Student Business Pitch Competition at Columbia College

The Student Business Pitch Competition at Columbia College allows students to compete for prize money to develop start-up business ideas. 

The competition is part of a two-day Entrepreneurship Showcase event that includes a keynote address the day prior to the competition.

All Columbia College undergraduate and graduate students who are currently registered and enrolled may participate.

Ideas may be conceptual, in development or in early stages of startup and should solve a real problem for a market that is large and growing. They may have a social purpose but should be based on a for-profit business model.

Students may submit ideas individually or as part of a team. Up to ten ideas will be chosen to work with our coaches to develop a business plan and presentation. More than one idea may be submitted.

The Pitch Awards

Three prizes will be awarded.

Frequently asked questions

If your idea is selected, the Fishman Center will host a virtual student get together in our Pitch Competition Resource Hub located in D2L. We will schedule a time for you to meet your coaching team in early January 2021. The Center will provide you with a business plan development template, and the necessary additional resources in order to assist in getting ready for the pitch competition in March. There will be a couple practice pitch submissions required along the way, so that the Fishman Center for Entrepreneurship Director and Robert W. Plaster School of Business Dean can see how your preparation is going, and offer more feedback to improve your pitch.

In addition, competitors will be paired with coaches to help guide them 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.

A panel including business professionals, faculty, dean, or the director of the Fishman Center for Entrepreneurship will evaluate the business ideas and select up to 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.

Checks will be disbursed usually within a few weeks after the event.

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. While reviewing the check-in pitch submissions we’ll gauge your commitment to preparing—make those awesome!