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New Venture Pitch Competition

*There will be no competition in 2024

2025 New Venture Pitch Competition

April 11st, 2025 | TBD

Northwest Missouri State University | Maryville, MO


The New Venture Pitch Competition provides business students and entrepreneurs with an opportunity to present their ideas to small business owners and investors in a competitive setting. The experience also provides a valuable opportunity to network with other business professionals.

“By developing a business plan and coming up with a completely new business, you have to consider marketing and human resources and operations and finance and economics – all of that goes into it,” Dr. Ben Blackford, the director of the Melvin D. and Valorie G. Booth School of Business, said. “Secondly, even if they don’t plan on starting a business, they’re getting a great presentation opportunity because the judges are wonderful alumni and members of the community that have agreed to help, and they are the people who will be their bosses, their clients and their coworkers once they graduate.”

How does it work?

College students, high school students, and members of the community interested in presenting their business ideas in a competitive setting are invited to register for the New Venture Pitch Competition at Northwest Missouri State University.

The deadline to enter is April 1, 2025. The competition will take place April 11, 2025 on the third floor of the J. W. Jones Student Union on the Northwest campus.

The event provides students and entrepreneurs the opportunity to present ideas to professionals, small business owners, and other practitioners in the field. It also gives students the chance to network with business professionals and gain presentation experience.

The Northwest Missouri State University New Venture Pitch Competition aims to bring together future or current entrepreneurs and small business owners to provide educational, informational, and networking opportunities.

Click the "Entry Form" tab to submit your entry. 

Deadline is April 1, 2025.

For additional information please contact:
School of Business
CH 2100
Maryville, MO 64468-6001
Phone: 660.562.1835


View printable version and scoring guide View PDF

I. Eligibility

The competition is open to three types of entries.

The first type is all students currently enrolled in an accredited higher education institution, regardless of class status. All members of teams entering the competition must be students at an accredited institution. The venture being presented in the pitch developed by the team is only eligible to enter the competition once and must not be attached to a business currently in operation.

The second type is current high school students. All members of the team must be currently enrolled in a recognized school. Teams must include at least two members and no more than five members. The venture being presented in the pitch developed by the team is only eligible to enter the competition once and must not be attached to a business currently in operation.

The third type is members of the community interested in presenting their start-up business ideas in a competitive setting. The venture being presented must be a start-up idea and must not be attached to a business currently in operation.

II. Entry

Entry instruction coming soon. The deadline is April 1.

Space will be limited and applying but not competing prevents another team from having the opportunity to participate in the competition. There is no entry fee for the competition.

III. Decisions and Changes to Rules

While no changes are expected, the committee overseeing the competition reserves the right to alter or clarify rules at its discretion. Every attempt will be made to comply with the published rules at all times. All decisions of the committee and judges are final.

IV. Confidentiality

Every effort will be made to limit exposure of ideas presented during the competition, although this cannot be guaranteed. In addition, the competition is open to the public and thus teams should not assume any amount of confidentiality. Judges, staff, other competitors, and others in attendance will not be asked to sign confidentiality agreements. Teams will not be penalized for declining to answer a question if the answer is deemed to potentially lead to disclosure of key intellectual property.

V. Waivers and Releases

The views expressed by the judges, competition committee, and all those associated with the competition are their own and do not represent those of Northwest Missouri State University. Everyone associated with this competition is volunteering his or her time and are under no obligation to provide advice or services to the contestants. Contestants release all involved in the competition from any responsibility or liability arising from decisions, feedback, or advice rendered before, during, or after this competition.

VI. Competition Format

The competition will consist of three rounds of competition. The initial presentations will be one minute elevator pitches. Fifteen seconds will be allowed for transition between teams. Following the elevator pitch round, all participating teams will exhibit displays that explain their venture.

Judges will tour the exhibits and meet with the teams that most impressed them during the elevator pitches. Following the exhibit round, the judges will meet to select the four finalists. The four teams selected for the final round will present again and the judges will select an overall winner for each track. During the final round, teams will have 10 minutes to present their business followed by 10 minutes of Q&A. Teams should be prepared for this format and structure their presentations accordingly in order to communicate the most important portions of their pitch to the judges. The schedule for the competition will be made available following the submission deadline.

VII. Evaluation Criteria

Teams will be judged on the effectiveness and persuasiveness of the presentations, the innovativeness of the ideas, the quality of the ideas, the competitive advantage of the proposed businesses, effective discussion of financials, and the proposed management team. While all of these criteria will impact who advances and ultimately wins the competition, the final decision will be based on the investment potential. Presentations cannot contain fabricated information including (but not limited to) stage of product development, experience of members involved, or market research. Student teams will be evaluated using the same criteria, but within the context of this is a learning experience to help them improve and with a special focus on innovative ventures.

Judges will use the scorecard included at the end of the guidelines to evaluate each presentation.

VIII. Disclosure Statement

Presentations do not constitute an offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to purchase, any securities of these Corporations, companies or sole proprietorships. Such an offer or solicitation, if and when made, will be made only through an offering registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (and applicable state securities regulatory authorities) or under an available exemption from such registration.

Event Prizes

Prizes* for first through third will be awarded as a reimbursement of approved startup expenses.

1st - $2,500

2nd - $1,500

3rd - $1,000

*Prizes are subject to change