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FAQs Page

IQ E-Pitch Competition Official Rules, Guidelines and Submission Requirements


What is it?
Inventors and entrepreneurs of all kinds commonly have to request support from investors to raise capital in order to commercialize their ideas and launch start-up ventures. Busy investors don’t have much time to listen. Often you need to be able to request their support in 90-120 seconds, the length of one elevator ride. This “elevator pitch” competition simulates this business reality. Come pitch your innovative idea for a chance to win $1000.00 (1st Prize), $750 (2nd Prize) or $500 (3rd Prize), or a special $500 social enterprise award!

Am I eligible?
If you’re currently a student enrolled in an Undergraduate or Graduate Program at UC, then you’re eligible. It’s just that simple! The event is open to the entire University, so students from ALL colleges are invited to compete every year!

What is involved?
We’ve tried to keep it simple. There are just a few requirements. First you need to have an innovative concept. You’re welcome to use a poster-board, tablet, or a laptop display (be sure your battery is charged as power outlets are unavailable) to “throw your pitch”, but really all you have to do is share your idea verbally in 90-120 seconds and then answer a few questions about it. You won’t have time to get into the technical details. Dress code is business casual/professional, unless you have a coordinated outfit or team t-shirts. You can work alone or with a team of up to 5 people. You don’t have to bring a prototype, but can if you have one and would like to “show it off”. Our goal is to keep it simple, reward your creativity, and connect you with successful and innovative people and programs that can help you take your ideas to commercialization or even launch your own company!

How will it work?
You’ll have your own section of a table to set up your display or just stand beside. Your audience will be small but diverse and will include investors, successful Cincinnati business people, and former corporate executives. You’ll be talking to just 2 or 3 people at a time as they circulate by your table, but you’ll interact with dozens over the course of the night. Judges and fellow competitors will stop at your table, you’ll pitch your concept by telling them about the problem you’re trying to solve and your innovative solution, and they’ll ask you questions if they’re interested in learning more. It’s that easy! More details on pitching can be found here.

Code of Ethics
All concepts must be legal in the USA and Ohio. Vice industry concepts are prohibited, including concepts related to alcohol (e.g., production, distribution), drugs, pornography, tobacco, gambling, etc.

How do I sign up?
To sign up, all you need to do is to register here by March 30, 2017. You will be required to register yourself and your team members (if there will be more than one participant), so be sure to have their names and contact information handy (e.g., email address and cell phone), and also provide a one-paragraph description of your idea. Keep it short, no more than 250 words. You may start your paragraph with a brief description of the problem you’re solving or the opportunity you’re addressing. Next, describe your innovative solution by providing basic information about your new product or service idea and any other pertinent details you may want to share. Once registration is received, you’ll automatically be eligible to participate in the competition and win the $1000 grand prize in your own category (Grad or Undergrad).