Startup competitions are good for realizing your dreams. If it wasn’t for them, you could never be able to follow an awesome idea to fruition. Even though you might not manage to win the competition and secure funding, the truth is that getting into a one can prove to be a treasure trove of opportunities and networking. You can get in touch with many resources who believe in your idea as much as you do. That being said, there are no dearth of opportunities for startups to secure funding via a spate of major competitions. We have listed 9 of them below who offer nothing less than $3 million to help you get on the road to success:
You know Huggies, the popular diaper company? Turns out they have a yearly program that funds startups that have ideas of particular interest to moms. Their judges value creativity behind your idea and as long as it’s relevant to motherhood, Huggies will have no issue green lighting it. Applicants should be over 21 years of age.
Prize: $15,000 of seed money.
Y Combinator is one of the best ventures for funding startups. They select startups that are in their infancy, providing them invaluable support via investor meetings, networking and more. Every startup is vetted by an experienced group of investors and venture capitalists.
This competition is open to teams from all over the world. They are always on the lookout for new and unique business ideas that can be launched in NYC. The startups are judged by a panel of investors based in New York. Teams can have 2 to 5 members. It is only open to students and alumni that have graduated from an institution of higher education.
4. Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership Annual Business Plan Competition
This competition is held primarily to help you guide through the whole process of developing a business plan from an idea to an actionable course or plan. Eligibility is based on a startup’s understanding of the prevailing market conditions, growth options and sustainable planning. It’s about helping learn the benefits of competitive advantage, thanks to skill sets and management methods that deliver. It’s also about formulating a long-term vision and clearly-defined goals. The program is open only to for-profit entities and funds startups willing to set up shop in New Jersey.
Prize: Free IFEL Accelerator membership for 1 year and numerous cash prizes worth thousands of dollars.
5.Green Idea Factory Annual Competition
Like its name, the competition only caters to startups that can help in the aspects of recycling, entrepreneurship, green industries and renewable energy. It is open only to local high schools.
6. Hatch Pitch
Are you a startup that believes in making life better? Then Hatch Pitch is the competition for you that chooses as many as 12 finalists to present their business plan. All business plans are then vetted by a panel of corporate pros, such as VCs and angel investors. The competition is for SXSW in Austin. To qualify for the competition, startups should have only one product or service to launch at no later at June 30, 2014.
For companies that wish to get started in Essex County, this 21st century-powered competition makes short work of paperwork. All it needs to judge the viability of a sound business idea is to determine the quality of the plan and the people behind its execution. This competition favors participants who have great communication skills and excel at personal presentation.
Prize: 1st Place – $5000, 2nd Place – $3000, and 3rd Place – $2,000
8. Fast Pitch
This competition is open to students, faculty and even local entrepreneurs. You need to make a 3-minute pitch, that’s all. And you will be judged on it by a panel of local leaders, academics and investors. This competition aims to provide you coaching and feedback by experienced people too to refine your idea and make it better.
Prize: $1000 to $3000
Available only for Tufts students, this competition aims to provide support for ideas that are at the earliest incubation stage. If you want to test the waters before committing financial and human resources to work toward an idea, this is the best program to do so.