The ESSENCE Pitch Competition, held July 1, 2017 in New Orleans during the Essence Festival brought to you by Coca-Cola®, brings together emerging and established businesses in this ultimate national elevator pitch competition. In just 90 seconds, you can pitch your way toward a prize pool of $5,000! If selected for a business pitch, you get the opportunity to showcase your idea in front of hundreds of entrepreneurs, investors, business leaders and others from the entrepreneurial community.
WANT TO ENTER ESSENCE PITCH CITY 2017?
Do you have an idea on ways to make cities work better? Whether it’s a solution to improve commuting, communication, urban design, eco-friendly – any innovation that improves the lives of city residents - this National Elevator Pitch Competition showcases “What Makes Cities Work?” You can win a spot to travel to New Orleans, LA to pitch your idea live Saturday, July 1, 2017 at Essence Festival brought to you by Coca-Cola®,! Interested in applying? Applications will open May 3, 2017 through May 26, 2017. Submit your information here!
Questions? Click here for an overview of the competition.
REQUIREMENTS AND ELIGIBILITY
- Have started and/or are operating a company (must be a for-profit venture and headquartered in the United States).
- Complete a short business profile available on the Pitch City website.
- Submit a 90-second elevator pitch
video of you explaining your company/idea (YouTube or other video portal). Key topics for “What Makes Cities Work” include:
- What is your business?
- What is the problem in the market? How does your business provide a viable solution?
- What is the market size and opportunity?
- Who are you and what qualifications do you have?
- What is the cost of your product/service and how much profit per item/service will/do you receive?
- Who are your competitors and what is your competitive advantage?
- How much traction have you gained to date?
- How much investment do you need and for what?
- A closing and call to action
- Late entries will not be reviewed.
Who may apply?
Applicants for PitchCity must be established businesses with a valid Tax ID and can apply either as an individual or a team. Other eligibility requirements are as follows:
- Applicants must be have started and/or are operating a company (must be a for-profit venture and headquartered in the United States).
- The company must be headquartered in the United States.
- The company must have been in existence for at least six months.
- Companies must have generated revenue or venture capital funding between $10,000 and $50,000 since inception. Companies that have generated revenue or venture capital funding in excess of $50,000 are ineligible to apply.
- Applicants must sign a waiver with submission of their initial application permitting Essence, the USBC CEDC and affiliate partners to use their submission s for education and marketing purposes.
- Applicants that apply as teams and advance to the final round may only send two team members to pitch live at the 2017 Essence Festival.
- We reserve the right to limit the volume of subimssions at any time; therefore, applicants are encourages to apply early.
- Finalists from previous Essence Pitch Competitions, current members of USBC CEDC Programs (Millennial Entrepreneurs Redefined; Capital Pathways), and the general public are eligible to apply.
For guidance, watch these former winners of pitch competitions to see what an ideal submission video looks like.
- Example 1
- Example 2
- Example 3
For complete competition details, check out the Official Rules.
BEYOND THE INITIAL PITCH
Second Round (Semi-final):
- Contestants submit their pitch deck and must use the business plan template provided by USBC CEDC and stay within the stated word count.
- Late entries will not be reviewed.
- The use of audio/visual equipment is permitted during the live pitch round.
- During the final round, each presenter will be briefly introduced to the audience, followed by three minutes to make a pitch and five minutes of Q&A led by the panel of judges.
- Time will begin with the presenter begins to speak.
All applicants must sign a waiver with the submission of their initial application permitting Essence and the USBC CEDC to use their pitch videos for education and marketing purposes.
*Note: Void where prohibited by law. Employees of Essence, USBC CEDC and US Black Chambers, Inc. and its promotional partners and their respective parents, affiliates and subsidiaries, participating advertising and promotion agencies (and members of their immediate family and/or those living in the same of household of each such employee) are not eligible. Other finalists from previous years’ competitions may compete, but only with a different business/idea than used previously.