The Ultimate List for Entrepreneurship Competitions

Emily Elizabeth
Jun 25 · 6 min read

No matter where you are geographically, there is likely to be an entrepreneurship competition accessible to you.

We know that financial support helps entrepreneurs take the leap and start their idea. That’s why we decided to compile a complete list of each state that offers an entrepreneurship competition along with its criteria, important dates, and rewards. It’s basically a one stop shop spot for entrepreneurs at any stage of curation.

If you know of another competition we should add, just click here and share the details.

Step right up. Time for an idea competition!

National Competitions

Arch Grants

  • welcomes industries of all kinds
  • must have in interest in starting the business in St. Louis, Missouri.
  • could win $50,000 in equity funding
  • application submissions begin in the spring

Baylor New Venture Competition

  • welcomes collegiate entrepreneurs from across the globe
  • teams have the chance to win more than $250,000 in cash prizes and virtual resources
  • applications begin in the fall

Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards

  • open to a for-profit startup between 2 and 3 years old
  • only women may apply
  • grand prize of $100,000

Education Business Plan

  • welcomes entrepreneurs with ideas related to education
  • submissions open January 8
  • has awarded over $1,000,000 in cash prizes since 2010

Get In The Ring

  • open to high potential startups of 8 years or younger with an innovative business model
  • dates vary by region
  • grand prize winners get to meet with advisors, investors, and titles

Global Social Venture Competition

  • a team member must be a student or recent graduate
  • first place price of $40,000
  • application deadline in Winter

Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition

  • open exclusively to education entrepreneurs around the world
  • has awarded over $1 million in prizes
  • check website for dates and deadlines

New Venture Championship

  • open to teams around the world
  • cash prizes over $50,000
  • submissions begin in Fall

PITCH

  • open to university students or graduates within the last six months
  • grand prize of $5,000
  • check website for dates and deadlines

Postcode Lottery Green Challenge

  • open to anyone 18 years or older
  • check website for dates and deadlines
  • finals are hosted in Amsterdam

Rice Business Plan Competition

  • open to any full-time or part-time U.S. graduate students
  • grand prize of $125,000
  • check website for dates and deadlines

Richards Barrentine Values and Ventures Competition

  • welcomes students from around the world that pitch ideas for conscious capitalism ventures that make profit but also solves a problem
  • grand prize of $40,000
  • check website for dates and deadlines for the year 2020

University World Cup

  • open to only student startups
  • grand prize of $25,000
  • check website for dates and deadlines

Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition

  • open to anyone aged 18–35
  • need an innovative idea or project with a societal impact
  • check website for dates and deadlines

State Competitions

Alabama

Launch Pad

  • 4 cycles throughout the year to apply
  • can win up to $150,000
  • must pay a nonrefundable fee of $150 to apply

Arkansas

The Arkansas Governor’s Cup Collegiate Business Plan Competition

  • applications begin March 19/20 for the year 2020
  • winners take home a share of the $154,000 cash prize pool
  • promote and support college students exploring entrepreneurial ventures

California

Big Bang! Business Competition

  • for students, faculty, and community members interested in starting or growing a business
  • submissions begin in the fall
  • there is more than $100,000 in prize money

Knapp Venture Competition

  • at least one Anderson MBA student must be a member of the team
  • submissions take place in the Fall
  • cash prizes up to $20,000

Florida

FAU Business Plan Competition

  • encourages FAU students, faculty, staff, and recent graduates to pitch their ideas
  • cash prizes up to $10,000
  • submissions begin in March of 2020

Georgia

Amazing Entrepreneur Contest

  • 2 categories for already established business owners and entrepreneurs with a business idea
  • submissions begin in the Spring
  • receive up to $2,000 cash prize

Hawaii

UH Business Plan Competition

  • at least one of the team members must be a student of one of the ten universities in Hawaii
  • submissions open in Spring
  • cash prizes up to $20,000

Indiana

I-69 Challenge

  • welcomes students from along the I-69 corridor
  • top winners receive $500 gift cards for their business concept
  • submissions open in Fall

Massachusetts

MIT $100K

  • there is more than 300K awarded to fund the new business ventures
  • there is three separate competitions from October-May
  • each team must have one MIT registered student

New Venture Competition

  • $75,000 grand prize
  • early registration begins January
  • each team requires one Harvard Business School MBA student

B.E.T.A Challenge

  • grand prize of $20,000
  • 3 categories: graduate, undergraduate, and alumni
  • submission opens in January

Michigan

Michigan Business Challenge

  • cash prizes totaling over $100,000
  • open to all current U-M Ann Arbor undergrad or graduate students
  • application deadline in Fall

Minnesota

Minnesota Cup

  • funding totaling up to $500,000
  • application deadline in Spring
  • open to all Minnesotans

Nebraska

New Venture Competition

  • total prize money over $75,000
  • registration begins in Spring
  • open to University of Nebraska-Lincoln students

Maverick Business Plan Competition

  • grand Prize of $3,000
  • open to any current UNO, UNMC, PKI undergrad, graduate, doctoral, or post doctoral students
  • submission deadline in Spring

Nevada

Sontag Entrepreneurship Competition

  • open to any University of Nevada, Reno students in good academic standing
  • application form due in Spring
  • cash prize of $50,000

New Jersey

The Start Something Challenge

  • open to graduates of the Community Business Academy
  • five $5,000 cash prizes
  • check back on site for application dates and deadlines

New York

New York StartUP!

  • can win cash prize up to $15,000
  • entrants must live in the Manhattan, Bronx, or Staten Island area
  • submission deadline in Spring

North Carolina

Business Plan Competition

  • open to all High Point University undergraduate students enrolled during the spring semester of the competition
  • submission deadline in Spring
  • cash prize of $25,000

Duke Startup Challenge

  • open to Duke students interested in starting a company
  • cash prizes over $50,000
  • submissions deadline in December

Charlotte Venture Challenge

  • cash prizes of up to $3,000
  • check website for dates and deadlines

North Dakota

Innovation Challenge

  • cash prize up to $4,000
  • open to NDSU students
  • check website for submission dates and deadlines

Oklahoma

Governors Cup Business Plan Competition

  • eligible for Oklahoma university and college students
  • cash prize up to $200,000
  • check website for dates and deadlines

Pennsylvania

Startup Challenge

  • open to Penn students interested in entrepreneurship and innovation
  • cash prizes worth over $135,000
  • submission deadline in January

Pechter Business Plan Competition

  • registration begins in Fall
  • cash prize up to $5,000
  • one team member must be an active student of Penn State Altoona

McGinnis Venture Competition

  • exclusively for Carnegie Mellon University’s student entrepreneurs
  • cash prize of $60,000
  • registration opens in Fall

tecBridge Business Plan Competition

  • must be from one of the 14 colleges and universities in the region
  • grand prize of $100,000
  • check website for dates and deadlines

Rhode Island

Rhode Island Business Competition

  • prizes valued up to $225,000
  • must be 18 or older to apply
  • application deadline due in Spring

South Carolina

YES Carolina

  • grand prize of $3,000
  • open to high school students
  • check website for dates and deadlines

South Dakota

Governor’s Giant Vision

  • open to full-time South Dakota college, university, or technical school students
  • application deadline in Spring
  • cash grand prize of $5,000

BIG Idea Competition

  • grand prize of $5,000
  • entry forms submitted in Fall
  • open to South Dakota high school students

Texas

Investment Competition

  • open to current UT Austin graduate students
  • gives away more than $58,000 in prizes
  • check website for dates and deadlines

New Venture Challenge

  • over $150,000 in awards
  • application deadline in Spring
  • open to BYU entrepreneurs

Virginia

Entrepreneurship Concept Competition

  • open to all UVA undergraduates, graduate students, and post doctoral fellows
  • consists of three different stages
  • total prizes of $25,000

W&L’s Business Competition

  • total of $7,000 in cash prizes
  • open to students enrolled in BUS 399 at W&L
  • check website for dates and deadlines

Washington DC

GW New Venture Competition

  • winnings of up to $800,000 in cash and prizes
  • all GW students can compete
  • application deadline in Spring

West Virginia

WV Collegiate Business Plan Competition

  • open to college students around the state
  • cash prizes over $10,000
  • registration begins in Fall

Wisconsin

WI Governor’s Business Plan Competition

  • open to entrepreneurs in the startup stage of tech-enabled businesses in Wisconsin
  • cash and in-kind prizes valued at about $2.2 million
  • idea submission in January

If you have an entrepreneurship competition that you would like to add to this list, please visit our Google Drive site to add it in. Once it is added we will update this blog post.

If you plan to enter any of these competitions, good luck!

The Nice Center

We help students and faculty at NDSU be entrepreneurial. This blog shares the latest happenings.

Emily Elizabeth

Written by

The Nice Center

We help students and faculty at NDSU be entrepreneurial. This blog shares the latest happenings.

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