Pitch Poster 2019

Washburn Pitch Competition

Washburn Pitch Competition
The Pitch Competition encourages students to explore and express their business ideas in a friendly and encouraging environment. The competition is open to all Washburn University undergraduate and graduate students and Washburn Institute of Technology students.  You can compete alone or in teams of up to three people. $25,000 in cash prizes has been made available from Go Topeka to help students start a new business venture.
The 2019 Pitch Competition decides the winners over the course of three pitch presentations. The Knockout Round and Semi-Finals Round will be held on October 3 in the Memorial Union.  The Finals Round will be held on October 17 in the Bradbury Thompson Alumni Center.

Questions or want to join a team?
Contact Dr. David Price

Registration Deadline - Friday, September 27, 2018 by 5:00 p.m.

All current Washburn University and Washburn Institute of Technology students are eligible to participate, but you must pre-register to compete.  You need to complete your registration form and bring it to the Washburn School of Business office in Henderson 114 by September 27, 2019 at 5:00 p.m.

Knockout Round and Semi-Final Round - Thursday, October 3, 2019, Washburn Memorial Union, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.

During the Knockout Round, participants will have a maximum of three minutes to verbally pitch ideas to a panel of judges (no technology use is allowed). The top three teams from each room will compete in the Semi-Finals Round, held directly following the Knockout Round.

Participants are asked to arrive between 12:00 - 12:45 p.m. to check in.  At 12:50 p.m., there will be a briefing to outline the event in Washburn B.  There will be four pitch presentation rooms held concurrently.  

Finals Round - Thursday, October 17, 2019, Bradbury Thompson Alumni Center, 6:00 - 8:30 p.m.

Teams qualifying for this phase will be required to expand on their ideas and include more detail on their proposed venture in a maximum of six (6) minutes. Technology is allowed and a Powerpoint presentation expected.  There will be five minutes for Q&A with judges.


1st Place: $8,000

2nd Place: $6,000

3rd Place: $4,000

4th Place: $2,000

5th Place: $1,000

Top Freshman Entry (outside of finals): $1,000
(A Freshman is defined as 30 hours or less completed of college credit.)

Top Washburn Institute of Technology Entry (outside of finals): $2,500


The Top Freshman Entry and Top Washburn Tech. winners will be notified within a few days via email, after all judge scores have been carefully tallied.

Students should develop and deliver an effective, professional presentation that includes a concise summary of a new business for a product, service or social venture.

Each student/team is judged on the same criteria by the judges in order to provide a clear understanding of how winners are decided.  The criteria listed below will be used in both the Knockout Round and Semi-Final Round.  The pitches are evaluated by each judge using the following criteria and scored evenly (25 points in each category) for a total out of 100 points:

  • Innovation – Is this a new idea or how is it different?
  • Business Model – How will the business operate and knowledge of the industry/market?
  • Feasibility – Is it realistic to implement?
  • Presentation – Was the delivery polished and impressive?
  • Pitch presentations will run concurrently in four different rooms. No microphones or audio equipment is available.  Participants must be ready when their name is called to pitch.  If not present when called, the moderator will ask for the next student/team to come forward.
  • Pitches are to be no more than three minutes long. Judges will only ask questions for clarification purposes and these must be brief. Timekeepers will keep your time and hold up a warning sign at the 2:30 mark.
  • Visual aids are permitted, such as poster boards, handouts, prototypes, etc. Presenters will NOT be allowed to use PowerPoint, computer, phones or any technology for their pitch during the Knockout Round (and Semi-Final Round).
  • There will be a panel of three judges for each pitch presentation in each room.
  • After all pitches are completed, the results are calculated and the top three winners from each room are announced based on total scores from the judging panel at approximately 3:00 p.m. Ties are settled by the judges.
  • The top three from each room will qualify for the Semi-Finals Round (total of 12).
  • Free food and drinks are provided. Other students and guests are welcome.
  • At approximately 3:00 p.m, the 12 semi-finalists will be announced. Each of the students/teams will be listed in random order to present to a new panel of judges to qualify for the Finals Round.
  • Students/teams MUST present the same pitch idea in the Semi-Final Round. However, the pitch presentation itself may change.
  • The same rules apply in the Semi-Final Round as the Knockout Round. This includes a three-minute time limit, no technology allowed, etc.
  • All pitch presentations during the Semi-Final Round will occur in one room with the same panel of four judges from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m., with the announcement of winners (top five) occurring directly after the last pitch.
  • The top five will qualify for the Finals Round on October 17th.
  • Details and requirements for the Finals Round will be sent out separately to finalists.

back to top button