Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and out of an abundance of caution for the safety of our students, staff, faculty, coaches, judges, and the community, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the Entrepreneurship Showcase & Pitch competition. Thank you for your support of the Fishman Center for Entrepreneurship and the Robert W. Plaster School of Business.
Student Business Pitch Competition
The Pitch: Application
To participate in The Pitch, submit your creative, innovative idea that solves a real problem for a market that is large and growing.
Business ideas can be conceptual and in development, or from student entrepreneurs who are in the early stages of their startup. Ideas may have a social purpose but should be based on a for-profit business model. All currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate Columbia College students are eligible to apply. Currently registered status is also required to participate in The Pitch Competition.
In order to be considered for the Student Business Pitch Competition, you must submit your application by 5 p.m. CST Friday, November 1, 2019.
The 10 best student ideas will be selected to work with our coaches in developing a business plan and presentation at The Pitch Competition. The Fishman Center will notify the 10 individuals/teams by December 15, 2019. If you or your team is selected as one of the ten finalists, you may have to go through a standard background check.
The top 10 best student startup ideas will be selected to prepare for The Pitch Competition to be held on Friday, March 20, 2020.
To make it to the stage, you must develop a well-written and strategically formulated plan, and a rock star presentation. You’ll have help from our coaches along the way. These are professional individuals with years of experience starting, building, financing and managing firms. In January and February you will develop and fine-tune your plan and pitch to make you a strong contender for the top prize of $5,000.
You may submit more than one idea. If you are submitting more than one idea, you must complete one application per idea. All applications must be submitted by filling out the online application form. If selected, you or your team will only present the idea accepted by the selection committee. You may not take someone else's idea and submit as your own without their consent. Ideas may be submitted individually or as a team
The competition will take place during our Entrepreneurship Showcase on March 19-20, 2020. The Pitch Competition will be held on March 20, 2020, in the event space in New Hall on the Columbia College campus in Columbia, Missouri. The Fishman Center will pay transportation, lodging and meals to bring you to Columbia to pitch in-person, and attendance at all Entrepreneurship Showcase events is mandatory.
1st place: $5,000
2nd place: $3,000
3rd place: $2,000
What kind of ideas are we looking for?
Anything. The sky's the limit! We are looking for fresh ideas that are creative and innovative and solve a real problem, or satisfy a need for a market that is large and growing. Ideas may have a social purpose but should be based on a for-profit business model. Ideally the idea is a scalable concept that can grow with additional resources after it is launched.
The Pitch: Preparation
What happens if my idea, or my team’s idea gets selected?
If your idea is selected, the Fishman Center will schedule a time to meet you or your team in early January 2020. The Center will provide you with a business plan development template and any necessary additional resources in order to assist in getting ready for the The Pitch Competition in March.
In addition, competitors will be paired with coaches to help guide them along as they develop their business plan. Students and coaches will formulate a schedule for business plan development with coach feedback throughout the process, which will ultimately ensure students create a well-developed business plan. Coaches and the Fishman Center for Entrepreneurship director will select up to the 10 best business plans for THE PITCH: The Competition.
Who will evaluate the 10 selected idea(s) for The Pitch Competition?
A panel of business professionals, faculty and the director of the Fishman Center for Entrepreneurship will evaluate the business ideas and select the top 10 for coach supported business plan development. If the students work hard and create a well-developed plan, they will participate in The Pitch Competition.
How much time will it take?
How much time you decide to spend on developing your idea is up to you. Just remember that turning great ideas into a viable business strategy requires time, effort and energy. During preparation for the competition, deadlines will be provided for different aspects of the pitch. It is essential that you meet the deadlines provided. Our expectation is that you take this process seriously.
When will the award money be distributed?
After the pitches conclude on Friday, March 20, 2020, the winners will be determined and announcements will be made. Checks will be disbursed after the event and usually the winners receive their checks in a few weeks.
If you have any questions related to the application process please do not hesitate to contact the Fishman Center at email@example.com. Do not wait until the last minute to submit your idea(s)!