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PITCH COMPETITION

Access to Capital for Michigan Entrepreneurs

We are excited to announce the addition of an

all-new element: pitch competitions that will

provide founders and emerging entrepreneurs the opportunity to access thousands of dollars in capital. During Innovation Week 2024, competitors will pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges. Participants will compete live on stage on Friday, February 23, 2024, at the Forest Roberts Theatre for the chance to win thousands of dollars in prizes.

 

The pitch competition will feature two tracks:

The Big Pitch and the Outdoor Innovation Pitch. 

Big Pitch Winner 2023  Rachel Harvey, Superior K9 Aquatic Therapy 

Big Pitch Winner 2023

Rachel Harvey, Superior K9 Aquatic Therapy 

The Big Pitch

“The Big Pitch” is the culminating event of the annual

New Business Venture competition at Northern Michigan University. In partnership with NMU’s College of Business, Innovation Week is pleased to host this annual competition during the 2024 conference.​

IMPORTANT DATES:

January 1, 2024………….DEADLINE TO APPLY

 

February 22, 2024…….Trade Show

5:00 - 7:00 PM EST at the Landmark Inn

Innovation Week ticket required to attend

 

February 23, 2024…….Competition Day

1:00 - 3:00 PM EST at the Forest Roberts Theatre Reception to immediately follow

ELIGIBILITY:

  • Northern Michigan University students, irrespective of their major, are invited to participate. NMU students must be enrolled at the University during the 2023 Fall and 2024 Winter semesters. Students working individually, or in teams of up to five, can submit a plan to start a new business and compete for prizes. ***

  • Business plans must propose ventures that will be financially profitable, create new jobs, and be lawful.

 

***Winning and acceptance of New Business Venture Competition prizes may impact financial aid awards.

Outdoor
Innovation Pitch

Participants of the Outdoor Innovation Pitch will pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges. Pitch competition finalists will compete live on stage on Friday, February 23, 2024, at the Forest Roberts Theatre on Northern Michigan University's campus in Marquette, MI, for the chance to win thousands of dollars in prizes

 

Powered by InvestUP, the MI Outdoor Innovation Fund invests in Michigan-based startups innovating new technology in outdoor recreation. 

Applying companies will be reviewed and the finalists will be invited to advance to the live pitch competition. Finalists will pitch live to a panel of judges on Friday, February 23, 2024, in Marquette, MI.

IMPORTANT DATES:

January 28, 2024………….DEADLINE TO APPLY

February 7, 2024………….Finalists Selected

 

February 22, 2024…….Trade Show ***

5:00 - 7:00 PM EST at the Landmark Inn

Innovation Week ticket required to attend

 

February 23, 2024…….Competition Day

1:00 - 3:00 PM EST at the Forest Roberts Theatre

Reception to immediately follow

 

*** Outdoor Innovation Pitch competitors are invited to participate in the Trade Show on February 22, 2024 at the Landmark Inn but participation is optional.

ELIGIBILITY:

  • Michigan-based startup company 

  • Eligible companies must be focused on outdoor recreation

  • Eligible companies should have received less than $2,500,000 in private-sector investments

  • Eligible companies should have less than $1,500,000 in revenue in the immediately preceding 12-month period.

HOW TO APPLY:

  • Complete this application form and upload a pitch deck or executive summary. 

  • Pitch deck requirements and instructions on how to upload are provided below.

  • The deadline to apply is 11:59 PM EST on Sunday, January 28, 2024.

GRAND PRIZE:

One (1) "Grand Prize" will be awarded. The "Grand Prize" winner will receive up to $50,000 in services and investments from the MI Outdoor Innovation Fund* 

*Investment from the MI Outdoor Innovation Fund is pending the results of the competition and is mostly likely to be in the form of convertible notes.

MAKE IT IN MICHIGAN AWARD:

One (1) "Make it in Michigan Award" will be awarded and the winner will receive up to $10,000 in product development services. The "Make it in Michigan Award" is sponsored by Centrepolis Accelerator, Innovate Marquette, and the MI Outdoor Innovation Fund.**

 

**The "Make it in Michigan Award" winner will receive product development services up to $10,000 in value. The services will be available through Centrepolis Accelerator and/or other Michigan service providers. Eligible services include product design, engineering, prototyping and/or manufacturing readiness services.

 

QUESTIONS? Please contact Kristin Tanner at kristin.tanner@imqt.org or (906) 399-3582

The Outdoor Innovation Pitch is made possible in partnership with

the Michigan Outdoor Innovation Fund, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Centrepolis Accelerator, Northern Michigan University, and

the City of Marquette.

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LOOKING TO GET INVOLVED?

Apply to pitch your idea during the competition or be a spectator.

We invite you to cheer on the competitors as they pitch live to a panel of judges. The pitch competition during Innovation Week is FREE to attend; however, tickets are required. Click here to register for your FREE ticket.

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