Submissions: Students may be a part of multiple team submissions but can only compete with one team during the Top 25 Finals. Initial submissions are due by March 3, 2024 11:59 pm Pacific Time. All submissions must be uploaded through the e-Fest submission portal using the links provided.
Team: Teams should be at least two and no more than five students.
Repeat Participation: Students may submit in multiple years. However, any venture invited as a Top 25 Finalist in e-Fest cannot be resubmitted. In other words, prior finalists must submit a new idea or venture.
Student Enrollment: The competition is for current or recently graduated (no earlier than Fall 2023) undergraduate students. Appropriate adjustments will be made for any students from non-US universities that have a different academic calendar. However, only undergraduate students may compete (including submitting, presenting their plan, and answering questions from the competition judges).
Student Involvement: The competition is for student-created and student-managed ventures, including new ventures launched by licensing university technology.
Students are expected to:
Be advised by a current undergraduate student faculty member or entrepreneurship center director from a 4-year college or university in North America.
Play the primary role in developing and leading the business.
Have key management roles in the venture.
Have fundamental, equity-holding (or potential equity-holding) positions within the company and have a combined ownership/potential ownership of at least 25% of the founder’s equity in the company.
Be part of only one e-Fest team (students may be a part of multiple e-Fest teams during the online submission round but can only compete at the e-Fest Finals on one team.)
Be present during the entire competition and at the time of the prize presentations to be eligible for prizes.
Forms of Business:
Submissions are for new independent ventures in the seed, start-up, or early growth stages.
Submissions should not include buyouts, entity expansions, not for profits, subsidiaries or recapitalizations.
The e-Fest team has the final decision on which teams are invited to compete in the competition and reserves the right to include or exclude any teams for any reasons.
Business Status: Since this competition is for new ventures and opportunities, established companies may not qualify. Importantly, student venture submissions do not have to be established companies in order to participate. Student ventures that are established companies must meet these criteria:
Total funding from investments, grants, and awards — including contributions, cash investments, loans, and paid expenses by any team members, founders, or individuals — cannot exceed $100,000 (all time)
Total sales at the time of the e-Fest submission cannot exceed $50,000 (all time)
Point of Contact: Students must designate a single point-of-contact person responsible for communication with competition organizers and submitting the entry into the e-Fest student team application portal. The submission form will have a spot to designate this person. This is to streamline operations.
Integrity: The submission must contain only accurate information about team members’ backgrounds, experience and educational levels; stage of product development; product performance claims or market survey results.
Academic Advisor: Each student team must provide the name and email address of their team faculty advisor when submitting their team entry for consideration for e-Fest. A faculty or staff member is required to accompany their team to the e-Fest competition in Minneapolis, MN if their team is selected as a Top 25 Finalist. If the faculty advisor is unable to travel to e-Fest, it is the team’s responsibility to secure a substitute faculty or staff member to accompany the team.
Advisor Approval Form: Before submissions can advance to the online judging round, they must first receive approval from the team’s academic advisor. Advisors play a crucial role in ensuring compliance with e-Fest rules and eligibility requirements. They will confirm the team’s eligibility and verify that the submission is the original work of the students, ensuring the accuracy of the business plan and its authenticity.
Institutional Eligibility: Colleges and universities in North America that have an undergraduate entrepreneurship or new venture development offering of 1 or more courses, or which offer entrepreneurship major or minor concentrations, may participate.
Confidentiality: All sessions of the competition, including but not limited to oral presentations, video and slide deck submissions and question/answer sessions, are open to the public at large. Any and all of these sessions may be shared with interested people, through media that may include radio, television, printed materials and the internet. Any data or information discussed or divulged in public sessions by entrants should be considered information that could possibly enter the public realm, and entrants should not assume any right of confidentiality in any data or information discussed, divulged, or presented in these sessions. Due to the nature of the competition, we will not ask judges, reviewers, sponsors, staff or the audience to agree to or sign non-disclosure statements for any participant. By participating in the competition, entrants agree that no member of the e-Fest team — EIX, The Richard Schulze Family Foundation, The University of St. Thomas, members of the judging panel, sponsors and their designate organizations — will assume any liability whatsoever for any disclosures of business plan information that may be made (whether inadvertently or otherwise) by any judge, reviewer, staff member, audience member or other individual connected with, participating in, viewing, hearing, or receiving information from the competition.