Home Of The Schulze Entrepreneurship Challenge

Submission & Format

Submission Process & Format

Online Submissions

  1. Format: A video and PowerPoint deck (or equivalent) are required for each submission. Both items must be submitted through the e-Fest portal (e-Fest.biz) to be eligible. Teams must adhere to the time limits on the video and convert their pitch deck to .pdf format for the written submission.

    1. Video Submission: The video submission should be up to a 7-minute pitch. This is the storied “rocket pitch” and should convey the key attributes of the opportunity, as depicted in the Pitch deck. Substance trumps style. The video file should be saved in one of these video file formats: .MOV, .WMV, .MP4 (email us with any technical questions: [email protected])
    2. Slide Deck Submission: The PowerPoint deck must be no longer than 15 slides (not including a title slide) and must be converted to .pdf format prior to submission.
  2. Original Work: The business submission must represent the original work of each entrant.
  3. Resources: Please see the downloads page for tools to help with developing your e-Fest submission.
  4. 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.
  5. Data Retention: After e-Fest concludes, only contact and basic information about each team and entry will be retained. All provided files will be permanently purged from the e-Fest online system, with the exception of e-Fest winners and entries selected for mention by EIX editors on the EIX.org family of websites.
  6. If a confirmed Finalist team drops out after April 3, 2023, for any reason, their university will be ineligible to compete in the competition the following year.

Competition Format

  1. First Round: The first round of the competition will judge the videos and slides submitted through the EIX e-Fest portal. Scoring will be against a pre-prescribed rubric which is published. Every team will receive feedback by April 15, 2023. Twenty-five finalist teams will be selected. All teams will be notified of their status by April 3, 2023.
  2. Finalists: Finalist teams will be notified of their invitation to participate on March 28, 2023 and given 48 hours to accept the invitation. The finalist teams will then be announced publicly on April 3, 2023. At e-Fest, groups of five teams will each be presided by a live judging panel for the final pitches. Finalists may make changes and updates to their pitch for the finals round and there is no slide limit.
  3. Judging panels will listen to each team’s pitch and score each team against a scoring rubric. Each judging panel will select one of the five teams to move onto the Championship Round. Judges will also rank the teams in each room from 1st to 5th place.
  4. Championship Round: At e-Fest, the five finalists, the top scorer from each preliminary group, will move forward to the Championship Round to pitch to a final judging panel, who will score the final pitches against a scoring rubric and deliberate to arrive at first place, second place, third place, fourth place, and fifth place.
  5. Impact Awards: Social and Global Impact submissions will be judged against a scoring rubric in a pre-event round of online judging. Winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony.
  6. Innovation Challenge: The innovation challenge will be held on Friday, April 28, 2023. e-Fest officials will create new teams by mixing students from different Universities into new teams. The teams will be issued a challenge for which they must devise a business-based solution. A panel of judges (made up of team advisors and special guests) will review the devised solutions and award monetary prizes to the teams who have developed the most compelling value propositions.
  7. Advisor Involvement: Faculty advisors are an important part of e-Fest. All student teams are required to have a faculty advisor validate their submission prior to acceptance to the online judging round. If selected as a Top 25 Finalist, teams are required to have a faculty advisor or staff person accompany them to the competition in Minneapolis, MN. The 3-day event offers opportunities for professional development and networking for advisors accompanying their student team.
  8. 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.
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