Contest Guidelines & Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

Trouble coming up with an idea?

How do I participate in the Pitch Competition?

How do I get to the final?

Teams will prove themselves at the school level then be invited to a regional competition. The top teams in the regional competition(s) will be invited to the final.

If I do not make the final can I still attend the event?

Definitely! If you put in the work, show leadership and interested in innovation and entrepreneurship you will likely get an invite. It does not hurt to mention your interest in attending the event to your teacher and Square1.

What are the requirements for the pitch contest?

Simple- 1. An idea. 2. A 5-minute or less presentation (PowerPoint for the final). 3. Participation in the Square1 sessions. 4. Be in good standing with your school.

What is required on the presentation?

A template as well as several pitch examples are included below. Additionally, we will spend significant class time refining the presentations. In general, you can have as many slides as you want, but will have no more than 5 minutes (4.5 minutes is the ideal spot to land in practice - equates to thoroughly covering everything and making it worth the judges time). Presentations typically start with a story highlighting the problem or situation your idea addresses; details about the problem; introduction of your solution; details on your solution like features, benefits, and how it works; who will buy it; who is on your team and advising you; how you plan to make money; and ends with some kind of ask whether it be for money, help, advice, mentorship.

What does the pitch contest entail?

The school based contest is usually in front of 3 judges who are community professionals. The regional contest you will present to several teams of judges. The final will be in front of a live audience with honorees being the judges and likely a crowd favorite prize as well. As time permits, judges will be allowed to ask questions.

Is the contest live or virtual?

We hope to make each phase of the contest live, but we are prepared to host it online if needed. If online, some judges will evaluate your presentation through a Zoom (or similar) platform live while others may judges a recording of this live presentation. The regional and final event format are yet to be determined.

Ideation  guide –

8 Ways to Unleash Your Creativity and Find Innovative Ideas –

Top 10 Ideas for 2018 –

Student Ideas from India –

40 Startup Ideas for 2022 –

26 Lucrative and Low-Cost Small Business Ideas to Start This Year –

82 Startup ideas for Newbies –

Pitch Development:

Pitch Examples:

Presentation Templates:
Download HERE

Real World Examples:
UBER, BUFFER, AIRBNB, & many more – Download HERE

 Student Contest Examples:
2023 Final Event Pitches – Download HERE