15/2018

Description: The competition is open to startups that have raised less than $2M in funding and are less than 4 years old. There is a sweetspot in our heart for self-funded startups, so even if you are one solo entrepreneur in your garage, as long as you came up with something great, do apply!

What You Can Win: $120,000(?)

Location: Redwood City, CA



U Pitch Competition

Entry Deadline: 8/1/2018

Description: U.Pitch brings together the best students from a cross-section of universities in this ultimate national elevator pitch competition. In just 90 seconds, students compete for national recognition and a prize pool of $10,000. They also have the opportunity to showcase their idea or startup in front of hundreds of entrepreneurs, investors, business leaders and other students from the entrepreneurial community.

What You Can Win: $10,000

Location: Chicago, IL



The Postcode Lottery Green Challenge

Entry Deadline: 6/1/2018

Description: The Postcode Lottery Green Challenge is one of the world’s largest competitions in the field of sustainable entrepreneurship. Green start-ups from all over the world can submit their promising sustainable business plans. The winner will receive €500,000 to further develop the product or service and to bring it to market. The runner-up will receive €200,000 and the three other finalists receive €100,000 each. An international jury selects the winner and runner-up.

What You Can Win: €500,000

Location: Amsterdam



Inventive Labs 2018 Pitch Competition

Entry Deadline: N/A

Description: Be one of eight cognitively-diverse teams to compete for a variety of prizes. To be eligible, teams must have at least one primary member that self-identifies as being ADHD, dyslexic, autistic or some form of learning difference. Applicants are selected based on their business idea, team member’s skills and background, and the team’s ability to execute. In addition to the prizes being offered, representatives from multiple angel investment groups will be present at the pitch competition. The competition will be open to the public and covered by the press.

What You Can Win: Over $200,000 in prizes

Location: Amesbury, MA



Know Identity 2018 Startup Pitch Competition

Entry Deadline: N/A

Description: The KNOW Identity Startup Pitch Competition brings together the world’s leading early-stage startups for a live on-stage battle. The top 10 startups that apply will get to present in front of a panel of distinguished investors, members of media, and identity experts. The winner will take home the $10,000 grand cash prize and the prestige of winning the KNOW Identity Startup Pitch Competition

What You Can Win: $10,000

Location: Washington D.C.



2018 SPARKTank: 4th Annual Student and Faculty Startup Pitch Competition

Entry Deadline: N/A

Description: Startup teams from around Brandeis compete for up to $50,000 in prizes in our 4th annual SPARKTank competition. Teams will present their ideas for innovations in high tech, social enterprise, business-to-business, and consumer products to a group of judges, and the winners will receive funding, mentorship, and support as they strive to make a difference in the world through entrepreneurship.

What You Can Win: $50,000

Location: Waltham, MA



Penn Aerospace Pitch Competition

Entry Deadline: 2/2/2018

Description: The Penn Aerospace Pitch Competition is a contest for enterprising students to present aerospace startup ideas at the University of Pennsylvania on February 24th, 2018.

What You Can Win: $8,500

Location: Philadelphia, PA



Rhode Island Business Plan Competition 2018

Entry Deadline: 4/2/2018

Description: The Rhode Island Business Plan Competition aims to create and foster growth companies in Rhode Island that will increase local employment. It’s all about helping established and emerging entrepreneurs achieve their dreams. The Competition encourages plans for new businesses, as well as from early-stage companies. An early stage, or seed stage, company typically is at the inventor stage where there is an idea, a concept, or even a product, but little or no income has been generated yet.

What You Can Win: Prizes consisting of cash and in-kind services, expected to exceed $200,000 in value.

Location: Rhode Island



Tulane Business Model Competition

Entry Deadline: 1/26/2018

Description: College entrepreneurs are invited to enter the 18th annual Tulane Business Model Competition for a chance to win more than $40,000 in cash and prizes for promising startup ventures. Hosted by the Albert Lepage Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Tulane’s A.B. Freeman School of Business, the competition seeks early-stage ventures that demonstrate a market-tested ability to adapt to customers’ needs. It is open to ventures led by one or more students enrolled in a college or university.

What You Can Win: $40,000

Location: New Orleans, LA 70118