IQ E-Pitch Competition

Video still of student presenting product idea for 2020 IQ E-Pitch competition. He is wearing a suite with a blue shirt and a blue tie and speaking in of the the outdoor courtyards at Lindner Hall. There is a screen shot overlay of the product he is presenting, which looks like a pie chart of some sort

Have you ever thought about a new, innovative idea for a product, service or social enterprise? Do you believe it could be the basis for a successful new start-up? Then the Innovation Quest Elevator Pitch (IQ-E Pitch) Competition is the perfect opportunity to submit your idea for the chance to earn part of $20,000 in awards!

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. The IQ E-Pitch competition simulates this experience so students gain real-world experience of what it would like to bring a business idea to fruition. And pitching your ideas is a lifelong skill.  

IQ Elevator Pitch Competition logo with UC Center for Entrepreneurship & Commercialization tagline

The IQ E-Pitch Competition will return in 2021 as a video elevator pitch competition at the University of Cincinnati, to ensure everyone’s health and safety amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Student teams will compete for $20,000+ in awards, with winners announced in a virtual awards ceremony on Wednesday March 31, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. EST. Past winners have gone on participate in local and national accelerator programs, receive mentorship, funding and launch successful businesses. 

2021 Dates for IQ E-Pitch Competition

Important Dates
Item Date
Applications Open to Students Monday, February 15, 2021, 8 a.m. EST
Submissions Open to Students Monday, March 1, 2021, 8 a.m. EST
Video Submissions Close Friday, March 19, 2021, 5 p.m. EST
Judging by #StartupCincy ecosystem members March 22 – 26, 2021
Winners announced at Virtual Event Wednesday, March 31, 2021, 5 p.m. EST

How the IQ E-Pitch Competition Works

This competition is open to all UC students, who can submit a business idea in one of the following tracks:

  1. Freshman
  2. Undergraduate
  3. Graduate
  4. Social enterprise
  5. Urban Futures

Students start by filling out an initial application form. From there, they will receive information and instructions about submitting their video for review by external judges.

Once all videos are submitted, 60-80 judges from the regional startup and business community (entrepreneurs, angel investors, venture capitalists, retired executives and more) will review the videos. Winning teams will be announced at the IQ E-Pitch Awards Ceremony on March 31, 2021.

Past Competitions

The 2020 IQ E-Pitch Competition attracted dozens of student teams from all UC colleges. Among the top finalists, six out of the 12 finalist teams across the four tracks — freshman, undergraduate, graduate and social enterprise — were composed of Lindner students. Read more and view past winners at the links below.