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Student Business Pitch Competition application process

Cash prizes up to $10,000

In order to compete in the 2017 student business pitch competition, you must submit your application by Sunday, December 4, 2016 by 5 p.m. CST. All currently-enrolled Columbia College students are eligible to take part in the competition. The ten best student ideas will be selected to present in the pitch competition scheduled for April 11, 2017. The Fishman Center will notify the ten finalists on Wednesday, December 14, 2016. If you or your team is selected as one of the ten finalists, you will also have to go through a required standard background check.

You may submit more than one idea−actually submitting more than one idea is a smart thing to do! If 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 recommended 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 on April 11, 2017 at Bixby Hall, Columbia College, Columbia, Missouri.


1st place: $5,000

2nd place: $3,000

3rd place: $1,000

Audience choice: $1,000

What kind of ideas are we looking for?

We are looking for any student-led business ideas that are scalable. In other words, ideas that have the potential to be big or grow fast−this is attractive to potential investors.

What happens if my or our team’s idea gets selected?

If your idea is selected, the Fishman Center will schedule a time to meet you or your team. This meeting will be scheduled for mid-December 2016. The Center will provide you with a business model development template and additional resources in order to assist getting ready for April 11, 2017. In addition, competitors will be paired with a mentor to help guide them along the competition process. Our goal is to assist you in preparation so that you can deliver a strong pitch during the competition. 

Who will evaluate the 10 selected idea(s)?

A panel of 4 external judges, all business professionals, will evaluate the 10 selected ideas on April 11, 2017.

Time commitment

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 model 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 winners be announced?

Directly following the competition. After all 10 ideas have been presented, a short intermission will allow time for calculation of scores. Winners will be announced after the intermission.

When will the award money be distributed?

Awards will be presented on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 at a dinner hosted by the Fishman Center. All ten finalists will be invited to the dinner to showcase their ideas and network with local business professionals.


If you have any questions related to the application process please do not hesitate to contact the Fishman Center at Do not wait until the last minute to submit your idea(s)!

Your idea
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