New Pitch Contest to Offer Cash Prizes Up to $3,000

A new elevator pitch contest named Bulldog B.I.T.E. could win aspiring entrepreneurs up to $3,000 during the 2016 spring semester.

An elevator pitch outlines the concept or idea for a product, service or project in a short period of time, typically from 30 seconds to three minutes. The length of the pitch mirrors the time spent waiting for and riding an elevator in a high-rise building. The purpose of the pitch is to spur the interest of a potential investor or financial backer.

Bulldog B.I.T.E., which stands for Business Innovation by Truman Entrepreneurs, is open to any student or team of students — up to three members — enrolled during the 2016 spring semester. A student or team may submit only one pitch concept for the contest. Participants may pitch a for-profit or not-for-profit concept.

Students will submit a concept or idea for a product, service or project in a video pitch no longer than 60 seconds by 11:59 p.m. March 2. The video should not include any props, except the product prototype, and should be one continuous shot. Students must also include an executive summary of their product. The executive summary must contain: name of the individual or team members; problem or issue being addressed by the concept; product description; target market; competitive advantage of the concept; value creation; and expected future use of prize money.

Judges will select six teams to attend the live pitch competition from 3-5 p.m. March 31 in St. Louis to present their product to a panel. The top three finalists will receive cash awards: the cash prize for first place is $3,000; second place is $2,000; and third place is $1,000. Pitch participants, judges, alumni and audience members are then invited to a networking event following the competition.

The Bulldog B.I.T.E. is sponsored by Villhard Growth Partners and is coordinated on campus by the Office of Academic Affairs and the Career Center.

For complete details and entry information, click here.


Rules and Competition Format
The competition consists of two rounds.

Round 1: A video pitch (maximum of 60 seconds) must be published to YouTube and the link submitted here by 11:59 p.m. March 2.
  • No props should be used except for product prototype.
  • The pitch should be one continuous shot - no cuts or editing.
  • The video should be posted as unlisted.
Executive summary of the pitch must be submitted here by 11:59 p.m. March 2. The executive summary must include:
  • Name of the individual or team members submitting the pitch including contact information
  • Problem or issue being addressed by the concept
  • Product/service/project description
  • Target market (Who would buy or uses the concept? How much will it cost?)
  • Competitive advantage of the concept (Why is the concept better than competitors?)
  • Value creation (How does the concept make money or cover expenses if a not-for-profit?)
  • How will prize money be used to further concept development?
Judges will select six finalists from the Round 1 submissions. Judges may include faculty, alumni and entrepreneurs.
  • The six finalists will participate in a live two-minute pitch rehearsal followed by a three-minute question-and-answer session at 4 p.m. March 17 in Violette Hall 1010.
  • Participants will receive feedback for improving their pitches, but their performance is not officially judged and will not directly affect their Round 2 placing.
  • The rehearsal pitches will be recorded. Finalists will be given access to their video for review and pitch improvement.
Round 2: The six finalists will advance to the final pitch competition scheduled for 3-5 p.m. March 31 at T-REX, 911 Washington Avenue in St. Louis. All travel expenses will be covered for the finalists and each will receive a plaque.
  • Finalists will present their pitches to a panel of judges. The pitch will be cut off at two minutes. No visual aids may be used. Prior to their presentations, finalists may not view the other contestants’ pitches. Finalists may view other finalists’ pitches after they have presented their pitch.
  • After the presentation, finalists will answer questions from the judges. The Q&A will be limited to three minutes.
  • The judges will deliberate and announce the top three pitches.
  • Pitch participants, judges, alumni and audience members will be invited to attend a networking reception following the competition from 5-7 p.m. at T-REX.
Pitch Judging Criteria
Judges will score the pitch presentation on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 = poor; 5 = outstanding) on the following elements listed below. The best score possible will be 40.
  • Problem: Significance of problem/issue being addressed
  • Product/service solution adequately addresses the problem  
  • Market: Target market is significant and well-defined  
  • Competition: Concept proven to be better than current competition  
  • Value Creation: Clearly articulated how the concept will make money (or cover expenses if non-profit)
  • Seed Money: How prize money would be used to further develop the concept
  • Q&A: Effectiveness of Q&A session answers
  • Presentation: Overall verbal pitch presentation and organization  
Confidentiality and Intellectual Property
Truman State University does not guarantee confidentiality of the pitch concept. Judges, Truman staff and audience members are professional and routinely respect the property of others. However, judges, staff and audience members will not sign nondisclosure agreements. If the presenters desire to keep elements of their concept confidential, the presenters should not include this information in their presentation or responses to judges’ questions.

Preparing for the Pitch - Pitch elements, rehearsals and feedback:    
  • 4 p.m. Feb. 4 at Violette Hall 1424: Anastasia Tiedemann, business counselor from the Kirksville Small Business Technology Development Center (SBTDC)
  • Feb. 23: alumnus and entrepreneur Doug Villhard will be on campus to watch pitches and provide feedback. Specific times and location will be announced.
  • 4 p.m. March 17 at Violette Hall 1010: pitch rehearsal for the six finalists with local faculty, staff, entrepreneurs and ICE
Recording and producing a video:
4:30 p.m. Feb. 3, Feb. 11 and Feb. 25 at Pickler Memorial Library Multimedia Lab