The pitched idea or concept must be the original work of the individual or team pitching it. Anyone who has an entrepreneurial idea for a startup company who would like to pitch to a panel of judges for the purposes of receiving feedback and potential prize money may register.  Any and all business ideas are eligible (whether for-profit, nonprofit or social-enterprise business (i.e., a cause-driven business).  Ideas and concepts deemed by Start Peninsula to be replicated, insincere, offensive, immoral, or unethical will be disqualified.

There are four (4) Micro Pitch competitions held during the year. The individual competitions will be held in March, April, September and October. A final Start Pitch event will be held in November.

The Micro Pitch competitions may have up to a total of 15 Pitchers. Micro Pitch participants will have three (3) minutes to pitch their idea in front of a panel of judges. The objective of the pitch is to define the idea or concept by explaining the product, service, or value proposition in a short duration of time, while also exciting the audience and judges about the idea’s potential. Judges can have up to 3 minutes afterwards to ask questions.

Three (3) finalists are selected from each of the four (4) Micro Pitch competitions to advance to the final pitch event held in November. A fourth-place finisher is selected as an alternate to pitch at the final event should one of the finalists be unable to participate in the final event. Pitchers at the final event will have five (5) minutes to present their business idea to the judges.

Only applicants from the 757 region will be allowed to pitch.  Applicants must have their primary residence or their primary place of business in the 757 region.

Primary residence is defined as the residence in which the applicant spends more days than any other residence.

Primary Place of Business is defined as the primary location where applicant’s business is performed. This is where the business’s books and records are kept and is where the applicant and other senior management personnel are located.

Those approved to pitch in a Micro Pitch competition will be charged a $50 fee to participate. Payment is due upon selection and failure to pay prior to the event will result in disqualification.

Yes, a separate $50 fee will be charged to pitch each additional business idea.  We recommend you prioritize your ideas and pitch the best one first.

The mission of Start Peninsula is to help start/create new businesses.  Ideas and concepts pitched must be in the initial stages of development.  Individuals or teams must disclose any funding or profits already received at the time of registration. We do allow for funded ideas or concepts to be pitched, however a business cannot have previously participated in an accelerator or received investment capital.

Those selected to pitch at a Micro Pitch Event will be notified before the event.

Pitchers are encouraged to participate in Pitch Perfect and work with our mentors to learn the essential elements of a good pitch. Pitch Perfect is a great opportunity to receive valuable feedback prior to pitching at a Micro Pitch competition.

Micro pitchers can prepare up to a three (3) minute presentation/slide deck, and/or a demonstration of their product or service. These may include:

  • Wireframes or a fully developed website
  • Mobile App(s) – from mock-up, skeleton, or fully functional
  • Slides – Power Point, Keynote, Prezi, etc.
  • Live product demo
  • Skit

The short answer is you cannot Anyone can steal an idea, but no one can steal execution or passion! More important than the idea itself is how you make it a reality as a profitable business venture. If you are concerned, you can limit your pitch to the rough outline of the idea to ensure you do not give away key information.  Sharing your idea or concept may be deemed a public disclosure, so if you are interested in filing a patent, you may need to consult with a patent attorney before participating in an event.

The Final Pitch Event will have 12 finalists. Each pitcher will have five (5) minutes to present to a panel of judges. The judges will select three winners and prizes will be awarded for the three (3) winners based on the judge’s scores. Final pitches are scored based on Business Model, Customer Validation, and Execution and Design. The Business Model is the most heavily weighted score. The rubrics for scoring are below:

  • Business Model (Do you have a plan?) (10 points) The business model consists of the following:
    1. Value proposition – a description of the customer problem, the product that addresses the problem, and the value of the product from the customer’s perspective.
    2. Market segment – the group of customers to target, recognizing that different market segments have different needs.
    3. Revenue generation and margins – how is revenue generated (sales, leasing, subscription, support, etc.), have you identified the cost structure, and target profit margins.
    4. Position in value network – identification of competitors, complementors, and any network effects that can be utilized to deliver more value to the customer.
    5. Competitive strategy – how will the company attempt to develop a sustainable competitive advantage, for example, by means of a cost, differentiation, or niche strategy?
  • Customer Validation (5 points) – Do you understand the market problem or opportunity and have built a solution(s) for them? Does your solution resonate with the market? You need to determine who exactly your customers are.
    1. What are their common characteristics?
    2. How do they make decisions?
    3. Where can you reach them?
    4. What do they need from your company?
    5. How do they want your product to work?
  • Execution and Design (5 Points) – What have you created (a functional product or service? Do you have next steps outlined or a plan that identifies action items for the near future? Have gaps been identified and did you discuss how you will fill those gaps?

There are no prizes awarded at the Micro Pitch events to the finalists unless they participate at the Final event held in November.  Each Micro Pitch finalist will receive $500 for their participation in the Final Event and the alternates will receive $200 each.  Three (3) winners will be selected at the Final Pitch Event and will receive $5,000 each in lieu of the $500 Micro Pitch Finalist award or the $200 Alternate award.

The following criteria will be used by the Micro Pitch Judges when scoring (max 5 points each for a total of 20 points):

  • Problem or Opportunity – the pitcher clearly articulates a significant market problem or opportunity. The problem or opportunity is relatable and relevant to the market identified.
  • Solution or Proposal – the pitcher clearly articulates a feasible solution that is likely to produce a sustainable and profitable venture.
  • Target Market – the pitcher clearly articulates target customers and the size/characteristics of the target market.
  • Pitch Delivery – the pitcher presents with confidence/enthusiasm, conveys a memorable message, and sparks further curiosity in each of the judges.

There can be up to five (5) minutes for questions by the judges after each presentation.