What types of business ideas can I pitch?
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.
How does Micro Pitching work?
There are three (3) Micro Pitch Competitions held each year with the first being held May and the others held in July and September, with a Final Start Pitch Event held in November.
The Micro Pitch competitions may have a total of 15 Pitchers. Micro Pitch participants will have three (3) minutes to pitch a business idea and demonstrate to the panel of judges that their idea is exceptional. The objective of the pitch is to define the idea or concept by explaining the product, service, or value proposition in short duration of time, while exciting the audience and judges about the idea’s potential.
Four finalists are selected from each of the three Micro Pitch events to advance to the Final Start Pitch Event held in November. A fifth place finisher is selected as an alternate to pitch at the Final event should one of the finalist choose not to, or cannot pitch at the Final Event.
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. Three (3) winners will be selected during the Final Pitch Event will receive $5,000 each in lieu of the $500 Finalist award.
The criteria judges use to score pitches (max 5 points each):
- Problem or Opportunity – the pitcher clearly articulates a significant 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 market.
- Pitch Delivery – the pitcher presents with confidence/enthusiasm, conveys a memorable message, and makes you want to learn more.
Who can make a Pitch?
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.
Is there a fee to pitch my business idea?
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.
Can I pitch more than one business idea?
Yes, a separate fee will be charged to pitch additional business ideas. We recommend you prioritize your ideas and pitch the best idea first.
Can I pitch my existing business?
The mission of Start Peninsula is to help start/create a 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.
When will I know if I am a Pitcher?
Those selected to pitch at a Micro Pitch Event will be notified before the event.
How do I prepare? – What should I bring?
Pitchers may prepare a 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
How do I protect against people stealing my idea?
The short answer is you can’t. 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’re concerned, you can limit your pitch to the rough outline of the idea without giving 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.
Will there be any assistance provided?
Yes! A key part of every Start Peninsula event is the valuable advice and assistance provided to participants.
Pitchers will have access to mentors following each Pitch event. Start mentors are comprised of community experts in various fields ranging from entrepreneurship, software and hardware development, marketing, finance, law and more. Even if you are not a finalist, you are encouraged to take advantage of the mentor advice offered by Start Peninsula.
How will winners be selected at the Final Pitch Event held in November?
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; prizes will be awarded for three (3) prizes 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:
- Value proposition – a description the customer problem, the product that addresses the problem, and the value of the product from the customer’s perspective.
- Market segment – the group of customers to target, recognizing that different market segments have different needs.
- Revenue generation and margins – how is revenue generated (sales, leasing, subscription, support, etc.), have you identified the cost structure, and target profit margins.
- Position in value network – identification of competitors, complementors, and any network effects that can be utilized to deliver more value to the customer.
- 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. Beyond who they are, what are their common characteristics, how do they make decisions, where can you reach them, what do they need from your company, and 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?
What are the cash prize amounts?
There are three (3) prizes of $5,000 each.
The individual recipients of prize money are responsible for the tax implications of their winnings. Start Peninsula treats prize money payments as income to the individual(s) or team members receiving the prize money. Forms for the allocation of prize money must be completed prior to receiving your winnings.