Idea Pitch Competition

Tell your story. Whether you have a business idea, product, service, app, or non-profit idea, this competition is for you!
This competition is open all Northern undergraduate students who have creative new ideas. You don’t need to have a full business plan, and no entrepreneurial or business experience is necessary!

Applicants (either individuals or teams) will receive valuable insight from successful business people and have the opportunity to win up to $1,000 in cash prizes.  At least three (and up to six) individuals or teams will walk away with a cash prize based on our judges’ rulings and the voting of audience members at the Shark Tank competition!




Submit your idea using the registration form. Ideas can be submitted in written or video format!


Deadline: Friday, October 29



Finalists will have five minutes to give their pitch at The Shark Tank Competition in Lincoln Gallery on Tuesday, November 9, at 7 p.m. The five-minute presentation will be followed by five minutes of Q and A from our judges. Judges will be local business people, including business owners, potential investors, and representatives from development centers. Winners will be announced and prizes will be awarded following the Shark Tank Competition in the Lincoln Gallery.



Walk away with $1,000 in cash prizes!


Aberdeen Development Corporation

Cash prizes provided by Aberdeen Development Corporation

  • $500 First Place
  • $250 Second Place
  • $100 Third Place
  • $150 in People’s Choice Awards



To participate, you must be a current Northern State University student. You may enter and compete solo or in teams up to four.



The preliminary judging panel will consist of Northern staff/faculty from multiple schools and departments. Semi-finalists will be partnered with a faculty member on campus to help make your pitch amazing! Semi-finalists must participate in the Final Business Pitch Competition on Tuesday, November 9.


Final judging will be based on:
  • The Hook – The problem, need, or opportunity is clearly explained and the significance is evident.
  • The Solution – A detailed explanation of the proposed solution and a convincing statement of how it provides value for the customer.
  • Target Market – The intended audience is well defined/identified and the market or user base is quantified
  • Competitive Advantage – Understanding of the competition and shortcomings; credibility of the proposed solution.
  • Anticipated Resources – Cost of next step and retail costs and pricing are anticipated and justified; highlights benefits and potential for profit.
  • Clarity of Presentation – Speakers are polished and delivery techniques make the presentation understandable and engaging.
  • Impact of Presentation – The presentation inspires and holds attention; the pitch is persuasive and informative.


how to create your pitch

Make Your Pitch Amazing!


For the initial pitch submission (and your chance to make it to the Shark Tank Competition), your job is to excite the judges about your idea! You can submit your idea in writing or in video format!

Be sure to answer the following questions:

  1. What is your business idea, product, service, app, or non-profit idea?
  2. How does it solve a problem or opportunity?
  3. Who is your idea, product or service designed for?
  4. What sets your idea apart?

Submit Your Idea


Idea Pitch Competition Entry Form

  • - Name
  • - Team name (if applicable)
  • - Primary contact email
  • - Primary contact phone number
  • - Major
  • - Name of business, product, service idea
  • - Brief description or link to your video (less than 2 minutes)