Pitch Contest 2022
The goal of the Pitch Contest at the Center for Business Development is to assist startup companies that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to grow and succeed in the community. The contest is open to all for-profit businesses in the initial stages of operations.
There will be 10 finalists in the contest. The prize is a 12-month, no-cost participation in the Business Incubation Program at the Center for Business Development of Seminole Stage College.
The Business Incubation Program provides:
- Office space with desk and chair
- Wi-Fi, ethernet, mailing address, kitchen and conference room
- Regular meetings with the Program Manager
- Access to one-on-one consulting services with SBDC (Small Business Development Center)
- Educational programming, workshops, webinars and networking events
Contest Details and Eligibility Requirements
Step 1 - Preliminary Survey to Determine Eligibility
Answer the preliminary survey questions by 12 p.m. on October 20. Eligibility to continue to the next step of the contest will be based on your responses in the survey.
The eligible teams will receive an email informing them that they may proceed to Step 2 of the application processes within 24 hours of submitting the survey.
All eligible teams are strongly encouraged to attend one of the “How to Pitch” workshops at the Seminole County Public Library - Jean Rhein Central Branch (more details are in Step 2 below).
Step 2 (Optional) - “How to Pitch” Workshops
Attend one of the “How to Pitch” workshops at the Seminole County Public Library - Jean Rhein Central Branch.
Address: 215 N Oxford Rd., Casselberry, FL 32707 Rooms TBD
Meet the organizers and ask questions for clarification. This event will provide you with details on the next steps in the contest and the deadlines.
Step 3 - Round 1 of the Pitch Contest
All eligible teams must submit a 90-second pitch video and a one-page Executive Summary via email to Stella Salakova-Cervantes by 11.59 p.m. on October 21.
90-second Pitch Video Specifics:
- Videos should not be more than 90 seconds long. Videos longer than 90 seconds will be disqualified from participation.
- Use a web cam or cellphone to record your video. Formats allowed: YouTube video with a link, .MP4, .MPEG4, .MOV, .WMP files.
- Presenters must be part of the start-up company team.
- Presenters must limit distractions by using a static digital background image or a neutral backdrop. Presenters may use a digital company logo or their names in the background.
- If the company is selling a physical product, the presenters may show it or its prototype, as well as demo its use. If the company is selling a digital product or service, the presenters may use screenshots or share screen to showcase its use.
- Use of slide decks is not allowed.
- Be clear and creative so you capture the judges’ attention!
Step 4 - Round 1 Semi-finalists Announced
The judges will decide on Round 1 semi-finalists and inform them via email by 11:59 p.m. on October 28. Round 2 procedures will be outlined in the email.
All eligible teams must be able to attend the “Final Pitch Contest” event at the Heathrow Campus of Seminole State College (more details are in Step 7 below).
Step 5 - Round 1 Semi-finalists Submit Supporting Documents
Round 1 semi-finalists are allowed to provide up to two pages of supporting documents that may add value to and spark interest during the final Pitch Contest presentations. Examples may include but are not limited to:
- Financial documents such as balance sheet or profit and loss statement
- Executive summary or business plan
- Marketing documents such as flyers, pamphlets or brochures
- Any other accompanying materials that your team has created
Step 6 - Round 1 Semi-finalists Prepare for Round 2
Round 1 semi-finalists must prepare for a 5-minute live pitch/slide deck presentation. The presenters can learn more about how to prepare for their pitch deck by reading this article from Master Class. There is no need to submit the pitch deck.
In the presentation, the start-up company teams must:
- Present a new business idea (product or service) for which there is a demand in the community or region; explain what problem it will solve, and how it will be done.
- Exhibit an intent to expand operations and scale up staff size (hire new employees).
- Prove willingness to commit to a 12-month active participation in the Business Incubation Program, including but not limited to regular meetings with the program manager, enrollment in SBDC services and engaging with a consultant, attending educational programming and networking events.
- Demonstrate passion for what they do and strong desire to grow and succeed in the ecosystem.
Step 7 - Round 2 of the Pitch Contest
Round 1 semi-finalists present the 5-minute live pitch deck during the “Final Pitch Contest” event at the Heathrow Campus of Seminole State College.
Address: 1055 AAA Dr., Heathrow, FL 32746, Rooms 138A & 138B
Monday, November 14, 5 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Each presentation will be followed by a 5-10 minute Q & A session with the judges during which the teams will receive feedback.
Step 8 - Round 2 Finalists Announced
The judges will decide on Round 2 finalists and inform them of their decision in person the same evening of the "Final Pitch Contest" event.
Step 9 - Logistics Details Clarified
All details that surround logistics of the start-up company transition to the Business Incubator are scheduled to take place in December. For each new client, these include:
- Assignment of office suite
- Determination of door entry code and Wi-Fi password
- Desk arrangement
- Lease preparation and signing
- Billing account setup
Step 10 - Moving In
Cohort of Pitch Contest winners moves in the Business Incubator during the first week of January 2023!
Visit Seminole State's Business Incubation Program webpage to learn about the program and services available for Seminole County small businesses.