2018 Startup Pitch Competition Guide

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] chasedittmer.com

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

Link: https://archgrants.org/


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

Link: http://g-startup.com/


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

Link: https://hello-tomorrow.org/startups


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

Link: http://www.mit100k.org/launch/


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

Link: https://www.nypl.org/help/services/startup


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

Link: https://quickpitchsd.com/


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

Link: https://apply.techcrunch.com/


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

Link: http://www.startupfestival.com/startups/


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

Link: https://techcrunch.com/event-info/disrupt-sf-2018/


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

Link: http://thestartupconference.com/startup-competition/


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

Link: https://futurefounders.com/startup/upitch/


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

Link: http://www.greenchallenge.info/


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

Link: http://www.inventivelabs.org/pitchcompetition2/


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.

Link: https://www.knowidentityconference.com/startup-pitches/


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

Link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2018-sparktank-4th-annual-student-and-faculty-startup-pitch-competition-tickets-41759952141


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

Link: http://www.pennaeropitch.com/


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

Link: http://www.ri-bizplan.com/About/AbouttheCompetition.aspx 


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

Link: http://freeman.tulane.edu/lepage/tulane-business-model-competition



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